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By Ken Trainor
Every child brought a flower for her.
Over 400 people attended the retirement sendoff for Gloria Nash, who became an institution at West Suburban Montessori School, 1039 S. East Ave. in Oak Park. Mrs. Nash, who retired as supervisor of child care, started at West Suburban in 1979, and rarely missed a day. Sarah Saylor, president of the board, estimates that in the ensuing 33 years, she "read to, put to sleep, played games with, fixed scraped knees for, sang songs with, did art projects and so much more" for an estimated 1,700 kids.
Lourdes Nicholls Kaczkowski told the assembled well-wishers last weekend, "When I picked up my daughter, I knew she had been hugged and loved by Mrs. Nash. As my friend Andy Mead said, 'That was the best part of my day, knowing that my kids had been loved by her. They came home smelling like her.' There are very few on earth who can have an effect on so many. It's magical and Mrs. Nash has the touch. As Bruce Hartney says, 'Everything she does is soothing. Her ability to redirect children is phenomenal.'"
Mrs. Nash has lived on the Midway Park Boulevard in Austin for 40 years with her husband, Vernon. She has three sons, Anthony, Derrick and Roderick, and five grandchildren.