McDonough, Gloria (McKusick)
She was a class act: elegant, kind and generous. We are sorry to say that Gloria and her twinkling blue Irish eyes left us on March 14 for her next life.
Here is how she described her entrance into this life just weeks before the Great Depression began in 1929: âSomething bad happened on Wall Street, but what happened on my street was just as bad: my dad came home jobless and my mother came home with me.â
Raised in North St. Paul, MN by Harry and Nora McKusick, who had little but boundless love to share with their daughters and the many foster children they raised, Gloriaâs life relied on family, faith and love and those values defined her for more than 91 years. She lovingly put up with the shenanigans of her husband, Marty, for 62 years; instilled a sense of independence in her daughters, believed in them and encouraged their dreams, and taught them to value the finer things in life, as she did.
Gloria lived a wonderfully full life, always well dressed, and ready for a party. She appreciated art, music, theater and books. Gloria was well loved by her daughtersâ friends and became honorary mother to several of them. She was especially thrilled with her with 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandsons. Gloria loved to throw family parties and plan activities with the kids. Some of the most memorable family times were attending St Patrickâs Day parades and celebrating the joys of being Irish.
When she turned 40, she and Marty took their first European trip and the travel bug bit them hard. Together they visited 6 of the 7 continents. Gloria was supremely disappointed when Marty decided to pack away his passport for good, but she remained determined to see the world, traveling to Russia, Taiwan, and Europe with other friends. For many years, Gloria and her daughters made an annual shopping to Chicago. But her favorite destination was New York City, where she made treasured memories during her many whirlwind trips in the company of her mother, daughters and dear friends.
Gloria made lasting friends during her long career in banking at First Merchants State Bank, American National Bank and Eastern Heights State Bank, from which she retired in 1992.
Music was a big passion. An accomplished piano player, she named her piano Celeste, in honor of the Patron Saint of Music. Her many years of lessons forced her to sit straight and tall, resulting in the moniker, The Posture Queen. Gloria tried to teach her daughters to play the piano (and to sit up straight) but none paid much attention and all regret it to this day.
In addition to playing the organ at noon Mass every Sunday for decades, she was devoted to the community at St. Thomas the Apostle Church on the east side of St. Paul. She and Marty were pillars of the church, literally helping to build it back in the early 1960s. Her deep faith was reflected in her countless volunteer hours at church doing everything from ironing vestments, decorating, counting the collection, planning liturgies, serving as eucharistic minister, lector and as a leader in promoting womenâs roles in the church. Gloria was also the construction lead when the church built an addition, dedicated in 2000. She was devastated when her church merged and changed its name to Blessed Sacrament. (It will always be St. Thomas to her.) Some of her dearest relationships (The Holy Women) were with friends from church.
Gloria was preceded in death by her husband, Marty (2012); daughter, Nora Zalesky (2000); and her sister, Nancy Pfister (2020). She will be greatly missed by daughters: Susan McKusick and her friend Louise Kellams, Kathy Krause and her husband Bill, grandsons Ty and Ryan Krause and great-grandson Noah Krause; Peggy Moreno, her husband Albert, granddaughters Molly Short, Katie Oxley and Liz Moreno, great grandsons Alex and Drew Oxley; Maureen McDonough and her husband Roger Kapsner. She is also survived by Noraâs children: Gina Riley, Greg Zalesky, and Jen Holter and great grandsons Bowen and Lachlan Holter; and brother Joe Brown.
Her life will be celebrated at Blessed Sacrament/St. Thomas on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at 11:30 AM with visitation beginning at 11 AM, located at 2219 Stillwater Ave. E in St. Paul. Due to COVID, weâd like to keep it to family and treasured family friends. You know who you are.
In lieu of flowers, we encourage you to make a donation in her name to St. Paulâs Monastery or Cerenity Marian of St. Paul.