Gladys Spicknall, 85, homemaker, volunteer

February 11, 2006

Gladys M. Spicknall, a homemaker and volunteer, died of complications from a stroke Feb. 2 at Blakehurst Retirement Community. She was 85.

She was born Gladys Marie Anderson in Chateau-Thierry, France, and raised in Changis-sur-Marne. She moved to Paris with her family after her father, an American soldier who settled in France after World War I, sold his business and took a position at the U.S. Embassy.

With the fall of France in 1940 and the occupation of Paris by the Germans, she and her family, who were the last occupants of the embassy, were interned with other diplomatic personnel at Bad Nauheim, a spa near Frankfurt.

While being held in Germany, she met Dr. Charles Gassaway Spicknall, a U.S. Public Health Service physician whose job was to inspect prisoner-of-war camps. After being repatriated, she married him in 1942.

Mrs. Spicknall accompanied her husband to his assignments at the Centers for Disease Control and at Public Health Service hospitals in Boston and Staten Island, N.Y., and as medical officer at U.S. consulates in Munich, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, from 1962 to 1964. They moved to Baltimore in 1964 when her husband was named medical director at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Wyman Park.

After his retirement, they moved to Frederick, where Dr. Spicknall was the county's health officer until he retired in 1983. She and her husband were co-founders of Planned Parenthood's Frederick chapter, whose building is named for them.

Mrs. Spicknall was active in many civic activities, including the Tasker's Chance Garden Club, the French program at Hood College and Alliance Francaise of Frederick.

Mrs. Spicknall and her husband also enjoyed traveling to France and studying at Oxford and Cambridge universities in England.

They moved about a decade ago to the Towson retirement community. Mrs. Spicknall was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson.

Dr. Spicknall died last year.

Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick.

Surviving are two daughters, Michelle R. Pasternack of Roland Park and Annette N. Kubinec of Ocean, N.J.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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