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Gloria Levine

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Gloria S. Levine

1922 - 2010 WEST DOVER, VT Gloria S. Levine died July 2, 2010, of injuries sustained in a car accident. Gloria leaves her husband, Jerry Levine; her son and daughter-in-law, Bari and Linda Levine of Cottonwood Heights, Utah; her son, Michael Levine, and his life partner, Nancy O'Hara of New York City, and her son, David Levine, of Bangkok, Thailand. Additional survivors include numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends all over the United States and Europe.

Born in New York City on April 11, 1922, to Maurice and Sarah Jacobson Siegel, immigrants from Eastern Europe, Gloria was raised in an environment filled with music, art, books and intellectual stimulation, all passions that she continued to pursue throughout her lifetime. Her father, who died while Gloria was a teenager, was a professional musician, and her mother, a college graduate and activist for women's suffrage rights, was a teacher in the NYC public schools, and worked until she was almost 70 years old.

After graduating from high school at age 16, Gloria attended Hunter College in the Bronx. As a young woman, Gloria worked in her extended family's hotel business on Lake Spofford, N.H., where she met her husband-to-be, Jerry. Gloria and Jerry were married in New York City on May 5, 1942. During World War II, while Jerry served in the China-India-Burma Theater as a pilot in the Army Air Corps., Gloria worked in a factory that produced bandages for the war effort period.

Gloria always believed in the value of peace and human rights for all. Despite her ardent support for the war effort and her husband's decorated service, Gloria tirelessly supported the cause for world peace. To that end she took an active role in the Women's Peace Movement and the efforts to ban nuclear weapons during the 1950s and 1960s and beyond. On Aug. 28, 1963, she participated in the National March for Freedom in Washington, D.C., in support of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the quest for equality and civil rights for all citizens.

During her lifetime, Gloria pursued numerous passions. She loved music, art, dance, theater, literature, cooking, travel, and fashion. Her love of cooking and fine food inspired her youngest son, David, to become a professional chef and restaurateur. Her second oldest son, Michael, became an accomplished professional actor, and her eldest son, Bari, spent his career as an educator specializing in language arts and guidance counseling.

Gloria was also an expert seamstress, and for a time fashioned her own and Jerry's entire wardrobes. An avid skier, Gloria and Jerry enjoyed the slopes of nearby Mt. Snow and traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe on ski holidays. Gloria particularly enjoyed skiing activities that were designed and conducted by women exclusively for other women.

In 1989, Gloria and Jerry opened the Hayloft Gallery in West Dover. As the official proprietor and artistic force behind this business, Gloria operated the gallery, often times single handedly, until its closing in 2009. An expert designer and framer, evidence of her artistic eye can be found hanging on the walls of homes and businesses throughout southern Vermont. Besides running her own gallery, Gloria was a supporter and participant of the Vermont Council for the Arts and the annual Art on Mountain show at Haystack.

In the last 15 years of Gloria's life, much of her time and energies were directed toward the care of her husband,Jerry, whose dementia and deteriorating physical health commanded the overwhelming portion of her focus. Gloria was determined to provide the most loving care she could, keeping Jerry at home until it was simply no longer feasible. After Jerry became a resident in the Vermont Veterans' Home in Bennington, Gloria resolutely refused to abandon her desire to provide him with the best quality of life that she could. Gloria traveled from West Dover to Bennington making the 50-mile trip many times each week. By taking Jerry on outings they continued to share their love of concerts, theater, movies and the outdoors. She gave him everything she had to give and more. Despite his worsening condition and growing failure to even recognize her, Gloria continued to care for Jerry in any way she could right until the day she died. As a result of her efforts at the Veterans' Home, Gloria was invited to participate on the Governor's commission on Alzheimer's and related diseases. She was also the inspiration for the Veterans' Home to form support groups for caregivers, which she continually contributed to and conducted.

Gloria loved Vermont and Vermonters. Even though she lived in Vermont for slightly less than 50 years, she still considered herself to be a "real" Vermonter. She always maintained that there was something special about this state and the people who live here.

Gloria believed strongly that the foundation of a democratic society was an educated and well-read populace. Gloria was an ardent supporter of a free public library. She is recognized for her past work as a member of the Dover Library Board. The family suggests that those who wish to do so are encouraged to make a contribution to Friends of Dover Free Library, P.O. Box 267, East Dover, VT 05341.

Gloria's family would like to thank the members of the Vermont State Police, local emergency services and air rescue for their efforts to save her, and the West Dover Police for their compassionate and professional service. Further gratitude is expressed to all the people of the surrounding communities who have offered us an overwhelming outpouring of love and support.

MEMORIAL NOTICE: There will be a Celebration of Gloria's Life at the Dover Town Hall in Dover, VT on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. All are welcome to share in memories of Gloria.

To send the family personal email condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com. The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of COVEY & ALLEN FUNERAL HOME 44 East Main Street Wilmington,VT.



Published in Bennington Banner on July 7, 2010
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