Dennis Schneider was born and raised on a farm in Ellis County, Okla., and attended all his early years at Arnett Public Schools. Gladys Burton was born and raised on a farm in Cimarron County, Okla., and attended all her early years at Felt Public Schools. Both attended what was then known as Panhandle A&M College. Gladys attended during the years 1960-1963, and Dennis from 1958-1962, and both of them majored in music education.
They were very active in many campus activities and organizations during these years (Gladys worked at the University library; Dennis was student body president in 1961-1962). After teaching a semester at Cimarron, N.M., and driving buses a summer at Philmont Scout Ranch, Dennis returned to Oklahoma, and he and Gladys were married on August 25, 1963 at Felt, Okla. Returning to teach two years at Cimarron, the couple saved their money and spent the following year attending Eastern New Mexico University, where Gladys finished her degree while Dennis added a master’s degree.
For the next four years Dennis and Gladys taught on the Navajo reservation at Shiprock, N.M. After their first son was born, Dennis taught one year on the Jicarilla Apache reservation at Dulce, N.M. before the family returned to Cimarron, N.M. Dennis taught band, choral, and general music for 28 1/2 years before retiring, and Gladys taught elementary and general music classes for over 30 years before retiring. The two have remained active in many things over their years together. Dennis has driven buses for schools and Philmont Scout Ranch for over 50 years, and Gladys has over 30 years experience in this endeavor. They are both actively engaged in this occupation at the present time. Gladys remains active in Sorosis club, Antique club, and church work, teaches piano, directs the community chorus, quilts, and takes Tai Kwon Do classes (she is working on the black belt series).
Dennis has been a Church of Christ minister for over 40 years, NRA life member, and secretary of the Masonic lodge for over 25 years, and EMT with Cimarron Volunteer Ambulance for over 30 years, Crime Stopper board member and paymaster for over 20 years, etc. Dennis and Gladys are both life members of the Santa Fe Trail Association, and members of the Bent’s Fort, Cimarron Historical Society, and are both officers in the Corazon de los Caminos (Dennis-president, Gladys-secretary). Both are members of the state and local retired teachers associations, and life members of the OPSU Alumni Association, where they have served as either a board member or advisor for over 20 years.
OPSU is near and dear to their hearts. Gladys and Dennis had two sons named Clay and Zane. Zane was killed at age 14, and Clay became an EMT at age 17. He pursued a degree in emergency medicine, became a paramedic, RN, ER charge nurse, Medical Flight Technician, and is currently studying to become an NP. He is married and has two sons, James and David (ages 12 and 7). Dennis and Gladys celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last August, and they truly cherish all their friends and loved ones they have been blessed to have in their lives.