Ralph Austin Gladden Jr.

October 26, 1925 - May 3, 2012

Ralph Austin Gladden Jr., age 86, of Jefferson City, died Thursday, May 3, 2012, at his home. He was born October 26, 1925, in Springfield, Missouri, the son of Ralph Austin Sr., and Lois Mae (Nease) Gladden. He was a 1944 graduate of Eldon High School and attended Draughon's Business College in Springfield. On June 1, 1947, Ralph was united in marriage at the Central United Church of Christ in Jefferson City to Gladys Marie Heinrich, who survives at their home. Ralph began work with the Missouri Department of Education in 1950. In the mid 1960's, he moved to the Missouri Public Service Commission, where he worked until his retirement on December 20, 1990, after 40 years of service to the state of Missouri. He was a member of Central United Church of Christ, where he was active in many church activities, including Senior Church Choir, Men's Brotherhood, Lower Jr. Sunday School teacher, CROP Walk, church treasurer, team captain of the ushering committee and Adult Parlor Class. Ralph was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Jefferson City Concert Association. He volunteered with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity and Capital Region Medical Center. He enjoyed bowling and was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. Other survivors include three children: Cheryl Eskina and husband Dennis of Nashville, Tennessee, Douglas Gladden and wife Karen of Seneca, Illinois, Robert Gladden and wife Carol of Lehigh Acres, Florida; seven grandchildren: Jason Loeffler and wife Lauren of Milton, Florida, Brian Gladden of Lombard, Illinois, Jennifer Fleck and husband Matthew of Davis, California, William Gladden and wife December of Chicago, Illinois, Adelia Gladden of Ft. Myers, Florida, Jeremiah Gladden of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Benjamin Gladden of Lehigh Acres, Florida; and seven great-grandchildren: Matt, Paige and Caroline Loeffler, Nova and Rowen Gladden and Moya and Reesa Fleck. Friends will be received from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home and from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Monday at Central United Church of Christ. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 7, 2012, at Central United Church of Christ with Rev. Dr. Stephen H. Buchholz officiating, assisted by Pastor Armin Klemme. Entombment will follow in the Riverview Cemetery Mausoleum. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Central United Church of Christ Choir Fund, 118 W. Ashley St., Jefferson City, MO 65109, Evangelical Children's Home, 8240 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Louis, MO 63114, or the Samaritan Center, P.O. Box 1687, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 W. Main St., (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at

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