We celebrate the full life of Gloria Perretti Nolte, age 91 who died on Thursday, May 21, 2020 of COVID-19. She was born on Saturday, June 16, 1928 in Bronx, NY, to a northern Italian mother and a southern Italian father. She spent most of her life in New York City and metro area until she and her husband, Frank Nolte, moved to Albuquerque in 2002. She spent the last three years living in the Village at Alameda.
Gloria met her husband in the roller rink, when she purposely tripped him hoping for a chance to talk. It worked, and they married in 1951. Together in New Jersey, they raised three sons and a daughter. Their home was full of love, laughter, good food and lots of loud activities. She tolerantly allowed her children to fill the house and yard with all of the neighborhood kids, some playing hockey, others dissecting dead animals, and still others riding a motor scooter. There was only one major house rule- “Don’t sit on the white couch.” She loved and was proud of her children and grandchildren on whom she would brag without invitation.
She was a passionate and creative homemaker. She took great delight in cooking which ranged from traditional northern Italian dishes (braciole, polenta) to 1960s Ladies Home Journal (tuna roll-ups) to healthy creative dishes. And she loved to bake! There were always cookies, cakes, and cupcakes at the ready for a surprise visitor. Gloria was an artist through and through. She loved to paint, sculpt, make pottery, and clothing, restore and upholster furniture with Frank, and most of all make funky Santa Claus statues. She was an extraordinary seamstress sewing quilts for the State Fair, and all her own clothes and her daughter’s clothes throughout childhood. She taught her daughter, granddaughters, and neighbors to sew.
Gloria never met a stranger. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners always included people she met in the preceding months- her kids’ roommates, the new priest, a graduate student from the supermarket line or the bicycle delivery boy. Many of Gloria’s friends became extended family members.
She had a 66-year committed marriage to her husband, Frank, with whom she shared a passion for ballroom dancing. They would practice dancing the Paso Doble and other dances in the living room with the furniture moved aside.
She was a devout Catholic who drove her children weekly to church at high speed in a 1966 Mustang so they wouldn’t be late for the gospel and have to repeat attending mass. As a younger woman, she was a Eucharistic minister and loved to run church dances, fashion shows, and other social activities. In her later years, she volunteered as a reading mentor for Zia elementary school children and as a mock patient for the University of New Mexico medical students.
Left to cherish her memory are her sister Dorothy, children Kurt Nolte and wife Bronwyn Wilson, Gregg Nolte and wife Patricia, Scott Nolte and wife Jennifer, Kim Nolte, and eight grandchildren Brandon, Graham, Heather, Cailin, Averill, Luke, Adam and Nicolas Nolte and numerous nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband Frank Nolte, parents Angelina and Giacomo Perretti, and brothers John and Edward Perretti.
She will be deeply missed by her family and friends through whom her stories and legacy will live on.
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