Gloria McNeely | Obituary

Funeral Service: Friday September 29, 2023. Snoqualmie United Methodist Church ~ 11am

02/11/1919 – 09/14/2023

Gloria Mary Hosking (Mrs. Denton McNeely) was born 104 years ago, on February 11, 1919, in New York City, to Elmer Tait Hosking and Jeannette Ann (Frantz) Hosking. She was the youngest of their five children. Her father died soon after she was born, and her mother re-married Mr. Herbert Robinson and the Hosking children took the Robinson name. Gloria spent about two of her pre-memory years with her aunt and uncle, Harriet and Fred Burgert, who had no children and provided a very caring home. About 1923, she joined the balance of the family in Ketchikan Alaska and almost immediately came down with spinal meningitis. To quote Gloria, “I didn’t walk for six months, but suffered no permanent damage.” She also had smallpox as an infant, measles at age six, followed by whooping cough and spent recovery time with her loving aunt and uncle. Training in proper use of the English language began early. When she started school, her uncle called her once a week with a new word and followed up the next week asking her to use the word in a sentence. Another quote, “My brother Tommy, who I strongly believe was a self-taught mathematical genius, had me doing long division and fractions when I was still in the third grade.”

Her natural abilities allowed her to skip 4th grade, which she felt was not the best decision.

“My whole family loved to read. We had lots of books, magazines, and newspapers around the house, and went to the Columbia Branch of the Seattle Public Library, often.” “There was lots and lots of music in our home. Mom played the piano so well, by ear. Also, the guitar. And she had a beautiful contralto voice.” “I had a clear, ‘pop’ voice that got me into the A Capella choir at Franklin.” Another clue to the Gloria we knew: “Brother Herb warned me, when I was about 12 that “you talk like a blankety blank dictionary, and you better quit it, or no guy will ever look at you.”

More clues to her capabilities: “I was on and off the Honor Roll at Franklin.” Following her graduation from Franklin High School, Gloria attended Edison Tech Summer School and received excellent grades in her accounting classes.

Gloria met the love of her life at age 16. Brother Herb was working for the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company and had a friend of a friend, Malene McNeely, who had a brother, Denton. Their first official date was April 12, 1936. It was an 80-mile round trip for Denton to date Gloria in Seattle, but he averaged two trips a month and attended her graduation from Franklin High. They were married on Sept. 24, 1938. It was the Great Depression: “My husband (!) and I drove to the Ralston Photo Studio in downtown Seattle to have our wedding picture taken. We could afford to order only three – one for my mother, one for Auntie and one for Denton’s mother. Not one for ourselves.” For their honeymoon, they drove through Naches Pass to Yakima and stayed overnight, returning home on Sunday, because Denton had to work in Snoqualmie on Monday!

Living in Seattle and working in Snoqualmie was a stretch. But then, “A life-changing, wonderful event of 1939 was the birth of our first child: Denton Clark McNeely, Jr. He arrived at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 8th.” They moved to an apartment in Snoqualmie in January of 1940. Their second child, David Randolph McNeely was born at 7:06 p.m. Sunday, July 6, 1941.

With two babies they upgraded their domicile by renting the house on Doone Street in Snoqualmie that we all knew as Gloria’s house, for $17 a month, beginning on Saturday, Aug. 22nd, 1941. Most of us are very aware of Gloria’s memory for dates!! They purchased the house on Doone in 1946 for $2,250.

She was seriously involved as a mother, becoming PTA President when Dave was in the third grade and volunteer Room Mother (teacher’s-aid) for all six grade- school years for Denny. She was Den mother of the Cub Scout pack that both of her boys joined in 1948.

Gloria began working for Charlotte and Ed Groshell at the Snoqualmie Valley Record as a two-day a week bookkeeper in 1951. She did her work at the front desk, where folks dropped in with news.

“First, I jotted down notes and gave them to Charlotte, soon she had me write them and send them back to the linotype operator to be set. Then I started galleyproofing the news items, and the pages.” So, two years after beginning her bookkeeping job, she was also asked to be Associate Editor of the Valley Record three days a week. She was now working full time! Gloria was employed there from 1951 to 1962. This experience led to her long-time job opportunity with King County Dept of Public Works – Flood Control Division, as Administrative Services Officer from February 1962 to February 1981 when she retired.

Her life took a downward turn when Denton was diagnosed with cancer. She took loving care of him until he passed away on January 16, 1987. Gloria’s answer to her loss was to involve herself deeper in her volunteer work at church and in the community – Volunteer work that led to her being honored by her community.

She immediately became a key player in the upcoming centennial of her church, Snoqualmie, North Bend, and the State of Washington in 1989.

She wrote the official Centennial Song for the Snoqualmie Methodists, sung to the tune of the ‘Church in the Wildwood.’

She was also a key player in Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live, a group formed in 1993, that brought exceptional “artists and ensembles that exemplify excellence, the joy of performance andmasteryoftheirgenre”toperforminourValley. Gloriawasco-chairformanyyears.

Gloria taught herself to use a TRS-80 Color Computer, a challenge to say the least, requiring special characters to be embedded in the text for your printer to work correctly. She then wrote articles and kept minutes for many organizations, including the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society.

She assisted in finishing the 150-page Centennial History of the Snoqualmie Methodists, which she edited. This book has been recently re-published by the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society.

A long-time choir member, Gloria was also involved in Harley Brumbaugh’s ‘Voices of the Valley’ all-Valley choir and Methodist Choir singing at many Valley events, including 911 remembrances.

Gloria was a long-time board member of the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society and was honored with the title of ‘Board Member Emeritus.’

Gloria was honored as Grand Marshall of the Snoqualmie Days annual parade in 2005.

She was a critical member of the committee that (for six years) assisted Ward Keller in the creation of the huge picture book ‘Vanished’ made up of his father, Harold Keller’s photos of the Valley from 1942-1963 and published by the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society.

Gloria was a major contributor to the Snoqualmie Museum Magazine, helping Gardiner Vinnedge craft the 24-page magazine from 2008-2017.

She was a member of the Annie Pulliam Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The NSDAR (National Society of Daughter of the American Revolution) allows local chapters to recognize women who have made a contribution or a difference in their communities. Gloria received this award in the spring of 2023.

Gloria was a Chamber of Commerce member for years, involved in their projects and promotions.

Gloria was very active for seven years in the Snoqualmie Valley ‘Relay for Life,’ dedicated to raising money for cancer research at the American Cancer Society.

The City of Snoqualmie honored Gloria on her 99th birthday with a proclamation and on many of her birthdays with higher numbers, but also with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Key to the City of Snoqualmie on December 10, 2007, and declared Gloria McNeely Day as Feb 7, 2009

Gloria passed away on September 14th, at Providence Marionwood in Issaquah. She was preceded in death by her husband Denton, son Dave and grandson Brian.

Gloria is survived by her son Denny (Claire), daughter-in-law Irene, 4 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.

Gloria’s service and reception will be held on September 29th at the Snoqualmie United Methodist Church, beginning at 11AM. Graveside Service will be at 2PM at the Fall City Cemetery.