Gloria Anne Kittell Hannas died on Dec. 18, 2018. Born on May 22, 1927 in Newark, New Jersey to Noel E. and Virgiline Kittell, she graduated from Woodbridge High School, attended Indiana University, and graduated with a B.A. in 1949. She worked for J. Walter Thompson. In 1950, she married Warren F. Hannas and lived in La Grange for 60 years. She earned a teacher’s certificate and began a 20-year career as a high school French teacher at Thornton Township and later Thornwood high schools. She earned her M.A. at Northwestern University in 1972. Upon her retirement, she became a private French consultant/tutor for students and for adults going abroad and was also a passionate volunteer advocate for people she felt were in need of support and freedom.
She served as a commissioner from First Presbyterian Church of La Grange at the meetings of the Chicago Presbytery. She also worked with the Presbytery’s Middle East Task Force and Peacemaking Mission Team and advocated for justice in Central and South America. A progressive who spoke out for social justice and world peace, she was greatly admired for her dedication, enthusiasm, and willingness to work and received a Humanitarian Award from the La Grange NAACP.
She moved to the Oak Park Arms when she needed to leave her home in La Grange because she wanted to live in a community where integrated housing was desired and where people practiced inclusion. She became an active member of First United Church of Oak Park where she attended Sunday morning adult education seminars and weekly Bible studies on a variety of topics, and was on the church’s Faith in Action Committee. She tutored elementary children as part of the Cluster Tutoring program for inner-city youth and was active with the Oak Park Arms’ Readers Theater and its book club.
She moved to Overland Park, Kansas to be near family once she needed assistance and faithfully attended Village Presbyterian Church as long as she was able. The family thanks Rev. Becky Chamberlain, Village Presbyterian Church Interim Pastor for Pastoral Care, for frequently visiting Gloria, and to Kindred Hospice, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, and Delmar Gardens of Overland Park for the excellent care they provided.
She loved cats her entire life and had the pleasure of having two snowshoe cats, Lili and Sasha most recently, and Minou before them.
Gloria Hannas is survived by her children, Barbara (Hannas) Johnson and Stuart Hannas; her grandchildren, Sarah Payne, and Chris Payne; her three great-grandchildren; her niece, Cindy (Hanna) D’Esterre; and her nephews, Scott Hanna, Steve Hanna and Craig Hanna.
A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of La Grange on Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m., 150 S. Ashland.
She will rest with her parents at Bronswood Cemetery following the service.