Gloria Bacsujlaky, two weeks shy of 90, passed away peacefully July 28, 2019, with her daughter Mara beside her. Following his death January 23, 2019, she joined her life center, her loving, and devoted husband Dez so that in whatever lies ahead for them now, they will share it together, as they did so much else in their 62 years as a couple.
A professional artist, Gloria lived in Germantown from 1963 until 2010 when, as a result of dementia, she moved into skilled nursing in Wyndmoor. She attended the Kansas City Art Institute, the Chicago Art Institute and spent several years in France and Italy studying, traveling and creating art with fellow artists and friends, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. Primarily a printmaker, she exhibited extensively in galleries, and group and solo shows in Philadelphia. She was an exhibitor for over 20 years in the annual Rittenhouse Clothesline Art Show. Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian National Art Gallery, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the LaSalle University Museum and many corporate and private art collections.
She was an intensely creative and eccentric individual, who always had a sketchbook in hand. With the help of her husband, a professional architect, and the grudging assistance of their daughter who was convinced it constituted forced child labor, she renovated and restored a 14-room Italianate Victorian, which was the family home for 46 years. She loved entertaining and decorating the house at Christmas, especially the 12-foot tall Christmas tree, which was the canvas for hundreds of decorations she collected over the years. She was well-known for spear-heading a campaign to plant 50 street trees in the neighborhood, and for the imaginative (and scary) Halloween haunted houses she created annually for neighborhood kids. Gloria was also an animal-lover, and the house was home to many dogs, cats, turtles, birds, field mice, and other injured animals requiring rehabilitation before release. She had a special place in her heart for opossums.
In recognition of the importance that nature and wildlife played in their lives, a memorial service and tree-planting for my parents will be held at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, on April 19, 2020, from 2 to 5. In lieu of flowers, Gloria’s request is that donations are made to the Schuylkill Center or to the Morris Animal Refuge, Philadelphia.
Gloria is survived by her daughter, Mara, her sister, Nancy, and nieces and nephews, Eric, Liz, Bill and Anna.
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