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Gladys Ellen Mason Beal

Gladys Ellen Mason Beal

Gladys Ellen Mason Beal, age 83, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died peacefully on Thursday, July 25, 2013, surrounded by her family.

Gladys was born on April 17, 1930 in Lilly, Louisiana. She was the youngest of seven children born to Lucius Walker and Ethel Cheek Mason. She grew up during the Great Depression living on the Louisiana side of Junction City, but going to school in Arkansas. She was the last surviving sibling of that family.

Inspired by her older sister, who had become a nurse, Gladys applied at Warner Brown Hospital in El Dorado. She enrolled in a nursing program there on a scholarship and graduated at the top of her class. She took the state nursing board exam and passed with the third highest score in the state.

In 1961 she began her nursing career as a staff nurse at the old VA Hospital on Roosevelt Road in LR. She advanced to head nurse three years later. She was then promoted to Operating Room Clinical Co-ordinator, the title she held until her retirement 36 years later. She assisted in managing the move from the Roosevelt Road facility to the John L. McClellan Memorial Veteran’s Administration Hospital on Seventh street. She was present at some of the most recent advances in medical history. She assisted with the first open heart surgical case in the state of Arkansas. One of her proudest achievements was her role in helping design and obtain state of the art equipment for the eleven operating room theaters at the new VA Hospital.

She was also proud to have served as a mentor and counselor to many of the surgical residents that she came in contact with as they completed their residency requirements at the VA. She developed deep love and respect for many of those that she worked with, but was also never shy about verbalizing her concern if she felt they needed suggestions or advice. Her management style allowed her to state her case quite effectively when she was passionate about a certain piece of equipment, or the way a certain surgeon or nurse should behave while in surgery. Her wonderful smile, contagious laugh, and wicked sense of humor could often calm the most irritable soul. She became a friend and mentor to many.

During her nursing career, she was often called by friends and family, to consult on a medical question they would have. She would never hesitate to offer her assistance as best she could. According to her daughter, she gave the world’s most painless shot.

She was appointed by Governor Jim Guy Tucker to serve on the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, where she served from 1996 to Jan 2000. During this appointment she served as the President.

She was a longtime member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where she faithfully served in various capacities as well as developing many enduring friendships.

She is survived by her husband of over sixty years, Robert K. Beal and her daughter Rebecca. She is also survived by her faithful Boxer, Libby, as well as a host of friends and family throughout the country. She will be missed by those who knew and loved her, and will always have a special place in their hearts.

The family would like to give a very special thanks to the wonderful physicians who cared for her at Baptist Medical Center Little Rock, including Dr. Solomon Mogbo, Dr. David Reding, Dr. Robert Searcy, Dr. Mary Searcy, and Dr. Dean Kumpuris. We are also very grateful for the excellent nursing care provided to her throughout her stay in the SICU at Baptist Medical Center by each and every staff member.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials can be made to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church or to a favorite charity.

Visitation will be from 5:00pm to 7:00pm Monday July 29th at Ruebel Funeral Home. The funeral will take place on Tuesday July 30th at 11:00am at Trinity Cathedral, Little Rock, Arkansas. Burial will be private. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home,

Condolence Book

"Please accept our deepest sympathy."
Ralph & Katy Cloar | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Bob and Becky,
Everyone that knew her loved her! She will be missed by all. Our sympathies are with you,
Much love,
The Gilberts

Jane,Mark and John Gilbert | Argyle, TX |

"I'm praying for you all. Her laughter and warmth will be sorely missed.e"
Glenda Johnston | Benton, AR |

"Although we had very little time with Gladys, it was always a pleasure to be with and around her. We'll miss her grace & thoughtfulness."
Lee & Laila Corbin | Oro Valley, AZ |

"I can't even remember when I met Gladys because she stands out so profoundly in my mind. She was one of the kindest, wonderful and most generous people I have ever met. Whenever I was down she was always there for me cheering me up and telling me that "this too shall pass." She left her footprints on my heart and they will be there for the rest of my live. Gladys dear, may you rest in peace and I know we will meet again. We love you. "
Ron and Geri Vukas | Lutz, FL |

"Gladys, my beautiful friend and an angel on earth, will be missed by all those who loved her. My thoughts and prayers are with Bob, Becky and al those close friends who also loved her dearly. "
Mel Ediger | Charlotte , NC |

"Our sincere condolences to the Beal Family. Gladys was a charming, gracious and beautiful lady, with an endearing sense of humor. We loved being around her and will miss her terribly. Our prayers for peace of heart go out to Bob and Becky.


Michael & Vickie Simmons | Williamstown, NJ |

"Bob and Gladys Beal were a part of our family for many years. We always enjoyed both of them, as they would just pop in and out of our parent's home, day or night. They always brought a case of beer on Xmas and put it under the tree. And a poinsettia. We are unable to be in Little Rock for her service, but will be there in spirit. Our prayers go out to Bob and Becky, they have suffered a terrible loss. As have those of us who considered her as a friend.

Pat and Clarence Thornbrough | Richardson, , TX |

"I will cherish daily the memories, friendship, love and mentoring Mama Beal has bestowed on me. The highlight of having been on the ASMB the past six years has been the joy of visiting Gladys at home several times and catching up. She will be missed by all of us in our surgical community. "
John Weiss | Fayetteville, AR |

"I'm so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Beal was such a wonderful person, and she will be missed by all. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Allison Holthoff | Little Rock, AR |

"Forever in my heart. The world has truly lost an angel."
Marla Dean | Birmingham, AL |

"My favorite MTB"
Fred Bevensee | Ashland, OR |

"Gladys was one of the best and will be deeply missed by us. Our deepest sympathy to Bob, family and friends. "
Rob and Amy Click | Columbus, OH |

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob, Rebecca and the family. Gladys' passing will leave a void that will be difficult to fill.
When as a bachelor, I moved in across the street from them, Gladys' wicked sense of humor was immediately evident as she (gently) brought me up to speed on neighborhood policies and expectations. She and Bob have been wonderful neighbors and friends. Gladys will be missed - RIP, dear friend."

Bob Baine | Little Rock, AR |

"My thoughts and prayers are with you Becky and your family. You have many memories to hold dear in your heart. Praying for you today.
Tamra Gore"

Tamra Gore | Benton, AR |

"Dear Gladys!

You have always brought the sunshine into our lives! Thank you for your care and loving and the neverending smile! The moments we spent together will always be in my heart!

Rest in peace and sending my love from Rio de Janeiro Brazil for you, Bobby and the entire group of family and friends, Anita"


"My sincerest sympathy goes to the family of Gladys.During this stressful and sad time may you reflect on the words found at Revelations 21:3,4 that promises a future when conditions that are in heaven will be restored on earth."
Monica | Osceola, AR |

"Dear Bob,

it is so sad having to say good bye forever to Gladys, a personality, who had found a place in our hearts the moment we met her first, and we understood soon why our children Jan and Vaneesa loved her so much as their Amercan grandma.
Please, accept our deep condolence.
We shall never forget Gladys, and we shall include her in our prayers.

Diana and Hans"

Diana & Hans Massholder | Jagsthausen, Germay |

"We had tears with a smile as we read the beautiful and meaningful account of Gladys' life. We knew her as a faithful and committed partner to Bob and a friend who was always a joy to behold and the light that brings a room to life, but we can also appreciate now how's she touched so many others throughout her life as she touched us. We were blessed to have known her and she will be missed. Our joy is for her strong faith and her place with her God now. Our love goes out to Bob and their family with the hope that they find peace in this knowledge. Blessings, Bob and Mary Love"
Bob and Mary Love | Atlanta, GA |

"Having worked under Gladys in the VA operating room, I always considered her as a friend and mentor. She actually hired me when I came to the VA. She certainly left a legacy and she will be missed.
May God wrap His loving arms around the family for strength, comfort, and love during this difficult time.
Love & Prayers,
Liz Hunsicker"

Liz Hunsicker | Sherwood, AR |

"Praying for you. It's difficult to lose a family member."
Jo Mason King | King George, VA |

So sorry for your loss! Praying for you and your family during this difficult time.

Brigitte Bondio | Bryant, AR |

"Our deepest condolences to her family. We know she will be missed."
Park & Kathy Fleming | Little Rock, AR |

"Bob and Rebecca

We send you our BIGGEST and BEST hugs, our condolences and our hope and prayers that you will focus on the best of Gladys’ memories and the great strength of character she demonstrated. Gladys was The Rock! She will be forever in our hearts for her gracious hospitality, her wit and humor and for being such a wonderful friend. We will treasure the times we shared and will miss Gladys very much.

Cher and Jack Gallagher | Bethesda, MD |

"Becky, you and your family are in my thoughts."
Virginia Evans | Lonoke, AR |

"I had the pleasure of working with Ms Beal as a resident and faculty member. She was really committed to good care for the veterans and good education for the residents. I can still hear Dr. Read shouting, "Get Ms Beal" when things went wrong. She always responded. You can be very proud of her life and accomplishments.

Kent Westbrook | Little Rock, AR |

"Thinking of you all at this time and lifting you up in prayer. May your cherished memories be your strength in the days ahead. Please know that you are in our hearts.

Cindy Furgerson | Little Rock, AR |

"Dear Bob and Rebecca: I was so sorry to see Gladys's obitutary yesterday. Gladys was one of the nicest and uplifting ladies I've ever met. We go back so many years and I considered her a friend. I'm praying for you during this difficult time.
P.S. Her obitutary was so interesting. She would never tell you all that she has accomplished but she was one Great Lady!"

Susie Burrow | Little Rock, AR |

May the sorrow you feel in your heart be lighten by the love that surrounds you."

Jackie Perkins | Little Rock , AR |

"My condolences on your mother's passing. Hope all is well with you."
Steve Daniels | Little Rock, AR |

"Smile at the memories & mourn for the loss, but know that she is always with you. May God's grace & mercy carry you & your family through this difficult time.
Love & blessings."

Chrystal Tyiska | Little Rock, AR |

Dear Bob, Becky and family,

What an incredible dynamo of a woman! Her amazing life was an example to us all in every way. Her rare contribution to health care and to our veterans will be remembered always.

Gladys would NEVER have told about all her accolades and accomplishments.....we are all so glad to read about her stunning good works.

Our hearts go out to all of you in your loss. The Lord bless you and keep you all well at this difficult time.

In deep gratitude for Gladys's life,
Rita Mitchell-Harvey"

Rita Mitchell-Harvey | Little Rock, AR |

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you all."
Mike and Larita Berg | Sherwood, AR |

"I am so sorry to hear of Glays' passing. She was one of the warmest and sweetist person I've ever met. What an incrdible person who will be missed by all.

Paul Dastugue | New Orleans , LA |

"Becky I am keeping you in my prayers. I miss seeing and talking to your mom. She always made my day a little brighter! She was a favorite of mine! I am blessed through little Libby to have known her. "
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