Gladys M. Brantner


MENDOTA - Gladys Margaret Rosa (Truckenbrod) Brantner, 99, passed away peacefully in her home on March 1, 2021, her 99th birthday.

Private family only funeral services will be held on Friday, March 5 at St. John’s Lutheran TeDeum Chapel, Mendota with Rev. Ken Gibson and Rev. Susan Presley officiating. Burial will be at Restland Cemetery, Mendota. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota is assisting the family.

Gladys was born March 1, 1922 in Mendota to Gustavas A. and Caroline D. (Troester) Truckenbrod.

She is adored and survived by three daughters, Bonnie Portwood of Sherman, Holly Brantner of Mendota and Becky Brantner of Shawnee, Kan.; three grandchildren, Stephanie Portwood, Brett Christianson and Greta Christianson; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by one sister, Viola Betz; four brothers, Lyman in infancy, Gerald, Franklin and Robert; and 43 cousins.

Gladys attended the one-room schoolhouse east of Mendota and graduated from Mendota High School at 17. She was the first person from Mendota to attend Western Illinois Teachers College (now W.I.U.) While there, she was a member of Diana Club (Sigma Kappa), was Varsity Queen her junior year and Homecoming Attendant her senior year. She went on to teach home economics in Polo, Leaf River and for over 30 years in LaMoille, where she was the sponsor of Future Homemakers of American and National Honor Society. She loved to learn and took many classes from sewing, hat-making, cake decorating, and machine-knitting to auto mechanics, chair caning and upholstery. She also taught many sewing and tailoring classes through the adult education program at LaMoille High School. She was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and served as a reader for Saturday worship until she was 94. She was active in WELCA Project Day and had been making quilt tops and walker bags for over 25 years. She continued to sew through the pandemic and up until her death, making 80 walker bags and 595 quilt tops in the last four years. Her kind heart and warm smile will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her or be her student.

Memorials may be directed to Mendota Area Senior Services or St. John’s Lutheran Church Project Day for quilt making. Online condolences may be left at