Gloria Sdao Obituary, Death – Gloria “Glo” Mary Sdao, a ray of sunshine in many people’s lives, died on November 18th, at the age of 56, at home in Oakville, Ontario, surrounded by her loving husband Larry and children Heather and Christopher. Gloria was a very gifted and talented woman. She pursued her interests with extraordinary zeal and focus. Those who knew Gloria were often astounded by her involvement in so many activities, wondering if she had more hours in the day than the rest of us! Gloria grew up in a number of small towns in Northwestern Ontario before moving to Thunder Bay for high school and then university.
It didn’t take long for a young Larry to fall in love with Gloria while playing mixed baseball in Thunder Bay one fateful summer. Gloria’s beautiful smile had an uncanny ability to make others feel special. As they finished their university degrees in different cities, their relationship grew stronger through letters and phone calls. During this year of long-distance dating, Larry’s mother, Liza, welcomed Gloria into the Sdao family. Liza’s Thursday night t-bone steak dinners that year laid the groundwork for a relationship that would blossom and become essential to them both. Gloria spent years at Mona’s side learning family recipes, discovering (as Heather pointed out) that one does not have to be born Italian to be Italian. Gloria, on the other hand, had an advantage because she did not speak English until fourth grade.
Gloria and Larry married in 1992 and have been together ever since. Their bond was one of mutual respect and trust. They were inseparably linked at the core, always moving forward as a unit despite obstacles. Heather and Christopher were joyfully raised by Gloria and Larry. Gloria was a fun mother to their children because she was always on the go. Ballet, piano, violin, hockey, basketball, robotics, and swimming were all introduced to Heather and Christopher. At Rattlesnake Golf Course, the family formed a fearsome foursome. Gloria enrolled the kids in everything… even the family goldendoodles, Charlie and Archie, went to classes!
Gloria was influenced positively by teachers who encouraged her to pursue her dream of attending university and becoming a teacher. Gloria earned a BA in Science, a BA in Education, and an MA in Education from Lakehead University in 1989. Gloria was a lively, caring, and engaging educator. She was unwavering in her belief in a student’s ability, devoting hours of tutoring time outside of class to assist them in learning. Gloria believed that sports and extracurricular activities were essential for academic success and personal development. She volunteered to help with these activities whenever she could. Gloria was recently overjoyed to be able to give boxes and boxes of her “treasure trove of teaching” to a young teacher she had mentored. Gloria’s thirty-year teaching career, which ended at Holy Trinity High School, where her children graduated, provided her with a sense of pride and fulfillment.
Teaching also introduced her to five young female teachers who became her closest friends. The Spirit Sisters were Gloria, Liz Quinton, Barbara Anne Ingratta, Maureen Keenan, Maureen McKeough, and Anne Barbetta. As teachers and friends, they shared their love, joy, and sorrow for over thirty years. Gloria saw the world through the lens of a camera, traveling to Ireland, Iceland, and, most recently, Greenland. She felt at ease in nature’s vast expanses and delighted in capturing and sharing her own interpretation of its splendor with friends and family. Gloria graduated from Sheridan College with a certificate in photography. Gloria was the family travel agent, always planning out the next trip, complete with itineraries! She was known for beginning an adventure with “only the best,” a shot of Patrón for those who joined her. Many memorable adventures had occurred over the years, but trips to Grimaldi, Italy to see Larry’s relatives were especially close to her heart… and camera lens.
Gloria was a natural athlete who was passionate about sports. Throughout her life, she excelled in a variety of sports. She began playing hockey in her late forties and quickly rose through the ranks. Gloria, on the other hand, was a soccer player. She rose to prominence as a member of the bronze-medal winning team in the 2009 World Masters in Sydney, Australia, and she competed in the 2013 World Masters in Turin, Italy. Gloria, a devout Roman Catholic, worked as a Eucharistic Minister at Mary Mother of God, the family parish. Gloria had spent many years seeking solace and quiet reflection in the church.
Gloria has been reunited with her Spirit Sisters Anne and Barbara-Ann, as well as her dear friend Caroline, her much-loved mother-in-law Liza, and her much-loved nephew Paradon. Gloria’s soulmate Larry, their children Heather and Christopher, parents Reanne and Felix Mallette, brother Dan Mallette and his wife Candis, and Larry’s siblings and their families are the only ones left to travel in her honor. Gloria’s spirit lives on through Spirit Sisters Lizzie, Keener, and Moe, best friends Teresa Fanelli, Mary Brozic-Hospital, Suzie Bascello, and Rose Van Straalen, and many others she met along the way. Gloria’s family hopes that some of the students she had the privilege of teaching benefited from her efforts and will honor her by assisting another young person.
Her boundless energy and determination will be missed by all. Gloria never looked back; she was always looking forward. Larry, Heather, and Christopher will be eternally grateful to their many friends and neighbors who lavished them with delicious food, beautiful flowers, heartfelt cards, and comforting visits, texts, and phone calls. Your generosity will be remembered. Ron MacLean, thank you for remembering Gloria in such a meaningful way.
A memorial visitation will be held at Glen Oaks Funeral Home, 3164 Ninth Line, Oakville, ON, L6H 7A8. Thursday, November 24, 2022, 4:00-6:00 p.m. From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Food and Friendship will be held. Thunder Bay Memorial Visitation is held at 21 North Court Street in Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7A 4T4. www.sargentandson.com Sargent and Son Funeral Chapel Monday, November 28, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday, November 29th, at 11:00 a.m., Rev. Luigi Filippini officiated at St. Anthony’s R.C. Church in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The family would appreciate donations to www.haltonlearningfoundation.ca or www.prokidsthunderbay.ca in lieu of flowers.