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Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Gloria Coffin created a priceless collection of memories comprised of precious moments shared with the ones she loved most. She was gentle and genuine, kindhearted and thoughtful with a quiet strength that was all her own. Gloria was a devoted wife and nurturing mother who lived to care for her husband and son. She was never one to worry about building wealth or gaining possessions, rather, her focus was on living fully in the moments she was given. Gloria’s zest for life was contagious to all who were near. She will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, which drove the unemployment rate to over 25 percent leaving families to do whatever they could to make ends meet. Things only went from bad to worse when a drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years, adding strain to an already crippled agricultural industry. Despite the challenging times around them, a young couple, Alexander and Altha Banyas, were filled with great anticipation as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the cold December winds held the city of Detroit, Michigan, firmly in its grip in 1938. Their wait was over when the baby girl they named Gloria Ellen drew her first breath on December 7th. She was the older of two children in her family as she was raised alongside her younger brother, Neil.
In many ways Gloria was a young girl of her generation. She looked forward to visits to her Grandpa and Grandma Ford’s farm, and she also loved spending summers at the family cottage at Rondeau Park. Gloria was close to her family, and they enjoyed just being together. She was a student at local schools including Cass Tech Detroit. Gloria went on to graduate from high school in 1956.
As a young woman Gloria was ready to fully embrace all that life had in store. New and exciting changes were on the horizon when she met the young man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Neil Coffin, and they met through his brother. Sparks flew right from the start, and it wasn’t long before the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together Gloria and Neil were married. Soon after, they were thrilled to discover that they would become parents. Together they were blessed with the birth of their son, Daryl, in September of 1958, and later a second son, Keith, in January of 1965. Sadly, Keith died when he was only five years old.
Gloria and Neil made their home in Livonia, and she focused much of her time on being a wife, mother, and homemaker at their home in Livonia. At times she worked outside of the home including in seasonal jobs at various department stores, in a yarn and craft shop, and at a gift shop. Gloria also earned Christmas money at the United States Postal Service. For a time she worked part-time alongside her husband at H&R Block. Family, including extended family, was a cornerstone in her life, and she treasured her relationships with her loved ones. The Ford family reunions were something she looked forward to every year. Gloria remained close with her cousins, and she deeply loved her “other” son, David. With a special place in her heart for animals, her pets were like additional members of her family. Her cats, Garfield and Troubles, as well as numerous other dogs and cats were treasured companions as the years went by.
Through the years Gloria was a woman who liked to keep busy. With an unending spirit of generosity she gave 99 pints of blood over her lifetime, and she was so disappointed to have fallen just shy of her goal of 100 pints. For as long as she could Gloria loved getting away to her place in Canada. Around the home she could often be found knitting, and everyone was always thrilled to receive one of her baby blankets. With a love for being creative, Gloria also enjoyed cross-stitching. Relaxing also meant reading her favorite magazines, Better Homes and Gardens and Country Sampler.
When reflecting on the life of Gloria Coffin, words such as giving, loving, and selfless come to mind. She was a gift to those around her, and her devotion to her family was unmatched. A woman who was truly beautiful on the inside and out, Gloria’s memory will remain forever near and dear to the hearts and lives of all who were blessed to know and love her.
Gloria E. Coffin died on January 25, 2015. Gloria’s family includes her son, Daryl; sisters-in-law, Lynn (Judy) Coffin and Carla; nieces and nephews, Lisa, Jennifer, Jeff, and Chris; and many more cousins in Canada as well as her “other” son, Dave; and her cats, Garfield and Troubles. Gloria was preceded in death by her husband, Neil; son, Keith; and brother, Neil. Family will receive friends at our L.A. Turowski and Son Funeral Home, 9300 Middlebelt Rd, Livonia (btwn Joy and Plymouth Rd) Wednesday from 2-9 p.m. where a funeral service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. You may sign the guest book, share a memory, or upload a photo via the links at right.