Gloria (AKA “Glo”) S. Dunetz, 74, who died Friday, August 20th at her home in Fairfax Station, VA exuded beauty, kindness, strength and love. She was graceful, an actress and dancer with charm to spare. Her talents and charisma will be passed on to others through her family and friends, of whom there are many.
The exuberance of Gloria’s younger years is evident in family photos of her from musicals where she dazzles the beholder with expressions both serious and funny. Somehow she looks the part in every costume, from “Can Can” to “Fiddler on the Roof” and all those in between (to include numerous musical and dramatic performances: “Taming of the Shrew”, “My Fair Lady”, “The Music Man” and “Picnic”, to name a few). It is clear that she was indeed someone to know and admire. She even inspired a signature phrase: “It’s so Glo”, spoken when something reminded someone of Gloria.
Her love of the arts carried over into her family. She and her husband of 49 years, Bryant Dunetz, ensured that their three sons, Raymond, Kevin and Richard, grew up to appreciate music. She continued to be active in community theater, but her true love belonged with her family. Eventually, Gloria welcomed Rosa (Kevin), Akiyo (Richard) and Courtney (Raymond) into the family, happily adding daughters to the mix. Kevin and Rosa’s two sons, Andrew and Ryan, brought even greater joy to her life.
Despite two diagnoses of breast cancer, Gloria was able to find happiness in many places and in various ways: spending time with her family and friends, hunting for antiques (she was an expert in antique perfumes!), dancing, working out and relaxing in her renowned garden full of daylilies. Her struggles with the disease prompted her youngest son, Rick, to create The Side-Out Foundation, a local non-profit organization that unites volleyball teams nationwide in its Dig Pink® events. Each event raises money for cutting edge translational research for breast cancer patients, education for the community and compassionate support for both patients and families.
Gloria will always be the inspiration behind Side-Out. She gave meaning to its efforts and an urgency to the cause. Her strength and elegance in the face of breast cancer encouraged all those around her and she will remain in their hearts forever. All those who knew her came to understand that victory is not always found in remission. It is in daily strength of spirit, courage to face adversity with grace, and determination to live life no matter what challenges may arise.
Gloria Dunetz was victorious in all aspects of life, and her family and friends are grateful for the time she shared with them. She was much like the lilies that bloom in her garden every summer: strong, adaptable and elegant. Come summertime next year, I’m sure the sight will prompt many to say fondly, “it’s so Glo.”