Obituary for Gloria Donlin Foley (Farrell)
Gloria (Farrell) Donlin Foley, 96, formerly of Worcester, W. Harwich and Vero Beach, FL. passed away at Southgate on March 2nd. She is survived by her son Garrett Donlin and his wife Deborah, a son Gregory Donlin, a son Matthew Donlin and partner, Sandra and a daughter, Marla Maykel Pyle and husband, Richard. Her daughter, Dr. Suzanne Donlin Kelly and her son, Geoffrey Donlin predeceased her as well as her husband, Thomas Donlin and her second husband, John Foley. She also leaves 10 grandchildren.
Gloria was born Ursula Gloria Farrell in Rutland, VT, one of four sisters, now all deceased. She attended University of Vermont where she concentrated her studies on speech and drama. She also privately studied opera under Madame Bradish of the Metropolitan Opera Company. Gloria loved theater and singing and used her gifts to help others throughout her life. She began her career working at radio stations doing women’s commentaries, commercials and her own vocalist show. There, she met her husband, Thomas Donlin also involved in radio and big band music. They married, had 6 children together and settled in Worcester where Thomas founded Donlin-Gallagher, Inc., an advertising agency. Gloria kept very busy, not just being a great mother to her 6 children and wife to Thomas, but she also co-founded, directed and acted in Children’s Fund Players giving over 500 performances, along with many other committed and talented women, while donating all proceeds to children’s causes. Gloria also was co-founder of Life-Line, she served on the executive boards at Marillac Manor and St. Gabriel School of Music. Throughout her life, Gloria was a devoted Catholic and served as a Eucharistic Minister. Gloria truly loved God, her Country, her family, friends and her work. Gloria most enjoyed teaching Speech and Drama at Notre Dame Academy in Worcester for over 15 years. It was here that she was able to share her abilities and build talents and instill confidence in many of “her girls”, producing plays and musicals, coaching students for competition, and often winning at the National level.
She and Thomas retired to their summer home in W. Harwich in 1978. Sadly, Thomas died soon after. Gloria continued producing and writing plays and musicals, often choreographing them herself and raising significant funds for senior needs. She received many commendations and awards for her work and dedication. In Vero Beach she met her second husband, John Foley, who she shared many years in wonderful companionship until his death.
Gloria was always active and the life of the party. She entered Southgate at 92 where she received excellent care. At 93, she received the honor of being one of the first recipients of the Society of the Arts of Notre Dame Academy of which she was most proud. She was a loving mother, wife, friend, and teacher. She scattered bits of talent, joy, positive energy, song and love everywhere she went. Gloria will live on in the hearts of all that knew her.
There are no calling hours. She will be buried privately in W. Harwich next to her husband Thomas Donlin to forever rest in peace in the arms of her Savior.
In lieu of flowers or donations, please remember Gloria by performing a random act of kindness.