Gloria Ann (Duffy) Raesly, age 85, of Faribault, MN, passed away peacefully on November 29, 2022, following an extended illness.
Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 139 Mercy Drive, Faribault. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the church. Burial will be at Pleasant View Cemetery in Carthage, SD.
Gloria was born on July 5, 1937, in Volga, SD, to Joseph William Duffy and Jessie (Gilbertson) Duffy from Oldham, SD. (Exactly on her 70th birthday, Gloria returned with friends to the building which had formerly housed the Volga Hospital, and had her picture taken on the 2nd floor beside the delivery room where she had been born.)
Gloria attended Oldham Public School and graduated as Valedictorian. In her 8th grade, she won the Kingsbury County spelling exams and represented her county at the Tribune Spelling Contest in Minneapolis. She attended her freshman year of college at the University of South Dakota – Vermillion and was selected to Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshman Honor Society). She belonged to Alpha Phi sorority. She completed her sophomore year at Mount Marty Catholic Women’s College in Yankton, SD and received her 2-year teaching certificate. Her student teaching was in 6th grade at Yankton. She then taught grades 7 and 8 in Estelline, SD. She eventually returned to USD and graduated with honors with a B.S. in Business Administration in June, 1960. She was named to Beta Gamma Sigma (National Honorary for Business graduates).
In June, 1960, she married Robert Evon Raesly at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Oldham, SD. She then began work as Private Secretary to the Dean of Women at the University of South Dakota, until her husband graduated from the University. They then moved to Owatonna, MN. Gloria served as President of Welcome Wagon groups in Owatonna and later in Faribault. She served as President of Jefferson P.T.A.; and was Vice Pres. of AAUW, and FHS Band Parents Co-Pres.
She taught at Horstman Memorial Nursery School in Faribault for 24 years (even taught 2nd generation students there). She served the last 14 of those years as Director/Head Teacher, and she cherished her associations with school families from Faribault and surrounding communities. She taught about 2,000 preschool children over the years. She corresponded with numerous former students for over 30 years, acknowledging high school and college graduations, engagements, marriages, and births of their children.
Gloria served briefly in the Guardian Ad Litem program. She was selected to Delta Kappa Gamma (for outstanding educators). Gloria was honored as a Faribault “Unsung Hero” by the Faribault Daily News in 2006. While her health permitted, she volunteered in many areas: Clothes Closet for 21 years; Faribault Area Senior Center; St. Vincent de Paul Center; Divine Mercy Catholic Church (cleaned church, sub-collection counter; served for funeral lunches), and delivered Meals on Wheels.
Gloria had a passion for playing tennis, playing and teaching Bridge, and reading novels. She liked to watch basketball: the MN Lynx and ladies’ and men’s Gopher basketball. She followed the MN Vikings with interest.
She is survived by her husband, Bob, of 62 years; daughters, Robin (Tuey) Wilson of Faribault and Anne (Todd) Higbie of Colfax, WI; grandchildren, Jeremy (Jenna) Wilson of Lakeville, MN, and their children (great grandsons) Evan and Oliver Wilson; Molly and Emily Wilson of Faribault; her sister, Lorraine (Wynn) Gunderson of Rapid City, SD and Scottsdale, AZ; and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Jessie.