Traverse City Record-Eagle


February 17, 2013

Gladys K. Strong

LAKE LEELANAU — Gladys Katherine (Viavant) Strong, 89, peacefully slipped from this world on Feb. 13 at Munson Hospice House. She was born in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 17, 1923, and spent her childhood in Texas, California and Louisiana.

In 1948 she married Curtis T. Strong Jr. Colonel Strong was a career officer in the USAF, and they raised their family in many different cities across the United States.

In 2005 Gladys moved to Lake Leelanau to reside with her daughter and son-in-law.

Gladys was an accomplished fiber artist. She mastered the art of weaving, spinning, dyeing and knitting. She made her own dyes from mushrooms and other plants. Over the years she made many items, which she sold and exhibited throughout the Richmond, Va., area. Hoping to help others in the art, she taught many people how to weave, spin and produce beautiful colors from natural dyes.

After moving to Lake Leelanau she became active in a local spinning group and greatly enjoyed attending the weekly meetings. From those meetings she was able to continue teaching those who shared her love for making beautiful things.

Gladys was preceded in death by her husband, Curtis T. Strong Jr.; her parents, William and O’Dette (D’Aquin) Viavant; and her brother, William Joseph Viavant.

Surviving are one brother, Thomas D’Aquin Viavant, of Ensenada, Mexico; her four children, Katherine (Joseph) DeKoning, of Lake Leelanau, Robert Strong, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Susan (Gary) Mick, of Burlington, Vt., and Ryk Strong, of Emeryville, Calif.; five grandchildren, Charlotte (Daniel Washburn) DeKoning, Brian Mick, Ethan Mick, Lindsay Mick and Nathaniel Mick; and four nephews and their families.

No services will be held at this time. A celebration of her life will be held later this year in Lake Leelanau.

Memorials may be made to Munson Hospice, 1105 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684 and/or to the Leelanau Community Cultural Center (The Old Art Building), PO Box 883, Leland, MI 49654.

Please share thoughts and memories with Gladys’ family on their online guestbook at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.

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