Gladys Vernice Hruby, 87, passed away peacefully Monday, April 6, 2020, at The Meth-Wick Community in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after a long journey with Alzheimer's disease. Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids is handling arrangements for a private burial Wednesday, April 8, at Czech National Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
Gladys was born Oct. 24, 1932, in rural Solon, near Ely. She was the daughter of Charles and Lillian (Reif) Chaloupka, and granddaughter of Frank and Marie (Jirasek) Chaloupka. She was the great-niece of Joseph Chaloupka who, at 18, ventured to Solon from Javonnice, district of Czechy, in Europe in 1883. He later returned to bring his parents, George and Tracy; sister, Frances; and brother, Frank back to join him in Solon.
Gladys married Donald Joseph Hruby at St. Paul's Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids on June 1, 1953. To Don, Gladys was his "Snookers." Together, they were the love of each other's lives for the next 65 years before he passed in September 2018.
Gladys was a one-time telephone operator, cafeteria worker and, mostly, a caring wife, mother and homemaker in Cedar Rapids, Fairfax and finally, rural Solon. She and Don built a home in 1974 on family land that, when sold, had been in the Chaloupka family for over 70 years and just down the road from the original home where she spent her early childhood.
Gladys was proud of her Czech heritage, maintaining an interest in the language, history and food. She made not-to-be-matched kolaches, and holiday meals often included favorites like homemade rolls and chicken and noodles.
She loved polka dancing with Don and friends at ballrooms across the Midwest, from Swisher to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. Gladys collected recipes, owl replicas and antiques, and treasured family mementoes. After Don retired, they made several trips, with the highlight being a trip to Prague. Most of all, she enjoyed the solitude of her home in the woods and walking the three miles up and down the road, one of the last activities she maintained and longed for as Alzheimer's began taking its toll. To her grandsons, she was their Babi.
Gladys is survived by her son, Bruce Hruby (Stacy McGauvran-Hruby), and grandsons, Dustin Hruby Wyttenhove (Kacey Hruby Wyttenhove) of Minneapolis; Alex Hruby, North Liberty, Iowa; and Peter Hruby, St. Paul, Minn.; and the many Hruby- and Netolicky-related nieces and nephews and their children.
In addition to her husband, Don; and parents, Gladys was preceded in death by her son, Douglas Joseph Hruby; and her sister, Arlene (Clarence) Netolicky.
Memorials may be directed to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.