NEWTON, N.C. — Gladys Ann Wilmot Foes, 91, of Newton, N.C., passed away Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at Carillon Assisted Living.
Born Aug. 25, 1920, in Halifax, England, she was the daughter of the late John and Lydia Duncan Wilmot.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, John Francis Foes; her brothers, Stanley and Harold; and her sister, Doreen.
Mrs. Foes was of the Catholic faith, a brave and fiercely independent woman whose life was rich and adventurous. Her family’s business was Wilmot-Cadonna Amusements, a carnival traveling group with rides and acts that performed throughout the United Kingdom. Her grandchildren delight in the fact that their great-great grandmother was a beautiful lion tamer. Gladys met her beloved John at a dance in Glasgow, Scotland, when he was a medic in the U.S. Army, stationed in Scotland. She was working in the Rolls Royce factory manufacturing parts for Spitfire aircraft. Their courtship was interrupted by his deployment to France to serve in the Battle of the Bulge, but he wrote to her faithfully each day whenever possible. At the end of World War II they married and moved to rural Illinois, John’s home, where they farmed and raised their three sons. Though she always kept a slight Scottish brogue and taste for good Scotch whiskey and shortbread, Gladys obtained her U.S. citizenship quickly and became a lifelong patriot. Her stars and stripes were always properly displayed and lit, and she insisted that her children show the same respect to the flag. To anyone who didn’t know her heritage or hear her Glaswegian accent, she appeared the quintessential Midwestern farm wife. To taste her black raspberry pie was to experience pure culinary joy. She was a gifted artist whose stained glass light fixtures and skylights are treasured by friends and family members. Her quilts were done by hand and reflect her love of Americana. She delighted in traveling, returning even in old age to visit her adoring nieces in Scotland and Canada. She will be missed greatly.
She is survived by three sons, Arvin John Foes and wife Lynn of Hickory, N.C., Gordon Francis Foes and wife Sherry of Fort Atkinson, Wis., and Steven Frederick Foes and wife Kim of Manlius; five grandchildren, Andrew Foes of Princeton, Andrew Dykers of Chapel Hill, N.C., Shawna Butz of Fort Atkinson, Wis., and Gregory and Bradley Fisher, both of Manlius; and one great-grandson, Drew Foes of Princeton.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date in Illinois.
The family is deeply grateful to the staff of Carillon at Newton for their unparalleled loving and professional care. She recently said that she’d uttered the words “I love you” more since living there than in all the rest of her life. She was a bit overwhelmed by their genuine care. The same gratitude goes to Dr. James Hodges and his staff and to everyone at Catawba Valley Hospice for going beyond the call of duty. Memorials may be made to Palliative Care Center & Hospice of Catawba Valley, 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658 or to your favorite charity.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com. Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Gladys Ann Wilmot Foes.