Gladys E. Prothero

Gladys E. Prothero

May 11, 1928 - April 27, 2014

Gladys E. Prothero

May 11, 1928 - April 27, 2014


Gladys E. Prothero, a lifetime resident of Orange County, passed away suddenly on Sunday April 27th 2014, she was 85 years old. Her husband of fifty-two years, Raymond H. Prothero Jr., had passed away in 2001. She is survived by their three children, Bill Prothero, Bob Prothero, and Nancy Frasu, nine grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and one great, great, grandchild.

Gladys was born in Kansas and moved to Orange County, California with her parents when she was one year old. She lived in the city of Orange until she married and moved to El Toro (now Lake Forest) as a young bride where she set up housekeeping on their citrus ranch. As a member of one of the founding families in El Toro, she was very active in the community, the El Toro Women’s Club, Heritage Hill Historical Park, and a life time member of the El Toro Historical Society. She was instrumental in saving the El Toro Post Office (now the Lake Forest Post Office) which, at the time, was going to be moved to San Juan Capistrano. She was also active in the Orange County Farm Bureau.

Those who knew Gladys will remember her as being a spirited woman who lived a joyous life, traveling the world multiple times. She loved art and painting and has left behind numerous paintings of her friends, family, community and travels. She had a generous heart and was an inclusive community minded woman. For Gladys, no one was a stranger. She was a loving wife and mother and will be greatly missed by her friends and family and all who knew and loved her.

Memorial services will be held for Gladys at the O’Connor’s Mortuary, 25301 Alicia Pkwy., Laguna Hills, CA 92653 on Saturday May 3rd 2014 at 1 PM. Viewing will be on Friday May 2nd from 7 PM to 9 PM.

No Events & Services

No Charities & Donations

No Gallery Photos

No Videos

2 responses to Gladys E. Prothero

  1. Those of us who belong to the Saddleback Area Historical Society are indebted to Gladys Prothero for many things. To begin with, although born in Kansas and raised in the City of Orange, Gladys married into one of El Toro’s pioneer families and for many years served her adopted community through membership in the El Toro Women’s Club. Later, as new housing developments began to take over, Gladys successfully campaigned to keep the post office in El Toro (now known as Lake Forest) rather than see it closed down and services transferred to San Juan Capistrano. Once the Saddleback Area Historical Society took form, Gladys became a charter member in support of the preservation of the El Toro Grammar School, St. George’s Mission, the Serrano Adobe, and the Bennett home. And then there’s the matter of her paintings, which have preserved’in beautiful true-to-life color’the way Old El Toro once looked. A year ago this spring it was the Saddleback Area Historical Society’s great honor to present an event honoring three Saddleback Valley women artists. Gladys’ nostalgic works were in good company with the canvases and illustrations of Nellie Gail Moulton and Clara Mason Fox, and it was truly a spectacular day.

    This past Sunday, while setting up several photo displays for the Saddleback Area Historical Society’s annual tea, I saw Gladys had arrived and walked over to greet her. She turned and gave me a big smile and a hug. I complimented her on her beautiful aqua pantsuit’as an artist, Gladys had a terrific sense of color’and we chatted, though all too briefly, for others were queuing up to also say hello and talk with her. Later several other attendees told me how happy they were to see that Gladys was, as always, in great spirits and looking the picture of health. So it was a tremendous shock for us all to learn that not long after returning home that evening, Gladys had suffered a stroke and passed away.

    We will miss you, Gladys, but we are grateful for your long and happy life, for your activism within the El Toro community, and for the artistic legacy you have left us!

    Janet Whitcomb / Rancho Santa Margarita

  2. Sarah Chavez says:

    I recall celebrating 4th of July with Great Aunt Gladys in her home on the hill in San Clemente with my cousins sitting on the roof and watching the fireworks burst in San Clemente, Dana Point and Laguna. Her home was always full of laughter, joy and photos of great memories and journies throughout the world.
    I love you Great Auntie……

    Sarah Chavez

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle