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Gladys Annie (Keyso) Eschenbacher
April 18, 1934 ~ October 28, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Gladi “Nan” Eschenbacher, 89, Baxter, went to be with the Lord and her loving husband, “Pop,” on Saturday, October 28, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Gladi was born on April 18, 1934, in Pine River, MN, the daughter of Albert L. Keyso and Edith Bertha (Sumey) Keyso. At age 8, a devoted step-father, Alfred C. Swanson, came into her family. She graduated from Backus High School in 1951. On October 22, 1955 she united in marriage to Donald George Eschenbacher and their amazing love story began, sharing 60 years together. Gladi worked in the service industry and in retail jewelry sales in Brainerd for over 40 years.
Gladi was active in the community. She taught Sunday School at Bethlehem Lutheran and at Lord of Life Lutheran. As a leader in both Camp Fire Girls and Cub Scout groups, she was able to know and become a mother figure to many young people. She often judged youth competition for Minnesota DECA due to her skills in the business world. Gladi volunteered at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She was named an Outstanding Layperson in Education locally and earned the Quality Award given by Governor R. Perpich. Her proudest activity was being “Mom” to a foreign exchange student from Paraguay.
Nan loved life and most of all, her husband and family. She was always ready to travel and spend time at their lake place where she taught many to water ski (even though she couldn’t), to ride motorcycles, 4 wheelers, jet skis, snowmobiles and more. She never lost her love of cars, especially her ’71 Corvette. She loved being a grandmother (Nan) and enjoyed watching her grandchildren’s dreams come true.
There was always room for more people at her home whether it was for a meal, a holiday, or as an overnight guest in the home she and Don built themselves. She had a contagious smile and always made people laugh and feel welcome.
Her wish: “May we see only the good in our neighbors and our families. God Bless.”
Survivors include her children, Donald Kerry (Bonita) Eschenbacher, Deanndra Z. (Kevin Hondl) Eschenbacher-Hondl, Darbie Z. Eschenbacher, eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and a special foreign exchange daughter, Dr. Lila (Domingo) Gomez de Banuelos.
Nan is preceded in death by her loving husband Donald, her great granddaughter, Samantha Joy Craven, her sister, Alvina Dale, her parents, and her baby brother.
A Celebration of Gladi’s Life will be held at Faith Baptist Church on Saturday, November 4, 2023. Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. with service beginning at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at the church. Private family interment will be at Evergreen Memorial Gardens.