Gladys Rita (Healy) Rivard was born on November 12th, 1939 to Gladys Portle Healy and Arthur John Healy in Worcester, Massachusetts. With the death of her mother at childbirth, Gladys was raised by a combination of her father and her mother’s siblings. She grew up in an Irish Catholic family in Worcester and graduated from Notre Dame Academy and Anna Maria College (Paxton, Massachusetts). Following a whirl wind romance fraught with the usual family conflict when a French man courts an Irish woman in the 50’s, she joined Rodney Rivard in marriage on March 24th, 1962 at Holy Trinity church in Washington, D.C. In 1964, Rodney graduated from Dental School, joined the Air Force, and they traveled the world for 21 years. The widely held opinion is that Rod’s favorite assignment was Alaska and Gladys favored Guam. Rod and Gladys eventually settled in Leavenworth, Kansas where they lived for 30 years. Gladys always hated snow! It was in 2018 that she convinced Rod it was time to leave Kansas for the Sunshine State and they selected Sun City Center for their retirement home. As with every other move they quickly made it into something special.
Gladys had several life-long passions and they either involved games of skill or chance. She was an expert duplicate bridge player, having obtained a high rating in the American Contract Bridge League. Over the years she formed many special bonds with her playing partners in South Dakota, Missouri, Guam, and Kansas. She also felt a strong calling to any bingo game, and she took an annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas or Biloxi, MS to challenge the slot machines. On these trips she always travelled with a best friend, such as Rose Hanson, Catherine Broudrau or Ginger Reagor. Upon return from each gambling trip the amount of Gladys’ true winnings or losses always remained ambiguous when Rod got around to asking.
Gladys went home to her maker on November 14, 2021. She is survived by her husband of 59 ½ years, Rodney and her three children, Nancy Zynda, Sun City Center, FL; Janet Day and spouse Allan Day, New Bern, NC; and Thomas Rivard and spouse Amy Rivard, Castle Rock, CO. In addition, she had nine grandchildren and one great grandchild born October 12, 2021. All parents are different, and her kids will say that she was the perfect mother for our family. She was at the center of everything important in our lives. We were blessed to have her for 82 years.
The funeral service will be held on Saturday Dec. 11,2021 at 10:00 am, St. Anne Catholic Church, 106 11th Ave NE, Ruskin FL 33570
In leu of flowers please send donations to: Sun City Center Emergency Squad, 720 Ray Watson Drive, Sun City Center FL 33573 (813) 633-1411http://sscems.com
To donate for a memorial, send email with deceased name Gladys Rivard to firstname.lastname@example.org