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Gloria Theresa (Simone) Boland, mother of nine, grandmother of 26, great grandmother of 48 and great great grandmother of seven, died on January 28, 2022 at age 97. A native Washingtonian, she was a former resident of Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, MD.
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Southeast near the Marine Barracks, Gloria was the 5th of 6 children born to Dominic and Nellie (Palma) Simone, immigrants from Southern Italy. Growing up she developed a sense of selflessness, humor and kindness that remained with her throughout her life. She recalled when Washington was a small town. “President Roosevelt was driven by our house many times in an open-top car, waving on his way to the waterfront. Mrs. Roosevelt invited the high school senior girls to the annual tea at the White House and spoke to each of us.”
Gloria attended St. Peter’s Catholic school on Capitol Hill, was a 1940 graduate of St. Cecilia’s Academy on East Capitol Street, and completed two years of nursing at Catholic University of America and Providence Hospital.
On May 5, 1943 Gloria married John W. Boland, a family friend and Gonzaga High graduate who served in WWII. They remained in Southeast as members of St. Francis Xavier parish. Gloria worked part-time in the Tactical Electronic Warfare Division at the Naval Research Laboratory after their youngest child entered school. She and John were career civil servants at NRL. Upon her retirement in 1987 they relocated to Annapolis, MD and joined St. Mary’s Parish.
Besides parish activities, Gloria was a long time community volunteer beginning with DC Meals on Wheels. She joined Anne Arundel Medical Center Auxiliary Volunteers working in the hospital gift shop and the Clothes Box where she was honored for 3,000 hours of service. She enjoyed time with grandchildren, took classes at Anne Arundel Community College, was an avid crossword puzzler, and a friendly but fierce scrabble player (often winning on her final play with a twinkle in her eye!).
In 2002 Gloria moved to Charlestown following John’s death at age 78. Her spiritual practice was very important to her, so with Our Lady of the Angels Chapel on campus, the Little Sisters of the Poor a neighbor, and Our Lady of Victory parish nearby, Gloria was very happy. She enjoyed her daily campus walk to Mass, interacting with staff and residents along the way. She immersed herself in new volunteer opportunities including the Treasure Sale, Helping Up Mission, Our Daily Bread, 60-minute visitors and being a wheelchair ‘pusher’ for Mass in the care center. (The wheelchairs appeared to be rolling themselves due to her short stature!) She was active on the resident council and participated in a myriad of activities, learning new things (kickboxing, line dancing and water aerobics).
In 2016, Gloria moved to assisted living. In her 90’s she continued volunteering, and when she began to ‘slow down’, the shorter walk to chapel allowed her to still enjoy its’ peace and beauty. During the pandemic Gloria lived with her daughter, Patricia and daughter-in-law, Lina, in Baltimore city until her death.
Gloria’s faith guided her through childrearing, working, a 57-year marriage and the joys and sorrows of life. She embodied her beliefs with an essence of humility, grace, compassion, and generosity of spirit in all her interactions. Although she gave of herself to the parish and community, family was central to her life. The importance of family was evident at weekly Sunday gatherings and holidays. Her sense of humor and laughter was contagious, and much love and fun was shared on those occasions.
Survivors include Gloria’s children, Veronica T. O’Neil (Joseph III), Kathleen M. Russell (Ray), John E. Boland, Michael J. Boland (Lois Rodgers), Patricia Boland (Lina Ayers), Joseph V. Boland (Ann Shaughnessy), Tina M. Johnson (A.J.), Margaret T. Mays (Steven Sr.), and Regina Boland; sister-in-law, Flo Boland and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and her siblings, she was pre-deceased by an infant grandson, Patrick O’Neil.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church on February 5, 2022 at 11:00 a.m., visitation at 10:00 a.m. ***MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED** Due to the pandemic, a memorial celebration will not be held at this time, but will be scheduled for a later date. A private burial will be held at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery Crownsville.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, 711 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228, Marian House, 949 Gorsuch Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218, or Gilchrist Hospice, 11311 McCormick Rd, Ste 350, Hunt Valley, MD 21031.
Saturday, February 5, 2022
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Saturday, February 5, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
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