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Published January 25th, 2017
Gladys Eugenia Siefert

Gladys Eugenia Siefert, née Klingbeil, 97, our beloved mother and friend, passed away early Saturday morning, Jan. 7, at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, California. Born Feb. 23, 1919, in Berkeley, California, to Gladys Eugenia Sutton and Ferdinand (Fred) Clifford Klingbeil (an immigrant from the Ukraine via Ellis Island in 1910), she grew up in Berkeley with her two sisters, Viola and Leta.
Gladys graduated from Berkeley High School in 1936 and, in 1942, embarked on a 58 year marriage to Raymond Joseph Siefert, a mechanical engineer. In 1943, the couple welcomed their first child, Susanne Catherine, and moved to Louisiana, Missouri, with Ray's job where they lived in company housing during WWII. After the war, they returned to Berkeley and Ray gained employment with Skippy Peanut Butter in Alameda. Gladys and Ray were blessed with three more children, Kathleen Anne (born 1946), Charles Raymond (born 1948), and Steven George (born 1957).
In 1967, they built their dream home, Gladys' "tree house," in Sleepy Hollow, a neighborhood in Orinda, California, where she lived for 48 years. When Ray retired, Gladys returned to school and became an antique dealer, joining an antique collective in Lafayette and Walnut Creek. Later, Gladys was a popular volunteer at the Orinda Library for many years.
Gladys was both "one of a kind" and an emblematic member of the "Greatest Generation." She had too many friends to count and will be missed by all. She once told a grandchild, "I'm not smart enough to be depressed," and she never was.
Gladys is survived by her four children: Sue Keller (Jeff), Kath Balamuth (Barry), Chuck Siefert (Martha) and Steve Siefert (Debbie); brother, Richard Klingbeil; sister, Francis Arnold; 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband, Ray Siefert; sisters, Viola Stone and Leta Palacin; brother, Frederick Klingbeil; and a grandson, Steven Raymond Siefert.
At her request, there will be no service at this time. A celebration of her life is being planned for the spring. If you would like an invitation, email ksiefert1946@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, do something Gladys would do and pay it forward with an act of kindness.
Thanks to the staff of John Muir Hospital for taking such good care of her in her final hours. She died with her youngest son rubbing her feet, something she always loved.

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