Gladyce Aunun Obituary

Gladyce Lenore (Rappana) Aunan

July 9, 1934- June 22, 2022

Gladyce L. Aunan, 87 years, a resident of Leavenworth for 40 years, died on June 22, 2022, in Yakima, WA.  She was born Gladyce Lenore Rappana in Duluth, Minnesota, on July 9, 1934, of parents Gladys and Archie Rappana. She graduated from Denfeld High School and University of Minnesota, Duluth. She taught Physical Education at Ordean Jr. High School, Duluth, the year it opened in 1956. An intrepid outdoorswoman, Gladyce enjoyed canoeing adventures, pheasant hunting, downhill skiing, and other sports including the trampoline.

In 1957, she married Wallace Aunan at Duluth and they had 5 children, Lauri Aunan (Steve) of Corbett OR, Juli Aunan-Wales of Portland OR, Steven Aunan (Katie) of Sacramento CA, Stan Aunan (Jojo) of Le Chable, Switzerland, and Kari Hannon (Douglas) of Yakima WA.

Accompanying her husband during his Air Force career of 26 years, Gladyce and their children crisscrossed the United States several times and traveled to 13 foreign countries, including assignments in Germany and Norway.  For one move, she and the five kids camped from California to Virginia in a tent she handmade from a tarp and mosquito netting. She placed a high value on education, refused to allow a TV in the house, took the kids regularly to the library and subscribed to a Great Books program, acquiring a full set including Homer, Shakespeare, Plato, Euclid, and St. Augustine. She taught her children by word and example to be independent and confident and respectful of others.  “Leave it better than when you arrived,” was her philosophy regarding the many rental houses they lived in around the world.

An accomplished horsewoman, she took instruction in the equestrian sport of dressage in Germany. She was a 4-H Horse Club Leader in Victorville, CA and head Vaulting Instructor for the Diamond M Ranch in Las Vegas, NV. In Oslo, Norway, she competed in the 26 km Holmenkollen cross-country ski race, coming in dead last, but refusing to quit. She also learned the decorative folk art of rural Norway called rosemaling (rose painting) and tried her hand at weaving and stained glass. She taught school in Dulut,h MN, Las Vegas, NV, and Leavenworth, WA before joining the staff of the Enzian Inn of Leavenworth where she worked for 18 years until retirement.

Her grit and determination were only surpassed by her love and compassion for others. No matter where she lived, she found ways to volunteer: She visited shut-ins, volunteered at the air-base medical clinic, she always helped at church, including 10 years as Mission Chair during the 39 years she was a member of the Community United Methodist Church in Leavenworth. As Cultural Director of Epledalen Lodge, Sons of Norway, she was the heart of the Norwegian programs at North Central WA Museum in Wenatchee for a decade.

A wife and mother extraordinaire, an athlete, philosopher, teacher, student, poet, and artist – a true Renaissance Woman − Gladyce never did anything halfway.  Finding her inspiration from Christ, her life motto was, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) and “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Gladyce was preceded in death by her parents, Gladys and Archie Rappana, her brothers, Dale and Duane Rappana, and her sister, Arlene Thomas. She is mourned by her husband of 65 years, her children, her 9 grandchildren, Perry, Erik, Alyssa, Riley, Kate, Julia, Leona, Marie, and Nathaniel, along with her brother Larry Rappana (Lynn) of Duluth.

Family Graveside Services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at Mountain View Cemetery, Leavenworth, WA., followed by a Memorial Service at 2:00 pm at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. In lieu of flowers, the family hopes memorials will be made to Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene Missions. Memories and condolences can be shared at




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