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TERWILLIGER GLORIA TERWILLIGER Dr. Gloria Helen Terwilliger, scholar, teacher, musician, inspiring mother and respected leader passed away on November 3, 2013 at the age of 86 in San Diego, CA. Born in Springfield, MA on September 30 1927 to Italian immigrant parents Guido and Alfea Pasquini, she is survived by her daughter Connie Terwilliger (San Diego, CA), her son Eric Terwilliger (Munich, Germany), grandchildren Daniel and Elena Terwilliger (Munich, Germany), and nephews Armando and Marcos Pasquini (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico). In addition to amazing strength of character and the ability to rise above obstacles, she had two main passions: music and education. Both of which were passed on to her children. She also instilled a firm belief in her children that they could succeed in any endeavor. Her lifelong love of music began as a child playing piano and organ and ultimately became her single passion after retiring from a long career in education. After graduating from Smith College (BA), she entered music school at Indiana University where she married Bill Terwilliger (deceased). Gloria received her Masters degree in Music History and began to travel from coast to coast as the wife of a Marine officer. She played church organ and weddings and taught piano lessons. Her children growing, she returned to school getting her Masters in Library Science at Catholic University of America, working in the library at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg VA. Her passion for education took her back to school where she received her EdD from the University of Maryland and she began a long and much respected career as the Director of Learning Resources at Northern Virginia Community College (Alexandria, VA), 1969-1992. While at NOVA, she embraced new technologies and helped move the school into the computer age. Her expertise in this area took her around the country and the world consulting for educational institutions as far away as Kuwait. She received national honors and awards for leadership in the field of instructional support services. She traveled frequently to San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico where her brother Armand (deceased) had retired and married, becoming much more than an aunt to his two boys. Other trips took her to Peru, Wales and in one of her fondest memories - 6 weeks in India on a Fulbright Scholarship. Music was always a part of her life and she continued to play the organ in churches, teach and play the piano, adding the harpsichord to her skill set, and ultimately the cello. It was clear from an early age that her son, Eric Terwilliger had inherited her love of music when she played the organ for his first public appearance as a trumpeter at the age of ten in the base chapel in Quantico, VA. She continued to accompany Eric as his musical skills developed (now playing the Horn) including traveling to the International Music Competition in Geneva, Switzerland in 1976 where they won the silver medal. Eric is currently principal horn with the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio in Munich Germany (the official orchestra of the Bayerischer Rundfunk). After retiring from NOVA in 1994, she moved back to the northeast to be closer to her roots and some long time college friends. Settling in Hudson New York, Gloria immediately immersed herself in the community, continuing to teach piano, organizing and playing string quartets, and adding the title of musical director for local productions to her long resume. She was instrumental in organizing the music for several of the early Hudson Winter Walks, with a Rolodex full of the musicians within driving distance of Hudson. She created sing-alongs that were held at the Hudson Opera House and at Senior Centers in the area. Occasionally, Gloria would play piano bar for tips that went directly to the Hudson Library. She organized the board for the Pleshakov Center on Warren Street. Gloria will be long remembered in Hudson and Columbia County for her energy, her dedication to the arts and her parties. She moved to San Diego in 2009 to be closer to her daughter Connie Terwilliger, who is a voice actor working out of her professional home studio. As word of her passing begins to reach her many friends across the country, it is clear that she touched many people (and in fact changed people's lives) with her wisdom, good humor and passion for music and education. A memorial will be held on May 19, 2014 in Hudson, New York. Donations in memory of Gloria Terwilliger can be made to the Hudson Opera House - (518) 822-1438 http://www.hudsonoperahouse.org/ support.htmlsupport.html
Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 12, 2013