Gladys Helena Gardner Wiedemann was born in Minneapolis, MN. Her father was a trombonist with the Minneapolis Orchestra and taught at the Minneapolis School of Music. She attended Minnesota University. K.T. Wiedemann and Gladys moved to Wichita in 1950 to be near business interests Mr. Wiedemann had acquired over the years in the Wichita area. In January of 1961, Mr. Wiedemann passed away of injuries suffered in an automobile accident near Leon.
Subsequent to that time, and prior to her death on February 6, 1991, Mrs. Wiedemann served as trustee of the K.T. Wiedemann Trust and as trustee and president of the K.T. Wiedemann Foundation, Inc. She became extremely active in the affairs of the Foundation and continued to support the Wiedemann's vision for a finer quality of life within Wichita and the state of Kansas. During Mrs. Wiedemann's tenure, the Foundation supported hundreds of charities in areas relating to the arts, health, children and youth, the elderly, and the disadvantaged. During that time, the Foundation contributed tens of millions of dollars to worthy causes primarily in Kansas.
As a result of her upbringing, Mrs. Wiedemann was especially fond of supporting the cultural arts in Wichita. She studied the violin for 14 years and was also an accomplished organist. Many believe, however, that her favorite project was her commission of the Marcussen concert organ located in Wiedemann Recital Hall at Wichita State University. The Great Marcussen Organ, a stunning pipe organ designed and built on-site by the legendary firm of Marcussen and Son of Denmark.
It was the first Marcussen instrument to be built on North America soil. The organ
builders worked with architects to design a concert hall around the specifications
of the organ to present the instrument in its ultimate acoustical glory. The building's
superb acoustics keep it in demand as the primary recital and concert hall for the
WSU School of Music, as well as drawing renowned organist from around the world for
recitals and recording.