Cover photo for Gloria Jean Pagel's Obituary
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1927 Gloria 2023

Gloria Jean Pagel

December 18, 1927 — September 16, 2023

Gloria Jean Pagel of Harlingen went to be with our Lord on September 16, 2023 just months shy of her 96th birthday. Gloria was born in 1927 to James A. and Charlotte (Hastings) McKinnis in Laredo, TX. Shortly after birth, her mother re-married Captain Roland Rief. She traveled the US as a military child with Rief in charge of building new army forts across the US prior and during WWII. She often said she didn’t even know the war was going on around her because she was a teenager and relished the nightly dances at the base Officers Clubs.

At the age of 17, she fell in love and married Carl F. Pagel from Danbury, WI who was working for the government in Laredo. Shortly after, they had two boys, Dennis W. Pagel and David L. Pagel both of Harlingen. While Gloria and Carl had only 2 sons, they went on to have 10 grandchildren, dozens of great grandchildren, and several great, great grandchildren during their 62 years of marriage. Family was everything to Gloria and Carl and regular family gatherings were filled with good food, laughter, stories, music, games, and so much love. The holidays will not be the same without the matriarch and patriarch of the Pagel family.

Gloria went by many names - Baby, Honey, Mother, Aunt Woozy, and Nonnie. She loved her family first and then her hobbies - raising miniature toy poodles, raising and selling tropical species (fish, plants, and birds), finding treasures at estate sales, bowling, fishing and boating trips to the Arroyo, and spending many happy days with family at their mobile home on South Padre Island. She was active and lived on her own in her home of more than 65 years until just a few weeks before her death. If only we could all be so fortunate.

Gloria is preceded in death by her husband, Carl; her younger son, David; her two daughters-in-law,  Marie Sitton Pagel and Denise Kennedy Pagel whom she cherished like the daughters she never had; her brother, Robert Davis; and her two sisters, Nellie Mitchell and Micky Hughes.

She is survived by her older son, Dennis W. Pagel Sr., her sweet daughter-in-love, Vonda (Wallace) Pagel, and her grands.

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