Gladys E. Douglas

Published 6:36 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

Philanthropist and businessperson Gladys E. Douglas passed away peacefully at her home on July 28, 2019.

Born July 24, 1924 in Minneapolis, Minn., her childhood was filled with the type of “making do” that develops a “can do” attitude. Her loving, hardworking parents made frugal living as joy-filled as possible for Gladys and her three brothers Arthur, Irving and Lloyd.

Gladys attended Minneapolis Public Schools and attended the University of Minnesota until — upon receiving her parents blessing — she moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked as Administrative Assistant with the Interdepartmental Traffic Control Board (U.S. Air Force) and then at the Pentagon (U.S. Navy). There, Gladys met her first husband, George Reynolds, Jr., whom she married in 1946 and later gave birth to their daughter Ann.

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Gladys appreciated and sought out beauty in nature, crafts, flowers, cuisine, art and music, and could play rousing polkas on both the piano and on the accordion. She participated fully in all the tasks required for upkeep of her business interests, home, garden, landscape and care of her animal friends. She set a high standard yet conveyed appreciation and loyalty to her employees. Gladys sought excellence and was inspired by opportunities to support treasured friends and worthy projects. 

In 1950, Gladys moved from New Jersey to settle in Clearwater, Fl. and later in Dunedin, Fl. She embraced her new community as an active businessperson and volunteer. She utilized her skills in several business pursuits, including as a sales agent for Douglas Arms Construction Company where she met Stanley Douglas. Gladys and Stanley married in 1965 and enjoyed a wonderful life together until Stanley’s passing in 1988.

Gladys was a passionate and excellent tennis player and her avid participation in this sport led to her meeting Robert “Bob” Hackworth. Bob and Gladys married in 1989.  

Survivors include her devoted husband Robert Hackworth, her daughter Ann E. Whitley (Michael), grandchildren Wendy Smith (Eric) and Tobin Skinner, and great-grandchildren Justin, Matthew and Kassandra.

A graveside service was held at Dunedin Cemetery on Friday, Aug. 2. Memorial donations may be made to Dunedin Fine Art Center, First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin, the Morton Plant Mease Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.