Gloria Hays Furnival, age 92, passed away on September 8, 2018, at Masonicare. Painter, lover of decorative arts, local historian, devoted wife to the late George Furnival, proud mother and grandmother. Born January 12, 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia, Gloria and George married in 1946 while students at the University of Georgia, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1947. Though a Connecticut resident since the 1950’s, she never lost her Southern accent and manners. She spent four decades with the North Haven Historical Society as curator and president. The Society benefited from her love of the town, her discerning taste and intellect, and her research skills. In 1978, she was Jaycee Woman of the Year and given a day in her honor by North Haven for being one of the most “energetic, concerned and prominent community leaders.” Mayflower Society: Officer and first female toastmaster. Authored “On the Green,” about North Haven’s Old Center Cemetery. In later years, Gloria rekindled her love of painting, studying oils at the North Haven Senior Center and participating in local exhibitions. Adventurous traveler, from the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair to Peru, Europe, Hawaii and Alaska. She had a keen eye for antiques and was an avid reader and bridge player. She cared for her husband in his declining health, always a cheerful presence at his nursing home. Her independent spirit will be greatly missed. She is survived by sons Bernard (Amy) and Lawrence (Francoise) and four grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at St John’s Episcopal Church, 3 Trumbull Place, North Haven, CT, on Thursday afternoon, September 13, 2018 at 2:30. The family will receive friends in the Great Hall of the church from 2:00 until time of service. Interment will be private. Memorial donations can be made to North Haven Historical Society, 27 Broadway, North Haven, CT 06473.