Gloria J. McDougall|
Gloria Jean McDougall, our incredible wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and aunt, passed away February 2 after a brief illness. She leaves behind a family that is heart-broken and shaken, but also comforted by the memories they have of her and the knowledge they'll see her again.
It's never easy to sum up the years a loved one spends on Earth. The reasons we loved them could fill a novel. In this small space we can only convey what we think is Gloria's most important legacy - she took care of us.
As a wife, she doled out the kind of love and attention any man would be lucky to receive. Her first marriage to Kelly Nelson gave her the gift of two sons, Levi Trapper (Tiffany) and Bridger Kyle. She later married the love of her life, Kenneth Cary McDougall III. For the past two decades she was his constant companion. She laughed with him. She cried with him. She had fun with him. Whether sitting on the couch watching a movie, or spending quality time in the great outdoors, she was by his side.
As a mother, she gave Levi and Bridger the kind of unconditional love and support mothers are supposed to provide, but also achieved the delicate and sought-after balance of being a friend to them as well.
As a grandmother, she managed to cram decades worth of love and memories into eight short years of caring for three beautiful grandchildren, Olivia, Krew, and Daxx. In the last years of her life, she spent most of her free time with them. Her home became a playground they never wanted to leave. She spoiled them and gave them free reign - so much so that they grew used to telling everyone, "there are no rules at Momma G's house!"
As a daughter, she helped see her mom and dad, Elline Rugg McKee and Clyde "Ace" McKee, through the joys, pains, and uncertainties of growing old. Through stress and turmoil she didn't hesitate to lend her late father support in his times of need. Through heartache and frustration at watching her mother become frail and weak, she tackled the role of care giver.
As a sister, she was a best friend and confidante. She grieved when her brother, Duane, left the world far too soon. But she carried on with her sister, Shirline (Marvin), close by her side. Although the two led different lives, they were never far from each other. With their homes only being a mile apart, their families naturally blended. They talked nearly every day and helped each other navigate the complex paths life takes us all on.
As an aunt, she was the kind of surrogate mother nieces and nephews can only dream of. Hers was a house of escape. The rules there were limited. The fun was unparalleled. Summers were the stuff of childhood fantasies. Day after day was spent outside in the sun. It didn't matter whether she took them to a fancy water park or her own backyard. They soaked up the love and memories she gave them.
Her instinct to care for others wasn't just confined to family. She had countless friends who always knew they'd have a good time hanging out with Gloria. She was the "cool mom" to the classmates, teammates, acquaintances and best friends who grew up with her children. Her Kool-Aid was renowned with neighborhood kids and many of them kept asking for it well into adulthood. Her first grandchild coined the name "Momma G." It's a name that stuck and it became the name of choice for all those who found the welcome mat rolled out at her home.
Gloria was the kind of person who quickly made others realize what life was about - the love of family. It was her priority. She would do anything for her family (a family that included six awesome canine companions - Bassel, Bomber, Odie, Monte, Gunner, and Odis). She always made sure there was a clean home and a warm meal waiting for family. She was happiest, she laughed hardest, she wore the biggest smile - all while in the company of family. More importantly, those around her couldn't help but share in the contagious joy. She was beautiful. She was funny. She was loving. She was quirky. She had a zest for life that could only be understood by being around her.
We all have a birth date. We will all die one day. That fact is often reflected in two dates separated by a dash. For Gloria Jean McDougall, that information reads October 6th, 1956 - February 2, 2013. That small dash may seem insignificant. But it's really the most important part of who we are. It's how we lived our life. It's how we spent the time between birth and death. How did Gloria spend her dash? She spent it loving us and caring for us. We know she spent it well.
Please join us in a celebration of Gloria's Life. Saturday, February 16, 2013, 5-10 P.M. at The Hampton Inn and Suites Salt Lake City-Airport 307 North Admiral Byrd Road Salt Lake City Utah 84116.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Feb. 10, 2013