- “Gladys lived alone, died alone. I guess you could say she was a role model for Selma and me. She wasn't a rich woman, but she was rich in spirit.”
- ―Patty Bouvier's eulogy
Gladys Gurney was the sister of Jacqueline Gurney and Lou Gurney, the maternal aunt of Patty, Selma, and Marge, the sister-in-law of Clancy Bouvier, and also the maternal great-aunt of Bart, Lisa, Maggie and Ling. She was also the aunt-in-law of Homer Simpson. She died of a bowel obstruction.
Gladys's funeral was held at the Lucky Stiff Funeral Home in Littleneck Falls. In attendance were the Simpson Family along with Jacqueline, Patty, and Selma; and a number of other people. Gladys had apparently been thought to be a wealthy woman: when Patty (delivering the eulogy after taking over for the minister) said that she wasn't rich, everyone left except for the family members.
As everyone passed by the coffin to say their goodbyes, Bart took the opportunity to pull a prank. Lisa said to Gladys that she wished she'd taken some time to get to know her better, and Bart (hiding behind the coffin) said in a raspy voice, "Don't worry about it." This frightened Lisa so badly that she screamed and ran out of the room.
Reading of the Will
Gladys had retained lawyer Lionel Hutz to serve as the executor of her estate, and had left a video will. Hutz pointedly announced that he was earning his fee just by pressing the "Play" button on the VCR. Gladys began her will by reading the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, but Homer fast-forwarded through the reading (to which everyone agreed except Marge).
Gladys's video will specified the following bequests:
- Lionel Hutz dubbed his own voice over Gladys's in an attempt to give himself a $50,000 inheritance, but was quickly caught out by Marge.
- To Marge, Gladys left her collection of potato chips that resembled celebrities. Homer quickly ate them.
- To Jacqueline, Gladys left her pet iguana, Jub-Jub. Jacqueline was not pleased: "Why didn't she just leave me the bowel obstruction that killed her?"
- To Patty and Selma, Gladys left her grandfather clock and a warning about the dangers of spinsterhood: "Don't die lonely like me. Raise a family, and do it now. Now! NOW!" The warning struck a chord with Selma, but Patty was only pleased about the clock.
Marge was left with some very happy childhood memories of Aunt Gladys, but she realized she had them confused with The Prince of Tides.
Gladys's warning about spinsterhood made a very strong impression on Selma. It motivated her to investigate a dating service and a sperm bank as options for having a child; take Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens to get a taste of parenthood; and ultimately to adopt Ling.