Gloria Jane McNutt (1926 - 2015)

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  • "Gloria and my mom, Susie have been close friends since San..."
    - Mary Pendleton
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    - Bonnie Ward
  • "Terry, sad to read this. Your mother was always cheerful..."
    - Debbie Renney
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    - Jacki R. Barden
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Alaska pioneer Gloria Jane McNutt, 89, died on July 29, 2015 in Anchorage.
She was born in San Antonio on July 23, 1926. Upon graduation from high school and Business College during World War II, she worked for the government at the War Assets Administration at Kelly Field, Texas. After the war, she worked for Slick Cargo Airlines in San Antonio where she met a handsome young pilot. Her future husband Ray had come down from Alaska to get a commercial flying license. After a long-distance courtship, they married May 12, 1952 in Texas.
Gloria moved to Alaska in July of 1952. A city girl coming to the Alaska wilds was quite an adjustment and arriving in the remote Alaska Territory was not love at first sight. Gloria and Ray homesteaded at Naptowne (now Sterling) on the Kenai Peninsula twice. As a pilot, Ray was often away from home for long stretches, leaving Gloria to independently manage remote cabin living. She learned to save water to prime the pitcher pump of their hand-dug well so she could wash diapers. She later said the first year homesteading was "at first frustrating then interesting, finding out you could do things on your own." She lamented that she "never did make a good loaf of bread" at their first cabin with fireweed growing through cracks in the floor.
Gloria worked at Wildwood Air Force Station and then the Sterling Post Office starting in April 1958. Named Postmaster in July 1958, she retired in 1988. After retirement, she worked with Ray at their hunting business at Chisana, in the heart of the Wrangell Mountains. Gloria was a voracious reader, and during winters in Anchorage, she volunteered at the Literacy Association and Loussac Library. She also donated time supporting the Salvation Army and Providence Extended Care gift shop. Her strong Christian faith was a shining light to many people throughout her life.
She was preceded in death by husband Ray McNutt and son David Wayne. She is survived by daughter Terry Stone and husband Roger, grandson Jason Stone and wife Jennifer, granddaughter Nicole San Diego and husband Rex, great-grandchildren Josaphine, Jillian, Branson, Kalina, Selia, Serenity and Samuel.
She will be interred at Chisana this fall next to her beloved husband of 53 years.
Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Aug. 8, 2015
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