Dr. John A. Gladden Sr.

Born in Anniston, AL on October 30, 1938

Departed on December 5, 2016 and resided in Gallatin, TN

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Dr. John Allen Gladden, Sr. (78) of Gallatin, passed away on Monday, December 5, 2016. John, born October 30, 1938 in Anniston, AL was the youngest of seven children. Retired from the US Air Force, John travelled the world and ended his career as an AF recruiter, then worked as a Social Worker for the SC Dept. of Corrections and the Dept. of the Army in MA before discovering his favorite role, Santa, at Opryland Hotel, in Hendersonville and Gallatin. He carried candy canes in his pocket year round for his young admirers. John’s lifelong love was genealogical research. John is survived by his children: Shana Gladden Shelton (Ray) of Provo, UT, John Allen Gladden II of Huntsville, AL, and Hannah Gladden Dance (Zach) of Gallatin, TN, his grandchildren: Johnathan Christopher Gladden of Athens, AL, Daniel Carey Gladden of Hazel Green, AL, Benson Shelton of Morro Bay, CA, the late Nathan Shelton (Kaitlyn) of Murrieta, CA, Jared Shelton (Marcella) of Norfolk, VA, Shalyn Shelton Weber (Jason) of Saratoga Springs, UT, Logan Shelton of Provo, UT, Rachel Shelton of Salt Lake City, UT, Ashlee Shelton of Provo, UT, and Hyrum Shelton of Provo, UT, and 4 great-grandchildren. A Life Celebration service for John will be held at Hendersonville Funeral Home on Saturday, December 10, at 2:00pm. Visitation will begin at 1:00pm. Burial will follow at Hendersonville Memory Gardens, with full Military Honors. Memorial donations welcome: woundedwarriorproject.org or uso.org. Hendersonville Funeral Home, 353 E. Main St., Hendersonville, TN, 37075, 615-824-3855, hendersonvillefh.com

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3 Comments to Dr. John A. Gladden Sr.

  1. Michael W Edwards, Attorney
    December 9, 2016 9:12 am

    To Hannah and John’s children. I met John at the YMCA and began a great friendship.
    Such a sweet and nice man. I’ll miss his Santa Clause jokes.
    I am so sorry to hear of his passing. A true American in all aspects of his life.

  2. Kathy and Leroy Sutton
    December 9, 2016 9:41 pm

    To the Gladden Family, We are part of John’s fan club, and have admired him since meeting him at Church. Everyone young and old-and in between believed that he was in fact the real Santa! He gave tremendous moral support to our granddaughter. We knew him to be most gracious and kind. We loved to hear him laugh at silly jokes. He touched the lives of many lucky people, He defended our Nation, and cared for the down and out. What an honor to know him! We love him dearly. He was a bright spot in our lives. Thank you for sharing your Father. Perhaps there is a need in Heaven for a special Santa to bless the children! Dr. John Allen Gladden will never cease to exist…..He is only finished with Time. Remember….The time will come when you will consider yourself rich in having loved John, rather poor now in having lost him. The World was made a better by his passing through it and lesser by his leaving it.

  3. Peggy Webb
    December 12, 2016 10:19 pm

    Jerry and I want the family to know we thought of John as a good friend. We went to visit him at Morningside in September but didn’t realize it would be our last visit! Prayers and hugs to all the family!
    Peggy and Jerry Webb

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