Glenda Josephine Krishna passed away peacefully at home on March 24, 2019. Glenda was born on December 6, 1940 in London, England. Due to the second World War, Glenda started her travels early. She was evacuated north to Nottingham with her mother Elizabeth Barton and her brother Michael “Buddy” Barton to escape the bombings. After the war ended they all moved with her father Ronald Barton to the south of England to live with his family in Kent. She completed secondary school and then studied nursing and midwifery in Canterbury.
As there were opportunities to work in Glasgow, Glenda moved to Scotland – a place she always held dear to her heart. While she enjoyed her time in Scotland, she had the urge to travel a bit further! She and her friend Trixie found an opportunity abroad and set off to Washington, D.C. to serve as midwives at the Washington Hospital Center.
Planning to only stay for one year, Glenda made the most of her time exploring the area. She arrived in 1968, which was a trying time for the United States and especially for Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been recently assassinated and Robert Kennedy’s assassination occurred later that same year. From her walks around the city, Glenda recalled the famous cherry blossoms lining the streets along with tanks driving down them.
While Trixie was good company, Glenda decided to try a new thing called computer dating to see if she could find someone with whom to share a nice fish dinner. While the computer may have missed the fish dinner appreciation, she was introduced to a fine young scientist named Gopal Krishna. While Gopal was not fond of any kind of fish, they both enjoyed a “good cup of tea.” Gopal also introduced Glenda to half-and-half which forever became a staple in their family’s home. They became quick friends and were engaged within six months. Several years prior Gopal had completed his PhD in pharmacology and had worked in Italy. They agreed to move to Italy after they got married to continue their adventure together.
Although they did visit Italy, Gopal was offered a permanent position at the National Institutes of Health outside of D.C. and their son, Mohan, arrived soon after. Thus, they settled in Maryland and this became the hub of their adventures. After their son’s birth, Glenda resigned from nursing to raise their family. Their first daughter, Janaki, followed soon after and then their second daughter, Rukmani. They moved from an apartment to a house in Bethesda, Maryland and then to their final home together in Rockville, Maryland. As their home grew larger, Glenda and Gopal were able to host larger gatherings, dinners and coffees for their myriad of friends from around the world. Gopal often liked to surprise Glenda with an impromptu dinner guests visiting from Italy, India, England, Turkey or Japan to name a few.
Glenda never did learn to drive a car, citing that young Mohan was not very helpful screaming from the back seat while Gopal was trying to teach her, but she did expertly navigate public transportation. Glenda’s only record of owning and operating a motor vehicle, a moped, occurred during her studies. She had great fun with it but one day her father needed to use the seat for another project, and as Glenda was known to say, “That was that.” Her dad did try to teach her to drive a 500cc motorcycle but that proved far too heavy to hold up. Thus, she remained without a driver’s license all her life. This, however, did not hinder her social life as she had many friends who would visit for tea and biscuits and take her off on adventures.
Glenda didn’t return to formal nursing, though informally this skill set was always in her repertoire. In addition to managing the family home, she also taught catechism at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church for over 20 years. What started as something to do while the children were in class turned into a true calling for Glenda. Church was very important to Glenda and she enjoyed sharing the faith with young church members. She also volunteered with the Altar Society at St. Elizabeth. While Gopal chose traditional Indian family names for the children, it was very important to Glenda that they were raised Catholic. One criterion for choosing a home was assuring it was walking distance from the church. Holy Cross, St. Jane de Chantal and St. Elizabeth all knew Glenda well and were important parts of her week and her life.
Glenda and Gopal enjoyed travelling all over the U.S. and the world together. They took their young children on visits to Italy, England, India, Canada and on family vacations to Disney World, Woods Hole in Massachusetts, New York, and the East Coast beaches. Gopal also encouraged Glenda to frequently visit her family in England, early on traveling alone with three young children and later solo. Their greatest travel adventure together was a year long sabbatical in Bangalore, India. They stayed in a nice condo in Bangalore with hired help and while Glenda never felt comfortable having someone else doing the housework, she was delighted to have someone else do the cooking! Glenda was a fine cook with an international range, but she would prefer to eat out before choosing to prepare a meal at home. While Gopal and Glenda had considered moving to India after Gopal retired, they both discovered that Maryland was their home.
Like their passion for tea, Glenda and Gopal also shared a passion for reading. There was a standing library visit every third Saturday to exchange one large stack of books in exchange for new one to consume. Glenda enjoyed reading histories of India and Britain as well as all varieties of mysteries. She even got caught up in the Harry Potter wave! Never one fearing progression, Glenda converted to electronic book readers that let her consume books at an even faster rate.
Glenda enjoyed animals of all sorts. She grew up with cats, but Gopal’s allergies prevented them from having them in their family’s home. She did have a good run of dogs beginning with Kunthi, a cockapoo, Angus, a rottweiler mix by way of Janaki, Muttley, a true mutt by way of Mohan, and Roxi, a pug by way of Rukmani. There were also fish, a guinea pig and a rabbit along the way. She enjoyed their company and they were blessed to be part of her family.
After Gopal passed away, Glenda moved from her home in Rockville to live with Rukmani’s family in Marysville, Pennsylvania to cuddle with her youngest grandsons Bhodi and Rhys. Her final big adventure was moving to Salt Lake City, Utah with Rukmani, Bhodi and Rhys so that they could all be closer to Janaki and her husband Toby.
Glenda had developed symptoms of dementia over the years and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014. Living with Rukmani and the boys and being close to Janaki and Toby in her closing years brought her comfort and calm. You would not think that a house full of young boys would bring calm, but that was the type of calm that Glenda wanted and needed.
She passed away due to complications from Alzheimer’s at home with her family. We extend a great hug to all the home healthcare aides that helped Glenda in Pennsylvania and Utah. Without the help from Messiah Lifeways, Home Insite and Beehive Senior Care, she would not have been able to stay at home.
Glenda was preceded in death by her husband Gopal A. Krishna and her parents Elizabeth and Ronald Barton.
She is survived by her children Mohan Krishna (married to Susanne), Janaki Krishna (married to Toby) and Rukmani Krishna as well as her grandchildren Kevin, Mallory, Cameron and Cullen Krishna and Bhodi and Rhys Sanderson. Her brother Michael Barton (married to Caroline) and sisters Gladys May, Bridget Godden and Kathy Carter (married to Tony) have also survived Glenda as well as her New York cousins Maria, Charlie, Danny, Rina,
Carol and Michael and many more cousins, nieces, nephews and friends all over the globe.
A funeral mass will be celebrated Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, 331 East South Temple.
Please, in lieu of flowers consider donating in Glenda’s memory to Alzheimer’s research or Best Friends Animal Society.