Photography

Gladys Benjamin

October 11, 1933 ~ April 29, 2022 (age 88)

Obituary

GLADYS BENJAMIN

MOTHER, WIFE AND FRIEND

Gladys Benjamin was born in 1933, into a happy Christian family in the province of Punjab, in India.  She was the younger daughter of a big landowner and politically active father.  She lived through the tumultuous times towards the end of Colonial rule by the British Empire, which preceded the partition of India into India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan.  The area of the Punjab that she lived in became a part of West Pakistan.  During this tumultuous time, she matriculated from school, went onto College and she became a Nurse. 

She worked as a RN at Lady Willingdon Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, due to her compassion for those who were less fortunate. In the late 1950s, Gladys met Immanuel Benjamin and they started a courtship, based on mutual love and admiration.  Theirs was a marriage based on love, rather than an arranged marriage.

After they were married on February 18, 1961, Gladys left her profession as a RN and devoted herself to being a mother and a wife. Gladys’s faith and belief in God guided her life and the choices that she made in life, by devoting her life to her family. 

In 1964, after having 3 children with her husband, Gladys and the rest of the family traveled to Rochester, Minnesota, so that Immanuel could do a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and subsequently work at the Mayo Clinic.  During this time, in 1966, Gladys gave birth to her fourth and final child.  Gladys had to adjust to living in a new country, to the cold weather in Minnesota, from 1964-1970.  Gladys was a strong woman, who managed to raise 4 children and take care of the household needs, even though she did not drive. 

Upon her return to Pakistan in 1970, after Immanuel was asked to serve as the chief of surgery and medical director of United Christian Hospital, Gladys not only took care of her own children but she also helped take care of other family members.  When Gladys and the family returned to Lahore, Pakistan, she gracefully dealt with any difficulty that arose, while always maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude. Gladys was always quick with a smile and was a paragon on loving motherhood.  Gladys was a woman of deep faith and her faith in God guided her and her prayers for others.  Gladys was the glue that kept the family together. 

Immanuel worked long hours at the hospital, often up to 20 hour days, leaving Gladys with the job of being the primary parent.  As a parent, Gladys sacrificed  her life, to support her children, love her children and made sure that her children’s needs were well taken care of.  Gladys’ love for her children was limitless as was her generosity of spirit beyond her immediate family. 

Gladys made sure that her children were well versed in history and the culture of the sub-continent.  Gladys made sure that her children knew their cultural history and often times would take the children on trips and picnics to different locations. 

When the eldest two children were attending school at Murree Christian School during the summer months, Gladys would make sure that she and her youngest two children were able to stay in a bungalow in Murree, to be close to the two eldest children, Naghma(Nina) and Gibran. These summer trips were memorable, educational and enlightening.

Gladys’s and the family finally returned to the United States in 1979, after the condition for Christians in Pakistan became untenable. 

The return to the United States in 1979 was a new experience for her and a bit of a culture shock for her, since the family had relocated to Eastern Oregon.  Gladys adjusted to the living in a small community and her positive attitude and personality helped her develop new friendships in a new world. 

Gladys was more than just a mother though, she also had numerous interests, she loved history, reading, poetry, painting, sketching, and embroidery.  Gladys loved her family that she left behind in Pakistan and would oftentimes share stories of her family’s history with us.

In her last years of life, she suffered and endured through pain, however she remained a fighter. When the doctors gave up hope in 2018, she did not give up the fight.  She breathed her last breath on April 29, 2022, as her pain and suffering was ended by the Grace of God.  She is survived by her eldest daughter, Naghma(Nina); eldest son Gibran; Naveeda her second daughter and Ephraim her youngest son.

She is finally with her family members who left before her.

Services will be limited to family and invited guests. 

 

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