Gloria Gillespie Badgley passed away on February 17, 2023, at Lantern Hill in New Providence, NJ. Born in Park River, North Dakota to Harold and Francis (Baker) Gillespie, they later moved to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota where she graduated from high school. She briefly attended Hamlin College and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in teaching.
While in Minneapolis, Gloria met Dr. Jarvis (Jay) Badgley on a blind date. He was briefly stationed there with the U. S. Army Veterinary Corps. They married and settled in Jay’s hometown of New Providence. Gloria was a teacher in Berkeley Heights and was proud to support their family for a short time as they established Jay’s veterinary practice. Three daughters followed, and Gloria devoted herself to them. The Badgleys were generous hosts and loved to entertain family and friends. They were married for 36 years until Jay’s passing in 1996.
Gloria’s Christian faith and independent spirit were always her guide. She met life’s challenges with determination and compassion and was a force that benefited her family and community. Gloria worked tirelessly to serve children. She volunteered for the Summit Speech School (a school for hearing impaired children) and was instrumental in the establishment of the The Winston School (a school for children with learning differences) and served on its Board of Trustees and as its President. Gloria also sat on the New Providence Education Foundation Board and was elected to the New Providence School Board and served as its president. In this public school setting, she raised awareness about learning disabilities and was passionate about establishing specific curriculum for children who were unable to be mainstreamed.
Gloria was also committed to the greater community. She was a proud member of the Junior League of Summit where she made many lifelong friends. She worked with the local chapter of the United Way as Campaign Chairwoman, served on the Summit YWCA Board of Trustees, and sat on the Summit Area Community Council. Eventually, her heart led her to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and she served the Union County Chapter for the rest of her life. Gloria’s devotion to family extended to her church families at the New Providence, Lamington and Chatham Township Presbyterian Churches, serving as a Deacon, an Elder and a Stephen Minister.
Perhaps most notably, Gloria’s vibrant personality and eternally young spirit was inspirational. Everyone instinctively understood that they had a loyal friend in Gloria. She loved time spent with her book groups, bridge club, nine-holers, the “Feathers” and was always making new friends.
Gloria was predeceased by her husband Jarvis and is survived by her daughters: Ann Whitman (David), Jane Badgley, and Mary Misiukiewicz (Leon), five grandchildren: John Badgley Whitman (Isabelle), Grace Whitman, William Badgley Kimball, Sara Misiukiewicz and Mathew Badgley Misiukiewicz and her much loved sister Lisa Gillespie Carlson (Philip). There will be visitation with the family on Thursday, February 23, 2023, 4:00 – 7:00 PM in Summit, NJ at Bradley Funeral Home, 299 Morris Avenue. A celebration of Gloria’s life will take place on Friday, February 24, 2023, 10:00 AM at the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, 240 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ. Coffee reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, if you wish to honor Gloria, please consider a tribute gift to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, www.nami.org , or the Badgley Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o The New Providence Board of Education, attention: Business Administrator, 357 Elkwood Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974. This fund was established to provide annual scholarships to two New Providence High School graduating seniors pursuing the study of the Veterinary Sciences or Teaching and who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to community.