On November 2nd, North Star lost one of our dear friends – Gloria Dorn. Gloria was 57 years old and grew up in Denver, Iowa. One of her biggest dreams was to be able to purchase “a little pink house with a white picket fence.” Although she never realized this particular wish, Gloria was able to live her dream of living independently in her very own apartment, and with a little help from North Star, she was able to do just that for 20 years!
One of the people who knew her best is the Director of Waverly Center, Colette Ruth, who had this to say about her, “Gloria Dorn was her own best advocate (all the way to the end). She knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to let people know it. Gloria fought to get her needs and wishes met. She had a commanding presence and a great infectious smile and giggle.” Colette has a lot of other great memories to share about Gloria. “Gloria watched my kids, Emily and Jacob, grow up. She always inquired how they were and what they had been up to. She stayed at my house a few times, and said my husband, Brad, and the dog, Dandy, always woke her up early going to work. One of my favorite memories is of Gloria and Emily dancing at the ARC Christmas party when Emily was only one and half years old.”
Although I never personally got the chance to ask Gloria about herself, I thought it would be interesting to know more about her – what she loved most in this world. The following information was also provided by Colette Ruth, and is a list of things that Gloria enjoyed the most.
… visiting downtown businesses to say “Hi” on her way home from work – especially if they had candy jars!
… working with a realtor to help her find a little pink house to buy or a white house she could paint pink. The girl always had great goals for her life. This one didn’t pan out exactly how she wanted, but she tried.
… Princess Diana and, did I mention the color pink?
… swinging at the park, especially if she was stressed and needed time to herself.
… singing and performing. She liked Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, and any boy band!
… wearing CUTE hats!
… piano lessons with Millie Dieter, golf lessons, and swimming lessons.
… going to water aerobics class at Waverly Hospital, and the ladies there helped her get new swimsuits when hers wore out.
… Denver Days and she made sure she never missed it.
… talking about her birthday and planning her celebration several months in advance.
… Bremer County Fair, Cattle Congress, Camp Courageous, Special Olympics and Unified Sports Day at Wartburg.
… her family. She was Charles and Margaret Dorn’s Princess. She used to sing a song over the phone with her mother every night before going to bed.
… Sunday lunches and phone calls with Evie (her sister).
… all the family weddings and births and looked forward to shopping for baby gifts and sharing photos after the events. She could name all of her nieces and nephews and their children.
… LIFE and she truly LIVED IT!
Our memories of Gloria (written by the participants and staff of the Waverly Center):
Alice: Gloria was a happy person and loved everyone. Always full of cheer! Love you
Ashley: Gloria always asked me if I had made my husband his lunch and coffee in the mornings before going to work.
Barbara: You will always be in my heart. We had a new friendship and I will miss you. When I see pink anywhere I will think of you.
Carri: I will miss hearing her sweet voice on the phone when she would call the center and will miss her asking about my kids!! Will miss you lots!
Chad: I remember Gloria coming into the Rite Spot to eat.
Christi: I remember when everyone said that you take a long time getting to know someone, then the first time I met her, she gave me a big hug. Will miss you.
Cody: Miss U! I loved her smile.
Colette: Gloria loved life and lived it fully!
Dawn: Loved talking and having conversations with Gloria.
Dean: Liked bowling with her!
Debbie: I will miss her big smile! But will cherish the memories we had together the last 23 1/2 years.
Grant: I’m going to miss her.
Janet: She was fun!
Janice: Was so nice to have met Gloria. She was so sweet. God bless.
Jeremy: Gloria was my friend!
Jill: She was nice and called me “Hot Lips”
Joel: Gloria would hold my glass while I poured my pop at break.
Kim: I will miss her beautiful smile and pretty eyes and saying “Are you sure, Kim?” I will miss her phone calls and hugs!! I have tons of fond memories of Gloria. I hope you enjoy your little pink house, red pickup truck, white picket fence, and personal cell phone up in heaven!! Give Jesus a hug for me! Love you, Gloria!
Kriss: I will miss your cheerful disposition. Enjoy your little picnk house with the white picket fence.
LeAnn: Will miss you Gloria!!
Lois: Miss you, Gloria!
Loreli: Gloria, I remember when I did SCL with you and we went to Love & Lace to get a rose, then to Tennenbaum’s to try on wedding rings. You sang songs in my car. May you rest in peace, my dear.
Lucas: She was always ful of love, joy, and peace.
Lynn N.: Gloria, you moved my soul and left footprints on my heart.
Maria: Gloria loved to color with me and was very sweet.
Melissa: Rest in peace sunshine! I will miss your smile, hugs, and kisses. I will miss you asking about my grandddaughters and wanting to see pictures. I will miss the way you said “Good Morning!” You will be forever in my heart.
Peggy: Will miss her smile, laughs, and hugs. Love you, girl.
Ray: Always happy-go-lucky, ever smiling.
Roxanne Gloria would always help me in her “private kitchen.” I miss you already, sweetie!
Travis F.: Gloria was very nice.
Travis M.: I liked talking to Gloria.
Troy: Too many memories…