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Obituary: Gloria M. Jerabek

As received from the Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes:

Gloria Mae (Nuranen) Jerabek, born November 25th, 1939, a resident of Hancock, passed away Sunday, November 1st, 2020 at Mission Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center (formerly Cypress Manor) in Hancock where she had been a patient for the past nine months. Gloria died of natural causes following repeated falls she experienced in her home prior to her stay at Mission Pointe. A memorial gathering will be held on Friday, November 6th at Memorial Chappel with a viewing from 1-2 p.m., followed immediately afterward by a public service officiated by Pastor Brahm Semmler Smith of the Gloria Dei Church. In spring Gloria will be buried at the Hancock cemetery next to her beloved parents and siblings. Gloria was the 9th of 14 children born to the late John Jacob and Elizabeth Ann “Bessie” (Waisanen) Nuranen of Conrad Street in Hancock.

Gloria will be remembered by her family and friends for her spunk, independence, and determination to do what she felt was right. She was a loyal sister to her many siblings, particularly as they aged and needed additional support, and a deeply caring friend and loving aunt. Her friendship and commitment were most evident through the support she showed for her dear friend Laura Summers over the past 50 plus years.

Gloria attended the Hancock public schools, graduating in 1957. She attended Sunday school and religious training at the Franklin Street Apostolic Lutheran Church in Hancock, where she was confirmed by the Reverend Andrew Mickelsen. Following high school, Gloria worked in a number of capacities in the area and around the country, beginning as a waitress at Joe’s Chicken Basket in West Hancock, where she was trained by owner Joe DiVecchio who has been credited by many as the founder of the famous pizza burger. Gloria went on to work as a waitress on the South American cruise ship where she sailed the great lakes for several years. Following her adventures on the South American, Gloria moved west to join her sister Sarah and husband John Wilcox where she continued her cooking career in a four-star restaurant. There she met her former husband Steven Jerabek who was employed in the building of the Apollo space crafts, culminating in his work on the heat shield for the Apollo 8 mission, which marked the first manned space craft to orbit the moon.

After the separation from her husband Steve, Gloria embarked on a lifetime of friendship and work with her longtime partner, Laura Summers. After working in several restaurants, pubs and taverns in Los Angeles, Gloria and Laura moved back to the Copper Country where they owned and managed an apartment complex in East Hancock. Gloria also used her skills in the restaurant, bar and food service industry to help her sister Sandy Ruscio run and manage the Homestead Bar on the Calumet Waterworks Road. Gloria became a fixture at the Homestead, helping sister Sandy host numerous family and friend functions over many years.

Gloria is survived by her sisters Sara (the late John) Wilcox and Robert (Bert) Nuranen, and by many nieces and nephews covering multiple generations. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her sisters Rose (the late Albert) Laitinen, Joyce (the late Arvid) Nakkula, and Sandra “Sandy” Ruscio, and by her brothers John, Calvin, Paul, Fred, James, David and Michael. Throughout a lifetime filled with adventure marked by her signature independence, Gloria remained committed to her Christian faith and passed with a sense of comfort that she would be joining her many loved ones in eternal rest.

To view Gloria’s obituary or to send condolences to the family please visit www.memorialchapel.net.

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