GLORIA M. GIRARDI
March 24, 1922 - February 25, 2013
Died Monday after a long and painful illness, in Springfield, VA, in the bedroom of the home bought new with her husband, the late Sam H. Girardi, in 1956. She was one month shy of her 91st. birthday. Gloria lived a long, eventful life, spanning the American Century from Prohibition through the Obama era. She raised four children in difficult circumstances in a variety of undercover postings for the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s and "60s-including Vienna, Austria, Athens, Greece and Paris, France. She was the last survivor of eight siblings from an old Washington family; among her antecedents were to be found several of the original English Catholic settlers of Maryland, those refugees of conscience who arrived on these shores on the Arc of London and Dove in 1634. She was tough, resourceful, eccentric, talented and ambitious, though often thwarted by the circumstances of the age: She learned to fly during World War II, gaining her pilot's license months too late to join the WASPS; she attended the Corcoran School of Art but later confined her artistic abilities to sewing, embroidery and the painting of Christmas scenes on the windows of various residences both here and in Europe. Her opinions and conversation, by turns outrageous, insightful, critical, annoying, supportive, were always interesting and sometimes controversial. She sacrificed herself for the welfare of her beloved husband and children and will be sorely missed by family and friends and many others whose lives she touched, from the cashiers at the Giant to the caregivers of her final hours. She is survived by four children and nine grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be held Saturday, March 2 at Noon at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church on MacArthur Blvd. in Washington DC, immediately followed by a light luncheon in the church hall