Former Letcher County resident Gladys Stallard Berchtold, 89, of Lexington, died November 9.
She was born near Keystone, W.Va., to the late Charles and Emma Beaman. Her mother died early in her life and she was then reared by her older siblings, six sisters and three brothers.
Mrs. Berchtold was graduated from Concord College in Athens, W.Va., with a degree in chemistry at the age of 19 and worked for Union Carbide in Charleston, W.Va., and then in coal testing at Godwin Laboratories in Bluefield, W.Va. She also taught chemistry and physics at Bluefield College.
In 1950 she established Standard Laboratories Inc., which now employs 750 people in 16 states with global partners in four countries. She became the first woman president of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), an organization of more than 32,000 members, and represented ASTM in congressional hearings and was the U.S. representative to International Standards Organization meetings around the world.
Mrs. Berchtold was named “ Fellow” by the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) and was elected chairman of the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). Marquis International named her in its Who’s Who in the American Southeast. She was also named in Cambridge Who’s Who in 2009 and to Kentucky’s Who’s Who in 1974.
Mrs. Berchtold earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Charleston and was a prolific painter using a variety of mediums. One of her landscapes is currently exhibited in the Emma Byrd Gallery at the University of Charleston. She also authored a science fiction novel, Beyond the Paradigm, with her grandson, Troy Frank Stallard.
She married Troy Raymond Stallard of Bluefield, W.Va., had three children who survive her, Troy Francis Stallard and wife Charlotte, Charleston, W.Va.; Susan Hope Stallard Thomas and husband Delano Thomas, Whitesburg; and Catherine Anne Stallard Hess and husband Lee, Lexington, Also surviving are a sister, Wynita Cook, Burbank, Calif.; seven grandchildren, Dale Thomas, Todd Stallard, Lance Thomas, Stacey Shaughnessy, Amy Sargent, Frank Hess, and Byron Thomas; and 16 great grandchildren; Lauren Thomas, Molly Thomas, Emma Thomas, Isabelle Thomas, Sarah Stallard, Gretchen Stallard, Arron Thomas, Caden Thomas, Logan Thomas, Madison Thomas, Davis Sargent, Dillon Sargent, Kathryn Shaughnessy, Andrew Shaughnessy, Ava Thomas, and Mckynlee Thomas. She was a grandmother of the late Troy Frank Stallard.
A memorial service will be held at November 12 in Lexington.