Gloria Beatrice Laird
May 20, 1928 – March 13, 2019
LAIRD, Gloria Beatrice (Sculti), formerly of Saugerties NY and Orlando FL, passed away at the age of 90 in Colorado Springs on March 13, 2019.
Gloria was born on May 20, 1928 in New York to Leon & Margaret Sculti (Russo). Gloria was the 2nd child of a large Italian family with older sister Eleanor, and younger siblings Margaret, Rita, Lee, Virginia, Bill, and Kate. Meal time was family time as Mom (Margaret) cooked everything from scratch while Pops (Leon) had everyone laughing and enjoying life.
Leon was an orphan from Frosinone, Italy, who came to America and lived the American dream. Leon always appreciated the opportunities provided to a person like himself who had nothing when he came to this country. He had to hustle during the depression to feed his growing family and eventually start his own successful construction business. He imbued all of his children with a love for the opportunity that America provided, while Margaret made sure all her children had a “love of learning”.
Gloria attended high school at Our Lady of Wisdom Academy in New York City where she won the sewing award and French Medal and was constantly attempting to teach her siblings French. She also attended St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Brooklyn where she graduated as a Registered Nurse (RN). Gloria married John (Jack) A. Laird III, an electrical engineer, on June 7, 1952 in New York and subsequently had 4 children – Robert (Bob), John (Mike), Maureen, and William (Bill). The growing family lived in Tulsa Oklahoma, Kingston NY, and Saugerties NY. Gloria worked as a registered nurse at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, NY for over 25 years. She served various roles including being a supervisor in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Coronary Care Unit (CCU). She took care of a countless numbers of patients over the years as a nurse.
After her husband Jack passed away in 1987, Gloria retired to Orlando, Florida to be with her nursing friends from St. Mary's, including her dear friends Ed and Natalie Brandsema. The nurses hosted an annual reunion of the “Bad Apples” as the supervising nun at St. Mary's determined the nurses in training were just a bunch of bad apples!
In Orlando, Gloria volunteered as a nurse in a free healthcare clinic for those in need who could not afford traditional healthcare. On her own time, she studied and learned conversational Spanish to interact with patients as many spoke no English. The clinic was sponsored by the Holy Family Catholic Church. She also volunteered at the Orlando airport information desk for many years, and did volunteer nursing at Sand Lake hospital. On a more personal level, Gloria enjoyed line dancing and music while enjoying an active life while retired.
In her later years, Gloria moved to Colorado Springs, CO to be near family. Gloria is survived by Robert and wife Amy, John and wife Christa, Maureen, William and wife Massami as well as grandsons Kenneth, Thomas, and Jack.
A graveside service will be held for friends and family at St. Mary's Cemetery in Saugerties, NY in early April. In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Gloria Beatrice Laird
March 18, 2019
Memories of my dear Aunt Gloria and her family generally involve a trip that began and ended in 2 day drive in a car with 6 kids, from our home in St. Louis to visit my mom’s family (Gloria’s sister Eleanor) that dispersed from Queens, or my dad’s family that dispersed from the Bronx.
Saugerties was a regular stop, and some of us even stayed over with our Laird cousins from time to time.
Those visits, and others where our families would meet at another relative’s house, somewhere else on Long Island, or at the beach, made it very clear that Aunt Gloria meant business. And that she liked music.
With four kids of your own you might not be eager to say yes to a few more in the summer. Aunt Gloria was always welcoming, and it was meant with all sincerity.
Gloria made it her work to help others throughout her life. I can say now, as Gloria’s nephew for over 50 years, that Gloria shared this trait with all of her remarkable sisters.
I was amused to read about Gloria winning a medal for sewing. As a kid I remember she could remove a splinter from a finger or an eyelash from an eye with no trouble at all. She was the “go to” aunt for an injured visitor. I’m sure the skills she learned with needle and thread made her well suited to administer such tasks with calm precision.
We will remember Gloria as a strong, intelligent, generous person who would happily dance with you at a back yard wedding.
March 18, 2019
Mom, we love and miss you so much. You will forever be in our hearts. Here is a classic photo from 1985 in our living room at the house in Saugerties.
No doubt we all needed glasses. ;-)