November 1, 1926 - June 27, 2021
Scottsdale, AZ - Gloria Diana Austin passed away peacefully among family on June 27, 2021, in Scottsdale, Arizona after a brief illness. She lived 94 beautiful years.
Gloria was born November 1, 1926, in Peotone, Illinois, to Katherine and Edward Manke, joining older brother Wallace. Not long after, the family moved to Wisconsin where she grew up on the family farm.
She met her future husband, Ralph Franklyn Austin, at the Janesville, Wisconsin airport where they both shared a love of flying. It was considered daring in those days for a young woman to take up flying, but that didn’t faze Gloria. While Ralph served in the Marine Corps overseas during World War II, Gloria served at home as a member of the Civil Air Patrol. After the war ended, he returned home, and they were married. They resided in Wisconsin and Oklahoma before moving west and making California their home.
Gloria gave birth to 2 boys, Ralph Douglas, and Dennis Edward. Dual parental roles often fell on her as husband Ralph was a commercial airline pilot and was away much of the time for work. Mom managed the home and cared for the boys in addition to working at the local high school, and later, a savings and loan bank.
Both boys moved to Arizona to attend college and chose to stay. In 1989, Gloria and Ralph retired and moved to Arizona to be closer to their boys, eventually settling in Scottsdale.
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents and brother, her husband, Ralph F. Austin, and her son Dennis E. Austin. She is survived by her son Ralph D. Austin, and her daughter-in-law Kathi J. Austin (widow of Dennis), of Scottsdale, AZ; granddaughter Shannon Rossetti, and great-granddaughters Phoebe and Ali Rossetti of Hingham, MA; and nephew, Roger Manke of Avalon, WI. Her family and friends will remember her for her warmth and friendliness, her quick wit, and adventurous spirit.
Gloria was a travel enthusiast and an avid reader. She also loved flying, riding motorcycles and fast cars. On the back of a photograph taken of Gloria on a motorcycle at age 18 she wrote, “This is the way I want you to remember Mom, not the ‘old lady’ I am now.”
At Gloria’s request, no service is planned. Please visit messingermortuary.com for online condolences. Memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice.