A Tribute to Gladys Love Smith Presley


The memory of Gladys Love Smith Presley is one of a loving and protective mother to her only surviving son, Elvis. A devoted wife, Gladys was an endearing, spiritual and compassionate lady; a good Christian. She suffered a great deal in her brief life. Born on April 25, 1912, we sadly remember that 50 years ago, on August 14, 1958, Gladys untimely passing broke her son's will to pieces and shattered any future dreams of making his beloved momma's life more gifted and comfortable. The void Glady's passing left upon her son would never be filled again, not within himself, not with family, friends. Family was very dear to Elvis and remained ever so. Still, his momma's absence was a permanent scar on his life.

Elvis was not a poetry reader, however, upon being offered by a friend a book of poems to read following his mother's death, Elvis scanned through the pages of "Poems That Touch The Heart," and stumbled upon this beautiful poem written by Albert K. Rowswell, and which he began to read aloud:

Should You Go First

Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.

In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the Lilac blue;
In early fall when brown leaves call,
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Gladys Love Smith Presley 1912-1958

Gladys and Vernon Presley Wedding Photo

Vernon's mother, Minnie Mae Hood, did not approve of her seventeen-year-old son's marriage to Gladys who was four years older, and the two eloped to Verona and were married in the town hall there on June 17, 1933. Three people attended as witnesses: cousins Maude and Allen Helms and Glady's sister, Retha Smith.
Verona Town Hall, Mississippi

Glady's bedroom at Graceland

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