Born Gladys Mildred Brozik on a farm near Iona in Gregory County, South Dakota, January 7, 1922 to Czech immigrants Mike and Kathrine, Gladys passed peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends June 29, 2011. The Brozik family soon moved to a farm near Winner, South Dakota where Gladys was the second youngest in a family of 10 brothers and sisters of The Greatest Generation. Three of her brothers served in the military, two in combat, one a training instructor while the youngest Ben, worked the family farm.
Gladys met her husband Robert Bob F. McCafferty in Cleveland, Ohio where she had moved with her sister’s family to work at Alcoa. Bob was a pharmacist at the local Thrifty Drug and Gladys would stop in for her favorite, Cherry Coke on her walk home from work. She thought he was handsome. He thought she was pretty and always made hers with extra syrup and she thought they were especially good! Bob’s parents moved from Nebraska to Pasadena, California, and Bob and Gladys soon followed and were married after Bob served in Italy and Africa during the war. Seeking a new life in California, the land of opportunity, they purchased the Perris Rexall Drug Store and served as the small farm town’s only pharmacy for many years. Opportunity knocked and they later opened Sun City Rexall Drugs in the then-new city. Gladys managed the books while Bob worked the pharmacy. They managed to employ their growing children and gave many of their friends and neighbors in the community their first jobs.
After retirement, Gladys and Bob followed their children to Orange County, CA where they settled in Laguna Woods. They were married for 55 years before Bob passed in 2004. Gladys is survived by her children Doug McCafferty, Dana Point, CA; Gayle Thorsen of Huntington Beach, CA and granddaughters Natasha and Katrina Thorsen; daughter-in-law Yvonne McCafferty; son-in-law Don Thorsen and many nieces and nephews throughout the Midwest and California.
Being a four-time cancer survivor, in lieu of flowers a memorial gift may be made at www.cancer.org. An online guest book is also available at www.oconnormortuary.com.
Services will held July 8, 2011 at 1 PM promptly at Riverside National Cemetery with a celebration of Gladys’ life at The Mission Inn, 2 PM on that day. Gladys is loved and will be missed while her kind and firecracker soul lives on with the Lord.