Gloria Gelman

Obituary of Gloria J. Gelman

Gloria Jeanne Gelman of Iowa City died on January 20, 2021. Gloria was born on August 12, 1927 in South Bend, Indiana, daughter of David H. Glicksman and Mildred Oppenheim Glicksman. She graduated from South Bend Central High School in January 1945, and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she completed her freshman year. She married Dr. Webster Gelman on February 10, 1946, when he returned from WWII active naval duty in the South Pacific. Gloria and Webster came to Iowa City in August 1946, where she entered her sophomore year at the University of Iowa and Webster was accepted into the University of Iowa Orthopedic medical residency program. In 1947, Gloria and Webster moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a resident in Orthopedic Surgery. While in Cleveland, Gloria completed her junior year at Flora Stone Mather College, a division of Western Reserve University. Upon returning to Iowa City in 1949, Gloria enrolled for her senior year at the University of Iowa as a dual music and education major. Gloria had a lovely soprano voice and was invited to give solo performances for the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce, University Club, Music Study Club, and other community service organizations. She enjoyed singing with the Iowa City Madrigal Singers. Gloria was an enthusiastic volunteer for Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, League of Women Voters, Visiting Nurse Association, Johnson County Cancer Society, Mercy Hospital Gift Shop and Agudas Achim Sisterhood. She was a member of Pan American League, Iowa City Music Study Club, Raphael Club and Nineteenth Century Club. Gloria was an active volunteer for the University of Iowa Museum of Art where she served as Chair of the Friends of the Museum and Education Committee Chair, and was a long-time member of the museum’s Advisory Board and Friends Development Council. She also served on the planning committee for the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the University of Iowa Museum of Art and on the Bicentennial Committee for the restoration of the Old Capitol. Gloria was a dedicated member of the University of Iowa Alumni Association since 1959 and a member of the University of Iowa Foundation’s Presidents Club. In 1985 Gloria and Webster received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award in the Friends of the University category. Gloria was a caring companion to Webster and a devoted mother to her children. She cherished her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as her extended family and friends. Preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister Inez Wertheimer and brother-in-law Edgar Wertheimer, Gloria is survived by her children Emily Vermillion, Regina Block (Robert), Thomas Gelman (Rebecca); grandchildren Alexander Vermillion (Dr. Annie Nguyen Vermillion), Sam Gelman (Riene) and Emma Gelman (Steven Voith); and great-grandchildren Micah and Nina Vermillion, Charlie Gelman and Lucie Voith. The family wishes to express their appreciation to Gloria’s caregivers including Cheryl Mercer and her kind staff at Crestview Specialty Care in West Branch, Diane Schrock, and Ann Larew and her helpers at Creative Care Coordinators. A private family burial service, officiated by Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz, was held at the Agudas Achim Cemetery on January 22, 2021. In remembrance of Gloria, memorial gifts may be made to Agudas Achim Congregation, the United States Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C., or a charitable organization of choice. Remembrances and online condolences to the family may be submitted to Gay & Ciha Funeral & Cremation Service at