Gloria Lorraine Mason of Oak Bluffs died Dec. 4 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital after a short illness. She was 83. A full-time Island resident since 1990, Gloria began her association with the Vineyard in 1949 as the future wife of Raymond L. Mason, a summer resident.
Born Sept. 18, 1929 in Boston, the daughter of Elizabeth (Bessie) Overton, a vaudeville actress, Gloria was just seven when her mother died suddenly. She spent the next three years in an orphanage, adopted at the age of 10 by Arthur and Hazel Loud. She lived in Whitman, graduating from Whitman High School in 1947.
She lived in New Jersey from 1956 to 1990. While there, she held a number of administrative/secretarial jobs, including 13 years as an administrative assistant in the political science department of Princeton University. She also was employed as a secretary to the headmistress of The Chapin School in Princeton. During her time on the Vineyard, Gloria was employed by the Dukes County Sheriff’s Department, retiring in 1997.
She was predeceased by her long-time companion, William O’Malley. She is survived by her son, Scott R. Mason and his wife Margaret of Trenton, N.J.; her daughter, Lisa Maxfield of Raleigh, N.C.; a granddaughter, Allison J. Maxfield of New York, N.Y.; and a grandson, Gregory R. Mason, of Trenton, N.J. Gloria is also survived by her former husband, Raymond L. Mason, of Carver; a cousin, Thomas Gilbert of Lowell and Oak Bluffs; and special friends Daniel Connors of Brockton and Island residents Karen Alberice, Joan Ryder and Stanley Marshall. In her later years, Gloria was known for her feistiness, tenacity and wit. She had a lifelong love of art, architecture, antiques, history and travel. She treasured the years she lived on the Island, enjoying her views of Brush Pond and communing with the birds and animals that came to her feeders and birdbaths.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Unitarian Universalist Society, 238 Main street, Vineyard Haven.
In lieu of flowers, Gloria has asked that donations in her memory be sent to Island Hospice, Beach Road, Suite 104, P.O. Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA or to The Home For Little Wanderers, 271 Huntington avenue, Boston, MA. 02115.