Such an enormous hole left by a little lady
It is perhaps an anomaly of physics that Gloria Darlene Edwards, so petite of build, loomed so large in the lives of so many. But she did. That tiny woman was a titan and her death has left an equivalent void.
Gloria died Christmas Day in the town of her birth, Litchfield Illinois. Between, she enjoyed a wonderous, circuitous 80-year journey that brought her much delight and satisfaction.
Little Glo was born June 19, 1941, to Mary Ellen Knaggs and Delmo Ferrari. Skinny with a head full of wild, willful hair, she was bright, curious, funny and from an early age, nurturing and kind. The first born, she was soon (and not-so-soon) followed by two brothers and two sisters — Edward (Bud), Vickie, Linda and eventually Randy — on whom she shined much light, humor and love.
Glo lifeguarded, grew skilled at art, worked at Yate’s Bakery and The Dairy Queen and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1959. Her Senior-year LiCoHi photo reveals a confident smile, frisky twinkle and rarified beauty. She moved for a short time to California, then down to Collinsville, became a “stewardess” and fell for her lifemate, Walter (Mannie) Edwards. She got engaged, married and pregnant (the order hardly matters), left the airlines and moved with Mannie to Colorado. At just 98 lbs., Glo was advised by her obstetrician to drink a beer a day before giving birth to son, Gregory. Which explains a lot … for both of them.
Mannie’s jobs took them to Idaho, then Indiana, where Glo found great joy in the birth of daughter, Andra. The family then moved to Massachusetts, Ohio and finally Connecticut, where Gloria was a Brownie troop-leader, cheerleading coach, booster club backer, bookkeeper and — before retirement and a mild stroke brought her back to Southern Illinois — the proud owner of a women’s clothing store where she styled a giddy gaggle of moms who coveted Glo’s kinship. Throughout, she colored and cajoled, rooted and rallied, humored and harangued, enriched and empowered, impacted and otherwise improved the lives of nearly every person she met. She was a talented listener and trusted advisor. She was funny and brilliant, gifted and sublime.
Now, if only that little lady was here to help us all get over the giant loss of her.
Sadly, Glo was predeceased by her parents, sister Linda and brother Bud. She is survived by her husband, Mannie, and children, Greg and Andra; brother Bud’s wife, Nancy, their children and grandchildren; sister Vickie Ronen and her husband, Daniel, their children and grandchildren; brother Randy and his wife, Suzanne, and their child, who, thanks to Glo’s wheedling likely began wearing a bra years before it was required.
Services to celebrate tiny Gloria’s mammoth impact on our lives will be Friday, January 7th 2022 at Plummer Funeral Home, 404 E. Union Ave., Litchfield. Visitation will begin at 10am with an hour of remembrance, a funeral service will follow, and then a private burial in Hillsboro.
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