Gladys C. Dumser Ran ice cream business


Gladys C. Dumser, former owner of Dumser's Dairyland ice cream parlors in Ocean City, died July 10 of lung failure at Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore. She was 80.

The former Gladys Wagner was a native of Palmyra, Pa. She attended Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.

She married Bernie Thrush in 1929, and in 1934 they began making and selling frozen custard in Ocean City. In 1939, they opened Bernie's Dairyland on the boardwalk in the Eastern Shore resort and changed to selling ice cream.

She and Mr. Thrush divorced in 1958, and Bernie's Dairyland became Dumser's Dairyland a year later when she married Peter Dumser. By 1983, she had expanded the business to three locations in Ocean City.

Mr. Dumser, a professional musician, frequently entertained customers by playing the organ.

A 1987 Evening Sun article said, "Any discussion about food in Ocean City usually revolves around Phillips if it's seafood, Thrasher's if it's french fries and Dumser's if it's ice cream."

Mrs. Dumser retired in 1983 and sold the business but remained as a consultant to the new owner. Five Dumser's Dairyland outlets now operate in Ocean City.

After Mr. Dumser died in 1986, she moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and vacationed in Ocean City during the summers. She moved to Cross Keys in Baltimore four years ago to be near her daughter, Bernice Ann Cook.

Services for Mrs. Dumser were to be held at 5 p.m. today at Sunset Memorial Gardens on U.S. 50 in West Ocean City.

Besides Mrs. Cook, she is survived by two other daughters, Jeanne Elizabeth Sterner of Severna Park and Dr. Gayle Elaine Haines of Captree Island, N.Y.; a sister, Elizabeth Baker of Palmyra; a brother, Light Wagner of Palmyra; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial donations to the American Lung Association.

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