Gladys Hansen was born Feb 12, 1921 in Seattle, Wa. She was the second of 6 daughters born to Mildred Johnson and Frank ArvidGabrielson. She did a lot of reading when she was younger and her family lived only about a ten minute walk from the library, which she and Dorie loved. One of her favorite childhood books was The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.

One of the benefits of living with so many sisters was that she always had somebody to play with. Gladys shared a room with Dorie, in their house at 7026 6th Ave NW, Seattle. Betty, Alice, Ina, and Frankie all shared the big room in the front. Surprisingly there was even enough room for dressers and chairs, without anyone having to bunk. The house also had a kitchen, dining room, and family room. It had a small yard, though, which her mother would cut occasionally/.

Dorie and Gladys both went to Business college, but the others did not. The war was just ending. She remembers her dad working a tractor. If things had been a little better, she said, he could have made a lot of money, but things being as they were, with the war and everything… .

Grandpa Gabe immigrated from Pitea, Sweden. He met up with Mildred Johnson, in Chicago and they married shortly thereafter. Mildred’s parents were also from Sweden. Unfortunately, Gladys did not learn much Swedish. Grandpa Gabe and family used to live in a little apartment down on Terry Street. This is the same time he used to run the jitney, a taxi of sorts.

Initially, the Johnsons also moved to Seattle, but they didn’t like the busy city life and found themselves moving up to the farming country, near Sedro Wooley, where they had a little place on the Skagit River. They lived at the bottom of Duke’s Hill. Gladys and the rest of the girls were always driving up to visit them.

This part of the story is currently being written. Here are some of the basic details.

At the time, Don was working at the Blue Mouse theatre, as a doorman. Gladys was working as a secretary for Paul Revere Insurance Company and attending Edison School, a business college on Capital Hill. The college is now known as Seattle Central Community College.

Don Olson, a friend from Elkhorn, married Gladys’ sister, Dorie. They introduced Don to the idea of dating another Gabrielson sister. Dorie still lives in Seattle, today. 

Don Olsen used to joke that Don Hansen could come around beings as how there were so many Gabrielson girls and all. At the first invitation, Don got in the door and almost turned around. All five girls were watching him, grinning away. That was how they met for the first time.

Later, he was invited to go with Don and Dorie because Gladys would be going, also.

Don Hansen says, 'At the time, I had about three dates a week, a different girl every time. I really got acquainted with a lot of them. The maintenance man at the theatre, said Don, why don’t you wise up and do like I do. He was known as the wolf of 5th Avenue. His name was Freddie Robinson and all the new girls that worked in the theater wanted to date him. He would take them out and dump them at the end of the streetcar line, late at night. That was his favorite trick.

Eventually, we had a date or two, it kind of evolved into something more. All of a sudden I realized she really cared about me. This was the first time anyone had ever paid any attention to me.

Don Hansen says, “Don Olsen and Doris had a new car after they were married. They decided we should take a trip, over east of the mountains. We drove over to Coeur d’Alene Lake. No teacher I went to in the Midwest knew how to pronounce that name.

The next day, we rented a boat and breezed around the lake. We were on the boat several times, but it didn’t amount to anything, Don says. Grandma remembers this much differently.

Donald married Gladys Genevieve Gabrielson on January 24, 1942, after having served in army for just over a year.


Additional Notes

Charles Kobe and Don used to chum around together and race Model T's, and fool the girls in high school.

Don was trying out for the school play, once, and there was only one copy of the script. Well, Charles got ahold of it and he erased the ‘w’ from ‘witch’ and changed it to a ‘b.’

When Don tried out for the part, the scene read puts arms around girl and says, “Why you little bitch.” Charles sure thought that was funny. I don’t know if the director or Elsie Madson felt the same way. She sure didn’t smile much after that. I think she thought we were both a bunch of jerks.

“Until Lyle was around, I was the kingpin in the family," Don said, "All of a sudden we got this little fellow, with a little nose, and I had to sit in the back seat by myself. I didn’t like that.”

Grandpa Carl Edward Johnson, used to be a streetcar motorman (jockey) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Gladys’ Grandpa)


Pictoral History of Gladys Genevieve (Gabrielson) Hansen & Family


Gladys' baby picture

1921, only 3 or 4 months old


Back of house on 7th NW (Gabrielson)




L to R: Doris, Eda, and Mary, Diany, me, Alma D, and Betty up in Sedro Wooley


Taken in 1930. Mary was 11 yrs. Doris, Alma, Mary, Betty, me, Eda, Ina, Alice


Daddy and that grand old Chandler


Daddy, Mamma and Dorie



Front room of our new house on 7th


Daddy, Mamma, Doris, and I at 7th St. house


Doris and Me


Who lives here?


Mama, Doris, and me


Clifford, Arthur, Me, Betty, Doris


Grand Uncle John, and Uncle Axel


L to R

Back Row: Mr. Hermanson, Albert, Daddy, Grandpa Carl Edward, Uncle Elmer (brother of Edna, and Mildred), Grand Uncle Axel, Leonard, Gust, and Edna

Front Row: Helen, Aunt Bessie, Grandma with Doris, 2nd Aunt Inga with me, Uncle John with Betty, and Mrs. Hermanson


L to R

Olaf Nelson, (2nd) Aunt Bessie holding Betty, Grandma Johnson, Mamma, me, Dorie, and Grandpa Carl Edward


Shirley and Mary, neighbors of the Johnsons



Dorie and Gladys


Gladys dresses up as a crepe paper flower for a summer play in Sedro Woolley 


Gladys says these people are all "Johnsons"


The three girls in a wheelbarrow


Dinner at Mrs. Hermnansons

Row 1: Mr. Hermanson, Daddy, Aunt Edna, Mrs. Hermanson

Row 2: Mama, Dorie, Ina, Edna, Betty, Frankie, Alice, Grandma Gabe?


All the girls: Dorie, Gladys, Betty, Ina, Frankie, Alice


All the girls: Dorie, Gladys, Betty, Ina, Frankie, A