Gloria Cassity Stargel, 83, of Gainesville passed away Saturday, March 2 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. She was born in Decatur, Ga., and lived a few years in Fitzgerald, Ga., before moving to Gainesville.
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Gloria was a graduate of Gainesville High School, and attended Brenau University for one year before marrying her childhood sweetheart, Joseph H. Stargel Jr. They lived in California for a short time while he was serving in the Marine Corps, and then returned to Gainesville to raise their family. She returned to Brenau 27 years later, and graduated Summa cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Journalism. While a student, she was inducted into Phi Beta Sigma Honor Society and in 2002, Brenau presented her the Alumnae Professional Achievement Award. In 2003, she was inducted into the Brenau University Alumni of Fame.
Her passion was her family, but running a close second was Christian/Inspirational writing, and as an author has appeared on numerous radio and television programs throughout the United States and Canada. Newspapers have carried many feature articles about her work. Her award-winning articles have been published in dozens of nationally-distributed periodicals, including Guideposts Magazine, with a circulation of close to 4 million; Journal Of Christian Nursing; Home Life; Guideposts For Teens; Christian Reader; and Decision, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
She was a contributing author to 35 compilations of true stories including a No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, "Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul." Other series include "God's Way," "Stories for the Heart," "God Allows U-turns" and Guideposts/Ideals Books.
Gloria became associated with Guideposts in 1990, when her manuscript "The Foreclosure" earned her an invitation to attend the much-coveted, all-expense-paid Guideposts' workshop in Rye, N.Y. Her manuscript was one of the 15 selected from over 4,500 entries. Since then, new manuscripts have earned her choice spots at several miniworkshops in GUIDEPOSTS' New York offices, as well as in Seattle, Richmond, Asheville, Washington, D. C., and New Orleans. She became a regular contributor to the magazine.
She also has had two of her own books published, "The Healing," published in 1982 and republished in 2000, and "My Anchor Holds, The Difference Jesus Makes," published in 2008.
The Northeast Georgia Writers Club named Gloria "Writer of the Year" in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1991, 1993, 2001 and 2004. Tyndale House featured Gloria in 1983, as one of their authors at the Christian Booksellers Association Convention in Washington, D.C. She is included in Who's Who In American Christian Leadership.
A dedicated church volunteer, she has served at Lakewood Baptist Church as Primary Department Superintendent, Sunbeam Band Director, Women's Missionary Society President and Women's Missionary Union Director. She also worked for many years with Lakewood's Greeting Ministry and Library Ministry.
An active member of the community as well, Gloria served eight years on the Board of Directors of the Hall County Unit of the American Cancer Society.
In addition to her writing, Gloria has spoken to a variety of audiences -- from churches to civic clubs, from schools to writing workshops. For recreation, she enjoyed reading, aerobics and live theater.
Professional affiliations included member and past president of Northeast Georgia Writers Club; past president of Mu Rho Sigma Sorority for married women college students; life member and past president of local chapter of Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority; member of Progressive Arts Study Club; and of National League of American Pen Women, Atlanta branch.
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents, Woodie Grady Cassity and Mae Bell Thompson Cassity; and her brothers, Woodie Grady Cassity Jr., Randall Quillian Cassity and Oscar Thompson Cassity.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years (as of Valentine's Day), Joseph H. Stargel Jr., a former mayor of Gainesville and Lieutenant Colonel, Retired, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Also surviving, are her sons Joseph Randall Stargel, Atlanta; and Richard Cassity Stargel Sr. and his wife, Lisa of Sapphire Valley, N.C.; and their son, Richard Cassity Stargel Jr., Marietta. In addition she is survived by her sister, Margaret Cassity Culberson, Dalton; and a number of nieces; and nephews; and other relatives
"The skies now are brilliant, the sunsets - Transcendent. The Great Master Painter dips his brush And with giant strokes illumines the Universe. The oranges and blues blend into soft, Soft shades of purple - Ever changing in their kaleidoscope of colors - Mirroring in the water until the lake. Itself is orange glass. And mirroring to this renewed soul that Beauty - and Hope - still abide." Gloria Stargel After Winter, Spring
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at Lakewood Baptist Church. Dr. Jerry Gill and the Rev. Don Ormsbee will officiate. Interment will follow in Alta Vista Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Little & Davenport Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, from 6-8 p.m.
Mrs. Stargel will lie in state at Lakewood Baptist Church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour.
Flowers will be accepted but those desiring may make memorial contributions to the
Those wishing to make online condolences may do so at www.littledavenport.com.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home 355 Dawsonville Hwy, Gainesville, GA ,is in charge of arrangements.
Little and Davenport, Gainesville
Little-Davenport Funeral Home
355 Dawsonville Highway Southwest Gainesville, GA 30501
Published in gainesvilletimes.com on Mar. 5, 2013