It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of one of Lake Arrowhead’s oldest Members and mother of the President of the LAC Board of Trustees:
Gladys (Noftle) Sanfason, age 102, passed from this life to be with her Lord and savior on October 18, at Pond’s Edge Assisted Living Facility in Zephyrhills, FL, surrounded by friends and family. Gladys lived a remarkable life. Born in Ramsgate, England on July 4, 1920, Gladys emigrated to America at the age of five with her parents William and Ethyl Noftle and her Sister Edna and settled in Everett, Massachusetts. Gladys graduated from Everett High School in 1938 having achieved nine years of perfect attendance. Gladys worked in Boston for Jocelyn Cabinet and Fixtures as a bookkeeper for four years before meeting the love of her life Sergeant Ben Sanfason, who was in the US Army 10th Coast Artillery Bn, based in Fort Wetherell, RI. Gladys and Ben were married Christmas Eve, 1942 by a justice of the Peace in Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts.
During WW2 Gladys worked as a Department of the Army Civilian in the finance department at Fort Adams, RI. After the war Gladys and Ben lived in Everett, MA until 1950 when they moved to Burlington Massachusetts to raise a family of two boys and two girls. Gladys went to work for the Burlington Public Schools as secretary and worked her way up to become the executive secretary of the Burlington Superintendent of Schools. Gladys and Ben retired in 1981 and moved to Tamworth, NH. In 1983 they moved to Lake Arrowhead in Waterboro, Maine to their dream lake home. In Lake Arrowhead Community Gladys taught line dancing and she and Ben enjoyed boating and fishing on the lake. In 1985 her beloved Ben passed away. Gladys purchased a home in Clermont, FL and spent her winters there until moving to Zephyrhills, Fl in 2006.
In Sweetwater Park in Zephyrhills, FL on Veterans’ and Memorial Day Gladys would recite the poem “In Flanders Fields” from memory. She did this well into her hundreds. On July 4th 2020 a huge celebration took place at Lake Arrowhead in Maine commemorating Gladys’ 100th birthday. Her whole family attended. Boats came by the dock and boaters sang her happy birthday. She received congratulatory letters from Queen Elizabeth and President Trump. Gladys made everyone happy wherever she went. These lines which come from a poem she wrote while in high school demonstrate her loving personality.
Take your neighbor by the hand,
And tell him with a smile,
That being friends with everyone,
Makes this old world worthwhile.
Gladys is survived by sons David and John Sanfason and daughters Deborah Spillaine and Priscilla Przygoda. Gladys has eight grand children, Scott, Julie, Jason, Sheila, Kerry, Kurt Allison and Corey and 12 Great Grand Children: Bradley, Jack, Matthew, Ben, Charlotte, Thomas, Natalie, Paige, Loretta, Johnnie, Ayah and Matteo. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Gladys’ name to Hospice, International.