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Gladys Martinell

April 22, 1932 — April 19, 2023

Gladys M. Martinell, 90, passed away Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at her home in
Big Sheep Creek, Dell, Montana. She was born April 22, 1932, in Preston, Idaho,
the daughter of Annie Buck Handy and Herman Handy, of Centennial Valley, MT.

Gladys grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and graduated from Idaho Falls High
School. She then attended the Idaho Falls LDS Hospital and School of Nursing.
While a nursing student, she received a $15 stipend for living expenses, of which
$14 went toward payment for a new saddle.

As a graduate nurse, she worked at the LDS Hospital and continued her education
by graduating as a Credited Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Portland,
Oregon. Gladys worked at hospitals in Idaho and Alaska, but also explored other
passions, including completing her solo flight as a pilot while in Alaska.

Gladys always spoke fondly about her undergrad years especially when she and
nursing friends would often travel from Idaho to Monida, MT for weekend dances.
Those dances made a long-lasting effect on Glady’s life since it was there she met
Montana rancher, Gordon Martinell of Big Sheep Creek.

On June 21, 1958, Gordon and Gladys married and moved to California while
Gordon served in the military. Gladys worked at Monterey County Hospital in
Salinas. After Gordon completed his service with the U.S. Army in Fort Ord, the
couple returned to Sheep Creek.  

In the mid-1960’s the couple and their young family moved to Salmon and then to
Idaho Falls, where Gladys worked as the nurse anesthetist at local hospitals. For
several years in Idaho Falls, Gladys was the sole provider for all Riverview
Hospital patients; a heavy responsibility requiring many hours of dedicated service.

In the late 1970s, Gladys and family returned to Big Sheep Creek where she began
her second career as a rancher. She found great joy in spending her days alongside
Gordon and their family of four children.

Gladys was a solid rock to those who had the fortune to know her. Her quick wit,
generous spirit, and spunky attitude drew people to her. Gladys loved her bum
lambs, chickens, ranching, crafts, and jam-making. She was a beacon of strength,
love, and genuine kindness and leaves a huge hole in the hearts of those who knew
her, depended on her, and loved her.

She is survived by children: Gail Kisling, Idaho Falls, ID; Bill (Kris) Martinell,
Dell, MT; Kim Martinell, Dillon, MT; and Marla Martinell, Big Sheep Creek, MT,
ID; grandchildren Nicholia (Drew) Canfield, Shelby (Kris Young) Martinell,
Hailey Kisling, Parker Jones, Skylar Martinell, McKenna Jones, and Justin
Martinell; great-grandkids, Kannon, Emerson, and Dylan Canfield; and her four-
legged companion, Zoey. 

Gladys’ husband, Gordon, her parents, Herman and Ann Buck Handy, and
brothers, Herman and Jerry Handy, preceded her in death.

Graveside services for Gladys are Friday, April 28th at 1:30 p.m. at Mountain
View Cemetery, 934 Sweetwater Road, in Dillon. An Ice Cream Social, in
celebration of Glady’s life well lived follows at 124 S Montana Street, Dillon.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Lima Swimming
Pool or Lima Fire Department, at P.O. Box 161 Lima, MT 59739.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gladys Martinell, please visit our flower store.


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