Gretchen Glass

December 22, 1936, November 08, 2017

Gretchen Elkins Glass

Gretchen Elkins Glass, 80, died Wednesday, November 8, 2017. She was born on December 22, 1936 to Lucille and Walter Loren Elkins. Their family was completed a few years later with the birth of Gretchen’s little brother, Walter Loren “Butch” Elkins, Jr.

Gretchen was a serious little girl who preferred to spend her time reading. However, her happiest childhood memories were family jamborees where everyone would sit around playing guitars, ukuleles, while singing old country western songs and bluegrass ballads.

Gretchen graduated from H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College at Tulane where she received a degree in journalism. She lived and worked in New Orleans for a short time before marrying Charles Douglas Glass in 1960.

Gretchen and Charles lived in Lake Charles, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge in the early years of their marriage and had three daughters, Jennifer Grayson, Rebecca Anne, and Stephanie Elkins. The family moved to Beaumont in 1971. Gretchen moved to Dallas in 1984 and returned to Beaumont in 1991.

Throughout her life, Gretchen’s most outstanding characteristic was her creativity. She was a gifted artist, designer, and writer. The very nature of who she was, was to be different than everyone else and she was compelled to defy convention, push limits, and express herself. She was a gifted designer of everything from homes to fashion. She was a brilliant gourmet cook and never read a recipe that couldn’t be tweaked to be just a bit better. She created flower arrangements that were feats of engineering and giftwrapped presents so elaborately that the beauty of the presentation became an extension of the gift.

Gretchen freely admitted that she was never able to successfully work for someone else and held a myriad of seemingly unrelated jobs – the common thread of which was to create beautiful experiences for people. Her first foray into retail sales began in the original Green Beanery opening the Whistle Stop with Wilma Halbert which eventually became G. E. Glass & Company, a lavish store with a demonstration kitchen that many believed to be ahead of its time here in Beaumont. At different times in her life, she worked as an interior designer in both private practice and for Ethan Allen both in Dallas and in Beaumont, and served as the event coordinator at both the Eighth Floor of the John Gray Library at Lamar and the Beaumont Country Club. She helped establish the gift shop at Bandos, taught cooking lessons to prisoners, and sold Harley Davidson gear to HOG fans at the original Harley Dealership for Marty and Ravon Craig.

Throughout her many career moves, Gretchen made friends and left lasting impressions of the beauty, vibrant color, and delicious dishes she created. Her charm, humor, and readiness to defy convention, made an indelible impression on those who loved her. In her later years, Gretchen returned to the game of bridge which she had always enjoyed, and made many wonderful friends at The Bridge Studio in Beaumont.

Gretchen is survived by her three daughters and their spouses; Greg Mayer, John May, and Eric Flatten; her brother Butch and his wonderful wife Judith; and her grandchildren whom she adored, Hadley Elizabeth May, Charles Matthew May, and Charles Shephard Flatten.

Gretchen’s family would like to thank the staff at Harbor Hospice and The Clairemont for their care of their mother in the last three months of her life.

A funeral service for Gretchen will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Calder Baptist Church, North 11th Street, Beaumont, with a visitation/reception immediately following in the Church’s fellowship hall, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFadden Avenue, Beaumont.

 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Gretchen’s memory to Calder Baptist Church, 1005 N 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702.



2000 Mcfaddin Avenue Beaumont, TX 77701
Funeral Service
Calder Baptist Church
1005 North 11th Street Beaumont, TX 77702
Saturday, November 11, 2017
11:00 a.m.

Comments (5)

  • Susan Mayer Patt

    12 November 2017 at 23:45 | #

    Rebecca, Jennifer and Stephanie, please know I am thinking about all of you and sending love your way.


  • Caran Lindsey

    11 November 2017 at 16:38 | #

    Jennifer, Rebecca, and Stephanie I just heard of your mom's passing this morning. I am so sorry to hear this. Her obituary was such a beautiful tribute to her and exactly how I remember your mom growing up in our Wilchester days! Seeing her in her younger days in the keepsake video she was so beautiful and I can see all of you in her pictures. I'm keeping you all in my prayers and always in my heart. Love to you all, Caran


  • Candy Mathis Hollis

    10 November 2017 at 22:30 | #

    Enjoyed every minute I spent in the Whistle Stop and G.E. Glass and Company. Thank you, Gretchen.


  • Donna Cunningham

    10 November 2017 at 19:49 | #

    Wow! Another’s defining moment! The tribute to Gretchen, beautiful!
    “......the common thread....continues on in her daughters,
    defying convention, they like their mother.....
    ‘Do common things... uncommitted well!’


  • Donna Cunningham

    10 November 2017 at 19:34 | #

    Wow! Another’s defining moment! The tribute to Gretchen, beautiful!
    “......the common thread....continues on in her daughters,
    defying convention, they like their mother.....
    ‘Do common things... uncommitted well!’


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