Gladys M. Bickford, 1925-2020

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Gladys M. “Rusty” (Doyle) Bickford, a Springfield resident since 1994, passed away in August 2020.

She was born in 1925, the daughter of Robert and Florence (Grant) Doyle in Bootle, Liverpool, England. Her Irish parents had moved to Liverpool to find work and returned to Dublin, Ireland soon after her birth. Later, the family immigrated to the United States and resided in Jamaica Plain, Boston.

Gladys attended schools in Dublin and Boston and she worked for Western Union and Sears Roebuck in Boston and as a reporter for the Salem Evening News in Salem, Mass. Most of her life was spent as a devoted volunteer at her church at local public schools and hospitals and other organizations.

She married Elwood “Woody” Bickford in 1953 and moved to Burlington, Vt., where he attended the University of Vermont and where their children Dale and Mary Jane were born. Thereafter, she lived in Freeport, N.Y., Central Islip, N.Y., East Brunswick, N.J., Billerica, Mass., Topsfield, Mass., Parsippany, N.J. and Springfield, Vt.

In retirement, she and her husband moved to Springfield where she was an active member of the Catholic Daughters of St. Mary’s Church and volunteered at the local Meals on Wheels program.

She is survived by her husband Elwood and children Dale of Springfield and Mary Jane of Seabrook, N.H.; a brother Robert Marshall of Bridgehampton, N.Y.; godson Joseph Morel of Barnard, Vt.; goddaughter Aine Doyle of New York City; and in-laws, nieces, and nephews. She was predeceased by her mother in 1940 and her father in 1944.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Her remains would have been donated to Dartmouth Medical School for medical research and teaching as her final volunteer effort and as a long-term member of the donor program, but her gift was denied.

Davis Memorial Chapel is assisting with arrangements.

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