William Edgar Gladden, 96, of Houston, Mo., passed away February 9, 2024, at Cox Medical Center South in Springfield, Mo.
He was born January 2, 1928, in Houston, Mo., the son of Cecil Walter and Winnie May Gladden. He was married April 20, 1957, in Houston, Mo., to Vera Hanson, who survives at the home.
William Edgar (Bill) attended Houston High School and graduated valedictorian of his 1946 class. The day following graduation, Bill traveled to San Diego where he completed boot camp and served two years as a Radioman (RM) in the United States Navy.
After serving his country in World War II, Bill enrolled at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He went on to pursue a law degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was a member of the Missouri Chapter of The Order of the Coif. He was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1953.
After practicing law in Sikeston, Mo., Bill returned to Houston, established his law practice on Grand Avenue and practiced law in his hometown through 2019. In total, Bill served countless clients for 66 years.
During his professional career, he held the office of Texas County prosecuting attorney, served as the attorney for the City of Houston and attorney for Intercounty Electric in Licking, Mo., and served on the Democratic Central Committee of Texas County.
He served on the Houston Development Co., a group that focused on bolstering Houston’s economic life, the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, was a long-time director at Progressive Ozark Bank and is a former commissioner on the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.
A member of the Houston United Methodist Church since birth, Bill served in numerous ecumenical roles locally and at the district level.
On occasion, he would love to hit the river and fish with either of his sons or close friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Della May Hubbard; one brother, Walter; and one daughter, Diana Ramaeker.
Other survivors include two sons, Edgar (Kathy) and Andrew (Sara); son-in-law, Larry Ramaeker; two daughters, Linda (Les Komaromi) and Susanne; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The family will hold a private service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the United Methodist Church in Houston, Mo., Texas County Library in Houston, Mo., or Downtown Houston, Inc.