Gloria Lawless Obituary

Gloria  Kay Lawless
Gloria Kay Lawless

September 5, 1944 - September 6, 2021
Born in Charter Oak, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Gloria Kay Lawless, 77, passed away on Monday, September 6th, 2021 at Unity Point Methodist Medical Center with her husband Bill by her side and surrounded by family. The family will receive friends 2-4 pm Sunday, September 12th at Iles Dunn’s Chapel where a Vigil Service will begin 4 pm. Funeral Mass will be 2 pm Monday, September 13th at St. Anthony Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Avon Cemetery.

Surviving Gloria’s death are her husband, William (Bill) Lawless and sons Mark (Natalie) and Christopher (Cami) Lawless and grandchildren Austin, Jacob, Connor, Joshua Lauren, Jordan and Lauryn. She is also survived by her brother Steve and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family including her Drake University and Holiday Inn families. Gloria was preceded in death by her grandparents Frederick and Minna Linke, father and mother, Harvey and Grace Linke, aunt Mebel and her sister Janice.

Gloria grew up on the family farm in western Iowa where the family settled in Deloit. Her first 6 years were spent mostly playing with her sister Janice until they were joined by younger brother Steve. After graduating from Denison High School, she re-joined her sister in Des Moines. There she met Bill who would become her husband of 55 years starting with their wedding in 1965 at The Little Brown Church in the Vail at that special place in Nashua, Iowa.

It is widely known that Gloria loved “her boys” and encouraged their accomplishments on through graduate school and into parenthood. The grandkids were no exception. Any time it worked to get the family together was something to make the most of. She would often be heard saying. “I just love the memories…it’s all about being together and making memories.” Family reunions, holidays, birthdays, academic and other events were always cherished and required “one more picture!” Gloria’s Christmas cookie tradition especially surrounded by excited grandkids, will certainly be among fondest memories.

Family and friends meant everything to Gloria as loving wife, mom, sister, aunt, grandmother and even college-mom to countless students at Drake University. Gloria’s career there spanned 3 decades contributing to their mission and fostering the culture in what is now dedicated as the Gloria Lawless Student Life Center. A plaque celebrating her impact and retirement reads:

“The Gloria Lawless Student Life Center is in honor of Gloria (Glo) Lawless, who served Drake University students, faculty, and staff for three decades. Gloria’s commitment to teamwork, communication, and service molded and shaped the Drake community for generations. Glo’s sincere care for students and colleagues impacted the lives of untold members of the Drake community. Glo’s work embodied the Drake mission of providing an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. The Gloria Lawless Student Life Center will serve as a testament and reminder to always put students first.”

Gloria had an additional career in catering for the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport/Conference Center serving customers and guests for 40+ years through countless weddings, conventions, conferences and other celebrations. She worked with many of her closest long-time friends enjoying the time together helping others. While some have since passed, they and their families are not forgotten.

Gloria spent her free time gardening, mowing, tending to beautiful flowers and lots of walking-no matter the weather. Weekends often involved chasing her husband Bill through his longest runs of 62 and 72 miles, many marathon courses, road races (on and off road) and she always managed to find him for a hug at the finish. She celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with Bill traveling through the Holy Land and she was always inspired by her faith in Christ. Her passion for family and making things happen for others sum up an amazing legacy. Gloria will be missed. We find peace knowing that Gloria (Honey, Mom, Sis, Aunt Gloria, Grandma, Glo) is enjoying God’s grace and will find a way to stay by our sides while family continues traditions and making the types of memories Gloria cherished so much.





Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Sunday, September 12, 2021
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- Show more -
St. Anthony's Catholic Church
Indianola Avenue & SW 1st Street
Des Moines, IA US 50315
Monday, September 13, 2021
2:00 PM
Avon Cemetery
3995 Hart Ave
Des Moines, IA US 50320
Monday, September 13, 2021