Gardening 06

Gloria Jean Bradtke

November 5, 1956 ~ December 22, 2020 (age 64)


Gloria Greenfield Bradtke, November 5th, 1956 - December 22, 2020.


Our family suffered a shocking and painful loss as our mother, Gloria, unexpectedly passed away while in the difficult process of recovery from a recent heart attack.


Born to Daniel C. Greenfield and Evelyn M. (Mac) Greenfield in Fairfield, Iowa, Gloria was the youngest of three children. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her brother Daniel L. Greenfield. She married Steven J. Bradtke in 1985; they later divorced. Together they had two children, Thomas J. Bradtke and Molly J. Bradtke. Gloria is survived by her sister Donna R. Shirkey, her son Thomas J. Bradtke, and her daughter Molly J. Bradtke.


Gloria graduated from Fairfield High School in 1975. While in school Gloria was a PomPom Girl, cheering for sport activities and participating in fundraisers. Gloria started piano lessons as a young girl and continued to play throughout her life. Gloria loved gardening, filling her home and yard with a multitude of plants, nurturing and delighting in their growth. Gloria was an avid reader, particularly of mysteries, and built a small collection of signed first editions from her favorite authors. She was always excited to find a new author.


Gloria joined the National Guard in 1975, specializing in Nursing. She enjoyed her time in service and loved telling stories of her adventures. She left the service in 1981.


Gloria and family moved about the country several times throughout the years, finally settling in Columbia, MD in 1996. There, Gloria raised her children, actively participating in their lives. She worked as a teacher’s aid at their elementary school, and took Tae Kwon Do classes with them, all three earning their Second Degree Black Belts. Gloria was active in the PTA at her children’s high school. Later, Gloria worked as an instructor and administrator at the Tae Kwon Do school, as a nurse at an ObGyn clinic, and as an RN at a retirement facility.


* * *

It is never easy to experience the loss of a parent, and we are only able to write these words now after grappling with whiplash from the wildly shifting emotions. Just a week and a half ago we felt such relief after hearing the news she was in good enough condition to be sent home. There was a cautious sense that things were on the road back to normal.


And in the blink of an eye our mother was gone.


But Gloria Bradtke will not be forgotten. Each of those grieving holds a different Gloria within themselves, each one made of unique memories and unique emotions. We will always remember the caring and silly woman who raised us. Our mom was generous with her time and her love. Her loopy, often irreverent sense of humor and practical way of looking at life's challenges helped her family, friends, and patients through the most difficult times of our lives. She couldn't help but make friends everywhere she went, and was an expert at making people feel loved and special. Our mom always knew what to say.


We will remember the meandering stories that went nowhere, the at turns both silly and self-deprecating sense of humor, the warmth expressed to new and old friends alike, and above all the uncomplicated love she held for her children.


She will be sorely missed.


Good bye, Mom. We love you, and we miss you.


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