Gladwin was born in Giroux, Manitoba, the eldest of ten children. His father referred to him as his “‘28 model”.
Although money was scarce, love was abundant in the Bartel household. Gladwin helped his mother with the younger children, even once tying his younger sister to the table leg in order to wash the floor. At the age of 14, he went to work for his grandfather, milking cows and other farm chores, to help with family finances.
At a young age Gladwin and his brother Jake set off to Acme, Alberta to build his uncle’s loafing (milking) barn. The brothers then continued to work their way westward utilizing their building talents, and eventually forming Bartell Brothers Construction, instrumental in the growth of Fort St John at the time.
In 1954, Gladwin married Vroni Klaus who accompanied him on his life’s adventures. It was 1957 when he moved to Fort St John, where they raised their three children Bob, Susan and Monica and enjoyed a happy life together until Vroni passed away in 1978.
Life turned for the better again when he met and married his second wife Audrey Howden with her two children Anne and Gillian, who brought a bright spark to his life.
Gladwin and Audrey purchased H.K. Safety Service, supplying safety equipment to northern communities, and as far away as Russia. In 1999 they retired to Qualicum Beach where they had purchased a retirement home.
Gladwin was a very positive and happy person, who often said that as long as we had two meals a day and a bed to sleep in, we were better off than most people in the world. He loved to bake and prepare the family meals. His pancakes were legendary, and he did a mean soup. He baked a coffee cake once a month for the United Church and made many sandwiches for the outreach community. He insisted on delivering his baked goods directly to the church himself.
Gladwin enjoyed many happy times with his golfing buddies Mac, Rob, Ken and Bill. They called themselves the “sinners” until the Reverend Phil Spencer joined them, when the became “the saints and sinners”.
A longtime member of the Rotary Club, he was awarded the Paul Harris award for his contributions. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Shrine Club of Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
Gladwin Bartell was wonderful gentlemen, a friend to all, and an enemy to none. He passed away peacefully at home on September 4th, after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Audrey, and children Bob, Susan, Monica, Anne and Gillian, along with grandchildren and great grandchildren.