Gloria Ann (Dugan) Cook
Gloria Ann (Dugan) Cook died January 2, 2023 after suffering a debilitating stroke three days earlier. She celebrated her 95th birthday in July and Christmas with family. Her loved ones were all with her at the time of her death in Santa Ana, CA. Gloria will be remembered for her extreme resilience, vitality, beauty, generosity, love of life and devotion to her family and friends.
Gloria, known affectionately as ‘Glo Glo’ for the light and energy she radiated, was born in Toledo, Ohio, July 15, 1927 to Leo and Pearl Dugan. She was an intelligent, vibrant and fun-loving child. She had one younger sibling, James, and was surrounded by many Dugan relatives while growing up. She spent many of her summers at her grandparents’ George and Anna Bokerman’s farm in Napoleon, Ohio, who she was very close to, along with her aunt Doras (Kurtz) and Uncle Lester. She enjoyed being on the farm and learned a great deal from her life there.
Gloria excelled in school, graduating from Ladyfield grammar school in 1939 as Valedictorian with straight A’s. She graduated with honors from Notre Dame Academy high school in 1945 and maintained lifelong friendships with special friends from those years, Rita (Brueshaber) Yates, Margaret Mary (Moran) Stengle, Joanna Cross and Jeanette (Reilly) Dussia until their deaths. She had happy memories of summers in high school at Topinabee in northern Michigan and Putinbay on Lake Erie with her family and friends. She was an expert pianist and vocalist performing recitals and concerts at St. Ursula Academy. Gloria began college life at the University of Toledo in 1946. She was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, the Newman’s Club, and the Business Administration Club volunteering for many community needs through these affiliations. She graduated in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in Education, received certificates for teaching in grade and high schools in Ohio and Michigan, and then taught high school business courses in Wyandotte, Michigan.
Gloria met her greatest sweetheart, Louis Raymond Cook, while bobbing for apples in 1949 at a Newman Club Halloween party. The sparks from that night grew to a steady flame and they wed in 1951 in Toledo. They were graced with 68 years together. Louis was a conductor on the New York Central railroad while completing his engineering degree when they wed. As soon as he graduated, he accepted a position with Douglas Aircraft in California.
Before settling in Santa Ana, the family lived in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Lancaster and Garden Grove. Gloria had lonely days at first in California since Lou was often gone for work and she missed being surrounded by friends and relatives. But as soon as she was able to put roots into a community, she became the center of social activity.
Gloria and Lou were blessed with three children, Teresa Ann, James Allen and Mary Beth to nurture and love. Gloria lost multiple pregnancies, including late term stillborn twins in 1961. She and Lou sadly lost two-day old Ann Marie in 1959 and painfully, their first born, Teresa in 1988.
The family moved to Hathaway Street in Santa Ana in 1963 and developed a large and lasting extended family with children growing up together and sharing holidays, life milestones, joys, sorrows, and deep friendships. Some of her favorite Hathaway events were the 4th of July block party, rotating world cuisine dinner night, Christmas Eve tamales at Carl and Emma Valentines followed by Tom and Jerry drinks at Marilyn and Joe Hewlett’s, Boxing Day at Liz Richell’s and Thanksgiving and Christmas meals with Jane and Joe Barrett. Gloria and Lou always went all out for Halloween, creating the most unique costumes while remembering the night they met. Gloria gave her whole heart to creating loving and memorable holidays for her family and parties for her friends.
Gloria was a loving and caring mother who cooked healthy gourmet meals, kept an immaculate house and excelled as activity manager for the children. She chauffeured them for on time arrivals, helped with homework (often typing lengthy papers), checked spelling and grammar twice, sewed fashionable clothes, took them to cultural events, and instilled in them an appreciation of art, music and good literature. She encouraged her children to excel, supported their dreams, and set a high standard for community involvement. While the children were in school, Gloria was active at Holy Family Church, particularly in the altar society for which she was president. She showered her love through her actions. When the children were in college, she often sent them her ‘blood money’ from donations she made due to her Rh factor. After the children left home in the 1970’s, Gloria enjoyed hosting Japanese students for months at a time, starting with Yoko Hasama. She had great fun learning about their customs and cuisine.
Gloria loved boating and fishing and was the first to pack fishing gear and prepare the boat. Gloria and Lou were active in the Balboa Power Squadron for many years, a national safe boating organization. Gloria was part of the auxiliary, holding many positions including president. Gloria and Lou developed many lasting friendships through the squadron, and had some of their best times participating in their activities. When Lou retired, they traveled widely to visit relatives, friends, and to attend Power Squadron events. A favorite stop was to see Mary and Jim in Copper Center, Alaska.
As a dedicated gardener, Gloria took great pride in her garden, and was a member of the Santa Ana Garden Club in later years. From her first home she created welcoming and every-changing landscapes. Thrilled to have a long California growing season she nurtured fruit trees to roses starting from bare ground at every home.
Breast cancer in 2008 was a setback for Gloria. But after surgery, radiation, much positive thinking and support from her community, she remained cancer free. She never gave up and always found the sunshine around the corner.
Gloria was extremely intelligent, meticulous and had a great memory for detail. She was working on a crossword puzzle the night she had a stroke. She was a financial wizard, reading the Wall Street Journal every morning and following her investments closely. Her stockbroker said that if he wanted a good tip, he called Gloria.
Gloria had a huge, vibrant outward energy. Her smile was ear to ear, her laugh hearty and her wit sharp. She kept up on politics, science and the news, read constantly, giggled at the comics, always had an opinion and could be a force to reckon with in a debate. Gloria was a beautiful woman, she dressed impeccably but more encompassing was how she lived in and created beauty all around her.
Gloria took great pride in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. With her inner strength and immense will, there seemed to be an urgent need for Gloria to reach others with the enormity, power and mystery of the life that was within her. This was her gift of love, a gift that will continue to resonate. Gloria was loved deeply and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Gloria was preceded in death by her husband, Louis Raymond in 2020, daughters Teresa Ann and Anne Marie and her brother Dr. James Dugan. She is survived by son James Allen (Cheryl), daughter Mary Beth (Jim Baker), grandsons Ian (Lauren), Jimmy, Patrick (Samantha), great granddaughters Liliana and Brianna, many nieces and nephews including her Dugan family: Jane Felix, Judy Ellis, John Dugan, Julie Dugan and Jennifer Fisher, and Cooks: Jeanette Smith, Mary Ruth, Don, Joe, Richard and Debra Cook.
Services will be held Tuesday, January 31 at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange. The rosary and viewing will be from 9:00 am-9:45 am and the Funeral mass at 10:00 am, followed by a graveside service at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange at noon and a gathering at Gloria’s home in Santa Ana at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
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