Gladys Louise Regan, age 78, of Hobbs NM, passed away on June 2nd, 2021 while the song ‘Take Me Home, Country Road’ by John Denver played. She had previously suffered a stroke and brain aneurysm on Friday, May 28th.
Gladys was born on September 2nd, 1942 to Henry and Olga Baxter in Covington, Kentucky. When she was 12 her father moved the family to Albuquerque, New Mexico after a doctor suggested that her mother live in a dryer climate. Henry fell in love with the Land of Enchantment while traveling on a troop train during World War II. Upon graduating Albuquerque High School, Gladys married James Regan, and became a mother to 5 beautiful children in Tucson, Arizona. Her husband James was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died in 1977 leaving her a widow at age 34.
In order to support her 5 children as a single mother, she became a certified nurse assistant and began the journey to become a registered nurse. She was accepted into the nursing program at New Mexico Junior College in 1980 and moved to Hobbs, New Mexico. She maintained a full-time job while attending school. Gladys graduated with her nursing degree in 1984 and dedicated her life to being a caretaker to her patients and family. Her daughter, Jamie Donenfeld, and grandson, Trey Regan, later followed in her footsteps and began their nursing career. Gladys was so proud of her family’s accomplishments, and she made sure the world knew.
She was given a second chance at love and married Michael Buford in 1984.
Gladys was a very passionate woman with a huge heart. She loved everyone and never met a stranger. You’d often see her standing in an isle in the grocery store talking to someone. It was a social event. After she retired from nursing, Gladys became the greeter at Garner’s Motorsports. If you had the opportunity to meet her, she probably knew your entire life story within minutes. Everyone wanted to be around her sweet soul.
Gladys was a Jehovah’s witness and attended the weekly meetings at the Kingdom Hall in Hobbs, New Mexico. She dedicated her life to Jehovah. Her faith gave her tremendous strength when her youngest son had an accident in 1987, leaving him a paraplegic at age 17. She selflessly cared for her ‘Bummer’ with no regard to her own life, for he was her life. Tyson passed away in October 2018, but Gladys remained confident that she would see him again.
Gladys had a sweet spot for all animals. She volunteered alongside her daughter, Robbie Garner, and son-in-law, Robert Garner, at the Lea County Humane Society. She adopted two pit bulls, Ellie and Toby, and recently added a stray cat to the family that she named Alley Cat. In addition to loving animals, she had an appreciation for art, gardening and music. In the 70’s, she was given the opportunity to paint alongside Ted DeGrazia in Tucson, Arizona, which was such an honor. It was no surprise that Glady’s love for art transferred into gardening. With the help of her two sons, Troy and Todd Regan, her yard was always immaculate and adorned with bright flowers. Red roses were her absolute favorite. Gladys was always humming or singing a tune. When one of her favorite songs played, she would close her eyes and sway while she sang.
This past year of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic was extremely tough on Gladys especially after losing her sister, Linda Navarette, to the virus in November of 2020. She was a social butterfly and thrived on interactions with other people.
In January of 2021, she fell and broke her hip but was determined to recover. She moved into the Lovington Healthcare Facility, better known as the Good Samaritan, for physical therapy. The name ‘Good Sam’ couldn’t be more fitting. Gladys was surrounded by so much love by all the staff, nurses and residents. They all treated her like family knowing that her biological family couldn’t be close to her due to visiting restrictions. The last months of her life in Good Sam restored her purpose. She quickly fell back into her role as nurse and made her rounds every day. She was the last resident to go to bed because she wanted to make sure everyone had what they needed, whether it be a blanket or an encouraging word. She often sang for the residents and staff just to brighten their day. To quote one gentleman, “I never knew one person could make such an impact.
Gladys Regan was preceded in death by her first husband James Regan, her parents, Henry and Olga Baxter, son, Tyson Regan, sister Linda Navarette and Michael Buford.
Gladys is survived by her sisters Donna Doolittle, Andrea Baxter and Sherri Hayes, daughters Robbie (Robert) Garner and Jamie (Roger) Donenfeld, sons Troy Regan and Todd (Rosie) Regan, granddaughters Sheena (Ashton) Garner, Taylor Regan, Katie and Juliet Donenfeld, Jacqueline Regan, grandsons Trey (Krystal) Regan, James Regan, Tyler Regan, Nicky Regan, Seth Regan, Jacob Donenfeld, Christopher and Stephen Love, and great granddaughter Kariana. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
As the family of Gladys Regan, we thank everyone for consoling us during this time. The stories have warmed our hearts and we are so thankful that we were able to share her with so many.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the following: the Lovington Health Care Facility; New Mexico Junior College Nursing Foundation/Scholarship; Shriner’s Children’s Hospital; or Lea County Humane Society. The address and/or website for each will be listed below.
Lovington Health Care Facility (prepaid gift cards to purchase items only)
1600 West Ave I
Lovington, NM 88260
New Mexico Junior College
NMJC Nursing Foundation/Scholarship
5317 Lovington Hwy
Hobbs, NM 88240
Shriner’s Children’s Hospital
Lea County Humane Society
P.O. Box 1192
Hobbs, NM 88241
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