Gladys Hartson

Gladys E. Hartson of Decorah died Sunday, May 10, 2020 at Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester, MN at the age of 87. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private family burial will be at Oakland Cemetery in Waukon.

Gladys Emma (Rolfs) Hartson was born August 27, 1932 at the family farm in Union Prairie Township, Allamakee County, the fourth of eight children born to Walter and Emma (Kostman) Rolfs.  Gladys attended country schools through eighth grade. She graduated from Waukon High School in 1951. After graduation Gladys moved to Waterloo and worked as a key-punch operator at DX Sunray.

Gladys was united in marriage to Duane Ronald “Curly” Hartson May 25, 1957 in Waukegan, IL. This union was blessed with two children, Michael Eugene and Dianna Marie.

Curly made a career in the Navy with the family living in Connecticut, Virginia and Illinois. During this period Gladys was a stay-at-home mother. When Curly retired from the Navy in 1972, the family moved to Postville, where Gladys was a bookkeeper at Gene’s Electric.

In 1980 Gladys and Curly moved to Waterloo. During this period Gladys enjoyed her career as a proof consultant for Olan Mills. In 1996 they moved back to northeast Iowa, settling in Decorah. Gladys went back to work in 1999 as a salesclerk at Donlon Pharmacy, retiring in 2012. Gladys had a strong faith and attended various churches in many communities throughout her life. For the past several years Gladys attended Stone Ridge Community Church in Decorah, where she was an active member of Bible study groups.

Gladys enjoyed playing cards, shopping and being with people. She was a member of the Red Hat Society, as well as various women’s clubs. Gladys most enjoyed being a mother and grandmother, spending every chance she could with her grandchildren and then her great-grandchildren. Her favorite activity was to spend time with her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Curly, August 29, 2009; her parents; her great-grandson, Michael Paul Hartson; and her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Gladys is survived by her son, Michael of Postville; her daughter, Dianna (Robert) Foster of Monmouth; four grandchildren: Aaron (Maria) Hartson of Newton, Cahleen (Nate) Feldmann of Schaumburg, IL, Evonne (Mark) Edwards of Hudsonville, MI and Noah (Sara) Hartson of Aplington; seven great-grandchildren: Owen Hartson, Katelyn Feldmann, Laurelin and Alaina Edwards, and Adeline, James and Abigail Hartson; her sisters, Marjorie (Emmett) Kruger of Postville, Irene Carney of Fairfield, OH, Darlene Hudson of Red Wing, MN and Janet Kaufman of Waukon; her brothers, Donald (Phyllis) Rolfs of Red Wing, MN, Lloyd Rolfs of Lansing and Charles (Lois) Rolfs of Waukon; and a brother-in-law, Eugene Hartson of Waterloo.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Stone Ridge Community Church, 1111 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101; Shriners Hospitals for Children; the American Lung Association; or charity of your choice.

Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

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