Gloria Frances Strong (1934-2022) was named Gloria as she was born on Christmas eve, 1934. All of her life, she loved Christmas, its’ spiritual message and the celebrations with family and friends. Growing up in Montreal with her sisters, Diana and Glenda, she overcame challenging circumstances, including the impact on her family of the Depression and the Second World War. Gloria was well-served by her confidence, perseverance, and natural intelligence, becoming an accomplished and bilingual career woman in her 20’s. At 25, she married her life partner, the late Edward Wilkinson Strong, with whom she celebrated their 60th anniversary on June 29, 2020, shortly before Ed’s death.
Gloria lived on the North Shore for over 50 years, forming many lifelong friendships. After her children, Gregory, Lorna, and Derek entered university, she returned to work, first as an accountant for Hollyburn Properties, and then as a branch manager for Shaw Cable, retiring with Edward in 1998. Throughout their marriage, they enjoyed entertaining, cycling, travel to Hawaii, Europe, and the Caribbean, and giving back to the community through volunteering, with Tourism Vancouver, Highlands United Church, and many other community organisations. Gloria was always Involved and active, with a project on the go; she loved talking to people, held animated conversations, hosted amazing dinner parties, organised day trips with friends, and lent a hand wherever needed. Fashionable, lively, and fun, she was also exacting, a perfectionist.
Gloria took great pride in her children and grandchildren and became a doting grandmother to Gabrielle, Pascale, Wesley, Nolan, and Jessica, teaching them baking, multiplication tables and card games, supporting their sports and activities, and taking them on expeditions around Vancouver. She shared her wisdom, wit and humour with them always. As they grew up, “Nana” actively followed their lives and careers.
Diagnosed with a number of health issues in her mid 80’s, she was undeterred, supporting her husband Ed until his death in 2020, and during all this, still had time to be a loving mother, grandmother, and friend. Through love and determination, although suffering greatly, Gloria celebrated her 88th birthday with a family dinner and then a last Christmas Day at her son’s home.
She will be greatly missed by her family, and her many friends, and all whose lives she touched. She is survived by her children and grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Highlands United Church, North Vancouver, in early March, scheduled at a later date to allow family members from abroad to attend.