Gloria Grotzinger, 92, of Warren, PA, formerly of Loveland, CO, and New York City, passed away Tuesday, April 23, 2019. She was born in Enid, OK, on November 6, 1926, to the late Joseph and Ethel (Richardson) Hausaman. As a teenager, she came to Warren and stayed with her uncle and aunt, the late Richard and Edith Tranter, to complete her high school education, graduating from Warren High School in 1944. She returned to Warren, two years ago, after the passing of her husband, Hudson.
From an early age, and encouraged by her parents, Gloria had a desire to live life to its fullest and to feel at ease in any setting, thriving on interaction with other people. She had a razor-sharp wit and a laugh for all occasions. Gloria felt that everyone should live for a year in New York City. She said that you meet so many people with different characteristics and from different cultures, that you come to realize that we are all just people of the same human race and underneath we are not so different.
She was an avid reader and entertainment seemed to be in her blood. As a child, she developed skill in acrobatic dancing. She moved from dance to voice in Oklahoma City and continued her studies through high school in Pennsylvania. After high school, at the young age of 17, Gloria moved to New York City to pursue her music dreams. While building her musical skills and career, she held several jobs in New York City, which included working at the New York Public Library, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Actors’ Equity Association.
She has appeared in stock theatre, on television, on Broadway, and on the opera and concert stage. She studied under several private teachers and coaches in drama and opera. Her summer stock work included “Carousel” with then-unknown Robert Goulet, “The Music Man” with Gig Young, and “The Student Prince” with Pernell Roberts.
Once in New York City, Gloria was accepted as a student by fine teachers like Madame Greta Stauber and Mrs. Alfredo Antonini, wife of the conductor. Later, she was coached by the illustrious Rosa Ponselle and Victor Truco, of the Metropolitan Opera, and became the protege of Jean Tennyson Boissevain. With her dedication and talent, she received scholarships with the Manhattan School of Music, Columbia University, Julliard School of Music, and the Metropolitan Opera Studio. She moved on to positions such as a member of the Metropolitan National Company and soloist with the Washington and Philadelphia symphonies and the St. Louis Municipal Opera. She continued her music and singing studies with Dr. Clarence Dickinson, director of music at the Brick Presbyterian Church and later Union Theological Seminary. She also served on the board of the New York City Opera Guild.
Gloria joked about reaching a high point as a soloist for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show, singing perched 60 feet above the stage. A real thrill for her was performing “Elijah” with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Dimitri Mitropoulis.
Living in New York City was not without its celebrity encounters. Among them: After having dinner at the Plaza Hotel with friends one evening, Gloria wanted to go on a horsedrawn carriage ride through Central Park. No one wanted to go, but a man standing behind them said: “I’ll go on a ride with you.” She turned around and there stood Rock Hudson. So, they went on the carriage ride with his arm around her and he gave her a kiss at the end of the ride. Another encounter happened when she was in a production of “Hello Dolly” on Long Island. Carol Channing attended the show and met Gloria. Gloria received Christmas cards from Ms. Channing for many years.
On August 22, 1967, Gloria married childhood friend Hudson Grotzinger, from Warren and then of San Francisco. He had taken her to “The City By The Bay” for dinner and proposed in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge. So, she began a new chapter in her life of family and service, loving it all.
Eventually, Hudson’s work took them to Loveland, CO. Not one to rest on her laurels, Gloria began to give concerts, again, locally. She taught vocal technique and coached singers in Loveland and Boulder. On trips back to Warren, she would often sing at the First United Methodist Church, which her Warren family attended.
Gloria was a busy volunteer in her community over the years, has been active in many philanthropic and service organizations all her life. She was a founding member, holding various titles over many years, including the president, of the Loveland City Music Association, which brought a regular concert series to the city. Other memberships include P.E.O. Chapter DR, which focuses on educational opportunities for female students worldwide; The Philomatheon (Philo) service club, providing service to the community by women; Mountain View Presbyterian Church, having served as a deacon and a choir member; and the Women’s Club of Warren. For her years of support to the magician community, of which Hudson was a longtime member, she was awarded a meritorious lifetime membership in The PrestoDigitators of Fort Collins, CO.
Gloria continued to act in local theatre. Two of her favorite roles were as Ethel in “On Golden Pond” and as Mother Abbess in “The Sound of Music,” creating goosebumps even in the warm, stuffy air of the auditorium while singing “Climb Every Mountain,” according to a review of the performance.
With a deep interest in genealogy, Gloria conducted extensive research into her family’s lineage. She discovered that she was directly descended from people involved in the efforts for the United States’ independence. This information qualified her for membership in Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an organization promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Gloria was a great supporter of America and relished with pride the liberties provided to us by the Constitution. She was a very active member of her local DAR Namaqua Chapter, with over 40 years of service, holding many positions over the years, including regent.
In 1997, Gloria was elected by the Colorado Society of DAR to the position of state regent, the highest office one can hold in the state society, serving a two-year term. In this position, she helped maintain the organization and represented it in all state and national functions. She visited the 36 chapters throughout the state and went to Washington, D.C. four times a year for national board meetings. She also served as state viceregent, state corresponding secretary, Colorado correspondent docent for the DAR National Museum in Washington, D.C., and several other state positions, as well as a member of the All-American National DAR Chorus.
Along this same theme, she was also a member of Daughters of Colonial Wars, National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, National Society of New England Women, and National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims.
Gloria was a lifetime collector of sheet music, having acquired an extensive collection. Before leaving Loveland for Warren, she donated part of her collection to the University of Colorado Boulder. Its website describes the donation as: “Song sheets from the collection of Gloria Grotzinger, formerly of Loveland, Colorado. Includes extensive selections from the early American songbook, especially in the areas of early 20th century musical theatre, patriotic songs, and coon songs. Includes a first printing piano-vocal score of the musical, “Showboat,” with all original language.”
Gloria is survived by four daughters, Lynn (Stan) Bond, Debi Grotzinger, Linda Grotzinger, Terri Grotzinger, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Hudson, and a son-in-law, Lynn Radike (Linda).
A memorial service will be announced in the future. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Namaqua Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, PO Box 1596, Loveland, CO 80539.