Edythe Gloria Coffman (known as Gloria), 87, of South Orleans, MA passed away peacefully on Monday, August 20, 2012 with her loving husband by her side. She was born in Teaneck, New Jersey on January 16, 1925 to John T. and Madeline (MacGregor) Stalker. Gloria was a talented artist and an excellent student. She was a member of the National Honor Society and was chosen, as a junior, Rose Queen and led the Teaneck High School senior class into their graduation ceremonies. Gloria went on to study International Relations at Virginia Intermont College where she graduated with honors. She married Donald R. Coffman of West Englewood, New Jersey on October 14, 1944 at Christ Church. While Donald was serving in the Navy during WWII, Gloria worked in Manhattan as an illustrator for the world-renowned management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Upon her husband's safe return from the Navy and his new job at General Electric, they moved to Syracuse, NY and raised four children. Gloria found several outlets for her creative talents. She took art classes at Syracuse University and other area colleges, won several awards for her cooking and baking skills, was an exceptional seamstress making most of her own clothes and was called upon to help create sets for local theatrical events. She also loved to garden and filled her yards with spectacular beauty. In 1964 she settled in the Syracuse suburb of Fayetteville, NY and was a communicant of Trinity Episcopal Church where she made life-long friendships. An Episcopalian her entire life, in 1970 Gloria was hired as the first Research Librarian for Books and Film at the United Methodist Church Media Resource Center in Syracuse. She built this new library from the ground up and under her diligent care and self-guidance hundreds of churches in the Upper New York area took advantage of these new resources during her 18-year tenure. She was then hired by Cokesbury Corporation to open and manage their first ecumenical retail operation next door to the Resource Center. She managed the Cokesbury Book Store until her retirement in 1985. Gloria always held a love for the sea and began vacationing in East Orleans on Cape Cod in 1964. It was 1985 when her dream of living on the Cape was realized as she and her husband retired to South Orleans. She returned to her art with vigor and soon was a member of the Orleans Art Association and the Nauset Painters. For twenty years she spent her summers showing and selling her Cape landscapes to local collectors and Cape vacationers and won several awards along the way. Shortly after moving to the Cape her husband purchased a 19ft Precision sailboat and Gloria found much enjoyment and inspiration out on the waters of Pleasant Bay crewing their "True Love. As a member of the Orleans Yacht Club and Nauset Newcomers she enjoyed being with old and making new friends at their many festivities, and loved playing tennis with her best friend on the courts of Orleans. On larger waters Gloria loved to cruise. Her most memorable was aboard the Golden Odyssey where she sailed with her husband through the Caribbean Islands. Her Scottish heritage drew her and Don to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Scotland, renewing their vows in an old Scottish churchyard and visiting her family landmark, Stalker Castle. Gloria was most known for her compassion and abiding faith. Her deep desire to help others was evident through her actions and kind words, warm smile and strong commitment to her church. She was an active member of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans, MA and is a past President of the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) there. She enjoyed the Cape life and her home in South Orleans until September of 2011 when, due to her illness, she and her husband moved to Epoch of Brewster. Gloria is survived by her husband of 67 years, Donald R. Coffman of Brewster, MA, her three sons Richard of Zhangjakounan, China, Douglas of New York City, NY, Robert of Dracut, MA, one daughter, Christine and her husband James H. Sullivan of Palm Coast, FL and one grand daughter, Madeline Sullivan of Gainesville, FL. A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM September 8, 2012 at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans, MA. Donations can be made in Glorias memory to the Church of the Holy Spirit, 204 Monument Road, Orleans, MA 02653.
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Published in The Cape Codder from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3, 2012