Gladys V. Neff


Gladys V. Neff died April 1. Her last words on the morning of her death were to her late husband Paul.

Gladys Verna Winkelman Neff was born Oct. 11, 1925, in Farmerstown, Ohio to Gottfried Winkelman of Switzerland and Alice Knutti Winkelman of Sugarcreek. She was the last remaining of nine siblings and their spouses and was preceded in death by three brothers, Warner, Arnold and Floyd (Joann); five sisters, Bernice (Paul) Pittman, Pauline (Ernest) Amacher, Ida (Dolph) Miller, June (Jim) Mattison and Esther (Jake) Zedi; her sons, Kenny and Doug; and her grandson, Timothy C. Weirich, Jr.

Gladys is survived by daughter, Shirley (Johnny) Espenschied of Dover; granddaughter, Tamara (George) Benson of Strasburg; great-grandsons, SGT Brendan (Heather) Wiandt of Hawaii, Alexander (Deidra) Wiandt of Dover, SPC Jonah (Kierstyn) Wiandt of Kentucky, Naomi (Dylan Bantum) Benson of Dover, Kate (David) Hadley of Holyhead, North Wales and Nathan Benson of Llandudno, North Wales; and great-great-grandsons, Harvey, Logan and Marshall, all whom she loved dearly.

Gladys lived a truly remarkable and interesting life and loved sharing stories with everyone she met. She left school at 12 when her father died in order to help support her family. During WWII she volunteered at the canteen at Dennison Depot, serving the soldiers as they left for war, and worked at the Timken plant in Canton as well, joining the ranks of fellow “Rosie the Riveters” across the country. Later she worked at Alsco in Sugarcreek and served as union president, standing up for the rights of her co-workers. She was an avid bowler, a lover of polka music and dancing, and a member of Shanesville Lutheran Church.

Gladys never backed down when she felt she was right but was quick to apologize when she was proven wrong. There is not one member of her family who hasn’t experienced her generosity in some way. There wasn’t a friend who didn’t find comfort with her when they needed it. She will be missed dearly and remembered fondly.

The family will greet guests on Sunday, April 7 from 1-3 p.m. in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover, where Minister Barb DeBord will lead a service celebrating Gladys’ life, beginning at 3 p.m. Following the service, cremation care will be conducted by Geib’s Tuscarawas Valley Crematory, and a private burial will take place in Ridgecrest Memory Gardens at a later date.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Relay for Life, c/o American Cancer Society, 525 N. Broad St., Canfield, OH 44406.

Those wishing to do so may send the family a personal condolence and light a candle in remembrance of Gladys by visiting the funeral home’s website at

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