In early 1943 Gladys was staying with her sister Hazel in Eugene, Oregon where she met a young medic in the Army Air Corps named Rudolph (Rudy to friends and family) Peter Fallang, who was stationed nearby in Corvallis, Oregon. When Rudy was transferred to Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City, Gladys followed; and they were married on January 20, 1944.
After leaving the military, Gladys and Rudy returned to Big Timber, Montana where Rudy had been born and raised. They had four children; Suzann, Paul, Sandra, and Rudolph (Rudy) whom they raised in the community as well.
Gladys loved working with her hands and enjoyed sewing dresses for her daughters and shirts for her sons. When her children were still at home, she always had a large garden and would can the vegetables she grew there. She enjoyed embroidery work and cross-stitch. Crocheting was one of her favorite hobbies, and she made afghans for nearly every family member. She never lost her green thumb and lovingly continued to grow flowers and various houseplants for the remainder of her life.
Over the years Gladys worked a number of jobs, including but not limited to: cooking and waitressing at Almeda’s Cafe’, working as a nurse's aide at the Pioneer Nursing Home, and cooking at Eaton’s Inn. She also earned some extra money when her children were younger by selling both Avon and Tupperware. In her later years, Gladys could often be seen at Cole Drug or the Frosty Freez grabbing a cup of coffee and chatting with friends.
Gladys and Rudy consistently attended the Big Timber Seventh-day Adventist Church together until his passing in 2005, where she continued attending until she moved to Billings and would attend church as often as she could acquire a ride. Together, Gladys and Rudy made it a point to teach their children about God and lead by example. Gladys’s faith was a defining part of who she was, and she touched everyone she met without even trying.
Gladys loved every one of her kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and never missed a birthday! There was always a card in the mail and a treat on hand when they would visit. It made her day to be able to hold baby Chevelle in her final days.
Gladys was preceded in death by her parents Frances and Hazel, her husband Rudy, siblings Hugh, Hazel, Ruth, Esther, and Mary, daughter Suzann Fallang Walley, son-in-law Lawrence (Larry) Smith, and grandson Kristopher Walley. She is survived by her brother Jim McKinstry - Salt Lake City, UT, son-in-law Michael (Ross) Walley - Kelso, WA, son Paul Fallang and wife Kari - Great Falls, MT, daughter Sandra Smith - Big Timber, MT, Rudy Fallang and wife Monica - Billings, MT. Grandchildren: Justine Walley, Sam Fallang (Heidi), Casey Smith (Stacey), Larry Smith, Schar-A-Lee Smith, Lisa Fallang, Patrik Fallang (Allison). Great-grandchildren: Colton, Hannah, and Laurel Lindquist, Andrew and Faith Fallang, Sequoia and Chevelle Smith, Lucas and Faith Widdison, Jace, Kara, and Jenna Johnson, and Riley, Reece and Reagan Fallang. Great-great-grandson Joey Hartman, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency), 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904 (adra.org), or the charity of one’s choice.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., January 28 at the Evangelical Church in Big Timber. To leave condolences for the family, please visit www.stenbergfuneralhome.com.
To plant a tree in memory of Gladys Irene McKinstry Fallang, visit the Tribute Store.
Big Timber, MT 59011