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Thursday, March 23, 2023
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Friday, March 24, 2023
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Gloria A. (Flahive) Brown, 76, of Southington, passed away peacefully on March 18, 2023, in the Bronx Montefiore Hospital after a five-month battle from a stroke. Gloria was born on January 26, 1947 in Waterbury, CT to the late John and Gloria (Radke) Flahive. A self-identified “army brat,” Gloria spent time in various parts of the country growing up before returning to Connecticut to start her career and family here. Gloria is survived by two sisters, Suzanne DiNella or Hebron, CT and Kathleen Flahive of Baltimore MD and a brother, John Flahive of St. Petersburg, FL, as well as her nephew, Jay Flahive of Hebron and niece, Tracey Whitaker of Arizona. She leaves behind a daughter, Allison Struyk of Framingham, MA and a grandson Cole Struyk of Framingham, a daughter Jessica Sabatini of Cortlandt, NY and her children Sophia, Leo and Calee, and a son, Michael Brown and wife Kehinde of Wethersfield, CT and their two children, Kennedy and Lincoln, and her husband of 42 years, Robert Brown of Plantsville.
Gloria dedicated her life to teaching and the broader goal of improving education for everyone. She taught in the Wolcott school system for 37 years, serving as a local WEA union president, and as a Connecticut Education Association Board of Directors Member. While helping kids learn was her life’s work, everyone who got to know Gloria will remember her for her warmth and openness. Every person she met was an opportunity to not only make a new friend but to express kindness and empathy without hesitation.
Her three official children Allison, Jessica, and Michael will be left with a lifetime of loving and inspiring memories of their mom. However, countless others will also remember her as “Mom” due to her willingness to open her heart and her home to anyone in need of a hug, a meal, or a sympathetic ear. Numerous friends of her children will remember her this way, as mom, and will be left with their own share of happy memories of a remarkable woman.
Although she left us too soon, Gloria was able to see her three children grow up to have successful careers and raise beautiful children. Her six grandchildren are heartbroken to lose their glowing sunbeam “Grammy Glo” but will remember only joyous memories with her.
Gloria and her husband Bob were, as a pair, an institution amongst those who know them. Bob loved Gloria with all his heart for the 42 plus years of marriage. In these last few months, Bob fought tirelessly for Gloria, battling the frustrating bureaucratic nightmare that is the American healthcare industry. He also drove hundreds of hours to be by Gloria’s side after her original health episode had her hospitalized two hours from his home.
Over their decades of marriage, Gloria and Bob had been through it all. Gloria’s health crisis as she battled cancer for a second time when Jess and Mike were young kids. Mike’s struggles with addiction at a young age. As well as numerous other challenges. However, they also got to travel the world together, to attend countless Broadway shows and concerts, eat at fantastic restaurants, attend endless Yankees games, and to just sit with each other in their Southington home as they often did. They also participated in Rotary and the Connecticut Education Association, where they originally met. Most importantly, they got to see the fruits of their love and kindness grow into compassionate and successful adult children.
Gloria was a humble warrior in so many ways. Through her two heroic battles with cancer, she remained positive and never complained. All her kids learned so much about staying positive, staying grateful, and never giving up from their mom.
Although these last few months have been very difficult, there is peace and relief. Everyone who loved her is left with warm and happy memories. Although those of us who loved her so much need her, we will take what she taught us to be there for each other, and we will all move forward with the same love and persistence that mom always had. We are grateful for everyone that was a part of keeping mom comfortable in these past months and for the overwhelming outpouring of kindness from hospital staff and friends.
Because Gloria is a cancer survivor and her granddaughter is also currently winning her battle with leukemia, donations in Gloria’s memory may be made to a cancer charity of the donor’s choice.
Her family would also ask that everyone perform an extra act of kindness in Gloria’s honor in the near future, since such acts of kindness were such a central part of who Gloria was.
A celebration of Gloria’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 24, 2023 at the First Congregational Church, 37 Main St., Southington. A livestream of the service will be available by following this link. https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/6507940269. Calling hours will be held from 4 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at the Plantsville Funeral Home, 975 S. Main St., Plantsville. For online condolences and directions, please visit www.plantsvillefuneralhome.com.