Gloria L. Horridge, 83, of The Plant Home, 1 Washington St., died peacefully Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at Winship Green Nursing Center after a period of declining health.

She was born in Detroit, Mich., Feb.25, 1927, a daughter of Bea
and Ed Leavitt, and grew up on Academy Street in Bath. She graduated from Morse High School in 1945 in absentia, having gained permission to marry Navy Machinist Mate Nelson L. Horridge and head to Boston in preparation for his World Water II deployment.

After the war, Gloria and Nel lived briefly in Florida and in Bath, where they raised their three children on Pearl Street. She loved her years as a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader in the 1950s. Gloria was a sociable and multi-talented woman who worked at Hallet’s and BIW during high school, and at a Centre Street shop called Carol Cut Rate in later years.

She was an accomplished seamstress well-known for dress-making (especially last-minute Mohiba Ball gowns), alterations, and piece work at Congress Shirt Factory. In the 1960s and 1970s, Gloria was the director of the Red Cross program in Bath, assisting with the establishment of a successful blood program. She provided disaster services in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., during the 1968 floods.

Gloria was known for her caring ways and never failed to open her home to stray pets, plants and children. Somewhere out there are a number of paper boys who had snow pants during winter; and a number of Navy families who could count on her to find them a place to stay in time of need.

After she was widowed, she volunteered at the VA Hospital in Augusta, accumulating 2,433 hours, primarily taking birthday cakes to veterans on a regular basis. She was a dedicated Congregationalist and served her churches in many capacities, including church council, stewardship and regional representative.

She was a volunteer for the Bath Housing Authority and Mid Coast Hospital, and a longtime member of the Smith Toby American Legion, Bath Area Senior Citizens and Bath Area YMCA Mermaids. Over many years she enjoyed her association with the Cosmopolitan Club and its community vision.

She was predeceased by her husband, Nelson, in 1986; her friend Alan McAllister in 2003; a daughter, Sarah Jane; a brother, Dean Leavitt; and a sister, Holly Leavitt Fioretti.

Survivors include three children, Nelson Horridge Jr. and his wife, Janice, of Porter, Texas, Marla Davis and her husband, C.R., of Woolwich and Jana Tracy Wood and her partner, Stewart Brooks, of Corinth; seven grandchildren, Missy Norvell and her husband, Richard, of Chesapeake, Va., Nelson Horridge and his wife, Erica, of Conroy, Texas, Patrick M. Tracy of Salt Lake City, Arron Davis and his wife, Melissa, of Louisville, Ky., and Molly Davis and her husband, Rob Brown, of Jefferson; a brother, Bill, and his wife, Marty, of Northport; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Family and friends were invited to call at Desmond Funeral Home in Bath April 30. A funeral service and reception
were held May 2 at the Phippsburg Congregational
Church, Mark Wilson officiating. Committal at the Veterans Administration Cemetery will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Plant Memorial Home building project, or the Phippsburg Congregational Church in her memory.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Mid Coast Hospital, The Plant Memorial Home and Winship Green Nursing Center for the exceptional care provided to Gloria in recent weeks.

Messages to the family can be left at desmondfuneralhomes.com.