Gloria Lee Walkowiak (nee Wittig) was born on August 12, 1936 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Ralph and Bernice Wittig. She passed away on June 2, 2022, age 85, at home surrounded by her loving family.
Gloria is survived by her devoted husband of 61 years, Jim Walkowiak; her children, Linda (Tony Mass), Kari (Bob Berg), Amy (Curtis Newborn) and Jodi ( Dan Gac); grandchildren Allison (Mike Cahill), Sarah (Eric Levin), Jack Williams (finance Nichola), Kelsey Beschta (Alex Denklau), Andrew Mass (Taylor Hagerdorn), Morgan Beschta, Dominic Gac and Casey Berg; great grandchildren, Nolan Molendi and Bauer Levin, her brother and sister in law, Gary and Susan Wittig, as well as nieces and nephews, Glenn (Ann) Stockero, Ken Stockero, Kathy (Tony Janca), Theresa (Eric Machado), Marcus (Jesilyn) Wittig, Laurie (John Pulzato), Greg Gill, Becky Moushon and Kris (Jeff Kamtz).
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Bernice Wittig, her sister Mary Jeanne Stockero, father-in-law, Harry Walkowiak , mother-in-law Helen Walkowiak sister-in-law Joanne Khory, brother-in -laws, Pete Gill and Gerald Walkowiak, and niece Erin (Wittig) Amthor.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Marquette University in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy. She successfully balanced working full time while raising her growing family. In her later years, she studied for 2 years and graduated in the Called and Gifted program.
Jim and Gloria’s 63-year love story started at the Plankington Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gloria worked as a cashier in the hotel gift shop and Jim noticed her while he worked as the hotel maintenance engineer. They were married on April 22, 1961 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Soon after, Jim got a job at Honeywell in Appleton, Wisconsin where Jim and Gloria raised 3 children. Jim moved his family to Peoria, Illinois where they welcomed their fourth daughter. Two years later, they moved to Mount Prospect, Illinois where they resided ever since.
Gloria was a woman of great faith and became very involved in her parish, St. Raymond’s Church in Mt. Prospect. The many groups in which she participated include: Catholic Family Movement, Ministry of Care, Respite Care, Funeral Sacristan and Eucharist Minister for over 30 years at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. She and Jim were also very active in Cursillo, Christ Renews His Parish, Chicago Marriage Encounter and Engaged Encounter. Jim and Gloria were also foster parents and hosted AFS students throughout the years while staying involved with their kid’s school activities.
Some of her favorite hobbies included power boating with the Skokie Valley Power Squadron, spending every summer weekend on their boat “Monday’s Best”, racquetball, traveling across Europe with friends, coaching junior high cross country and track and watching the Chicago Bulls play. She also loved taking vacation trips with her family and enjoyed talking on the CB radio using her “handle”: “the bell ringer”. Most of all, her favorite hobby was being a cheerleader and chauffeur to her children’s and grandchildren’s many activities.
Visitation will be held on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 9:30 am followed by the funeral mass at 10:30 am at St. Raymond’s church, 301 South I Oka Avenue in Mt. Prospect.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Food for the Poor at foodforthepoor.org or Angels in Action at Rev. Medard Laz, 3015 N. Ocean Blvd. 18-H, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308.