Cover photo for Micheal Loyd Gladden's Obituary
Micheal Loyd Gladden Profile Photo
1944 Micheal 2023

Micheal Loyd Gladden

August 31, 1944 — September 16, 2023


Mike Gladden departed this world wearing his Ruidoso Warriors hat while the sounds of Jimmy Buffett filled his room. Mike was born on August 31, 1944, in Kermit, Texas to H.D. and Clydise Gladden. Mike is survived by his immediate family - wife, Sandra Edmister Gladden, his daughter Kerry Gladden and her husband, Alan Eastep, and his grandsons Brooks Jarrell and Justin Eastep. Additionally, Mike is survived by his sister, Pat Woodell of Eunice, NM; an amazing group of nieces and nephews; and the Edmister brothers/sisters-in-law. He is predeceased by his parents; brother Donald Gladden; sisters Billie Brown and Lou Neil Hardin; and nephews Mark Woodell and Scott Gladden.

Mike was raised in Eunice, New Mexico, where he excelled in academics, football, and baseball - setting many records and winning multiple state championships. After graduating from Eunice High School, he played one baseball season with the UNM Lobos before transferring to ENMU where he played for his remaining three years. Upon graduating, he accepted his first teaching position in Ojai, California, teaching fourth grade at Ojai Elementary. While in California, he completed his Master's in Education at the University of Southern California.

In 1973, Mike and his family moved to Ruidoso where he became the principal at White Mountain Elementary School. He remained at White Mountain until 1982 when he was named Associate Superintendent of the Ruidoso Schools. He served in this position until he was named Superintendent in 1991. At the time of his retirement in 2003, he was one of the longest tenured superintendents in the State of New Mexico.

Mike loved his life - the Eunice Cardinals, the Ruidoso Warriors, the USC Trojans, baseball, football, Jimmy Buffett, a good gin martini (no vermouth and two olives!), good friends, and most of all his family! He held his brother/brothers-in-law, sisters/sisters-in-law and his many nieces and nephews very close to his heart.

Mike valued and believed in the good qualities of every student. He loved the Ruidoso community and would readily tell you that there was not another one like it. When anyone would ask if he would ever leave Ruidoso, he always responded with "Why would we go anywhere else?"

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the newly formed Mike Gladden Memorial Scholarship Fund. Donations can be made by sending a check to the Community Foundation of Lincoln County (CFLC) at PO Box 2750, Ruidoso, NM, 88345. Please be sure to write "Mike Gladden" in the memo line on the check. He would like nothing more than for his memory to continue to support the students in this community.

Per Mike's wishes, a private memorial will be held for the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Micheal Loyd Gladden, please visit our flower store.


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