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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Gloria Voorman would agree that she put the spunk into the world around her. She could be a little feisty at times, yet she would go to any lengths when it came to her family and friends. Gloria was completely devoted to her loved ones, and there was nothing that made her more proud than being “Grandma Glo.” She had a special place in her heart for animals, and she worked hard in everything she did. One of Gloria’s favorite places to be was in the kitchen, which was something her family was so thankful for. No matter what came her way, she carried herself with courage, strength, and grace. Gloria will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young men and women were serving in WWII. Those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods such as paper, tin, coffee, and sugar as well as manufacturing that was focused on supporting the war effort. It was amidst this eventful time that Richard and Pauline (Mottor) Menne were eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child as the promise of spring appeared on the horizon in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Their wait was over when the baby girl they named Gloria drew her first breath on March 6, 1943. She was the oldest of four children to be raised in the family home in nearby Richland. Her father supported his family including Gloria’s younger siblings, Jim, David, and Tammy, as the owner of a Marathon gas station on Cork and Sprinkle Road, and he was also a builder. In many ways Gloria was a young girl of her generation. She attended local schools including Richland Rural Agricultural School and played the trumpet in the band.
Life was forever changed for Gloria when she met and then later married Wayne in 1961. Together they were blessed with the births of five children including Terry, Shelly, Todd, Mark, and Dawn. Although they divorced in 1979, Gloria was forever grateful for the children they shared. Gloria married Michael Ewing, Sr. in 1981, and together they had two children, Michael Jr. and Jason. They later divorced as well.
There was never anything that was of greater importance to Gloria than her family. In 2008 she met Duane Voorman, and they were married in 2010. One of the most pronounced ways that Gloria demonstrated love to her family was through her cooking. Her skills in the kitchen were fantastic, and her signature dish, Rumaki, was something she made for every holiday. Gloria took great pride in keeping a neat and tidy home for her family, and since she loved the outdoors her favorite place just might have been her patio. As an animal lover, she always had pets around including a donkey, monkey, birds, fish, and many dogs as well as a cat. Fritz and Ginger were her favorite dogs. Later in life Gloria was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother to 18 grandchildren. Affectionately called Grandma Glo, she was equally thrilled to become a great-grandmother.
Throughout her life Gloria was a woman who knew what she liked. She loved going on car trips and especially loved the sun. Gloria didn’t travel extensively, but she did enjoy trips to Mexico and the Upper Peninsula. She put her cooking skills to good use as a cook at various places in her community including at Bayview, Richland Pub, and Custer’s Cove among others. Gloria liked to read and also made candles.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Gloria Voorman was an extraordinary woman to know and love. She has been called a firecracker who wasn’t afraid to tell it like she saw it, and she had the best sense of humor that always seemed to emerge at the most inopportune times. Whether she was determined or headstrong is up for debate, but Gloria’s unending devotion to her family was easy to see. She will be forever missed.
Gloria Voorman, of Richland, died on June 16, 2015, at her home. Gloria’s family includes her husband, Duane Voorman; children: Todd (Donna) Moorlag, Mark (Dona Lytle) Moorlag, Dawn (Tim) VanBruggen, Michael Jr. Ewing and Jason (Angie Rial) Ewing; siblings: Jim, David, and Tammy; 18 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews. Gloria was preceded in death by her parents and children, Terry Moorlag, Shelly Samson. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Saturday, June 20 from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A private family memorial will take place at a later date. Memorial donations can be made to The SPCA of Southwest Michigan.