Cover photo for Gloria Jean Holley (Matthews)'s Obituary
Gloria Jean Holley (Matthews) Profile Photo
1943 Gloria 2023

Gloria Jean Holley (Matthews)

October 28, 1943 — July 9, 2023

Gloria Jean Holley

October 28, 1943 – July 9, 2023

Gloria was born in Mesa, AZ on October 28, 1943, to Carter Glade and Myrtle Ellen Matthews. She was the last of 5 children and the only daughter.

At the age of 21, in 1964, she married the love of her life, Dennis Wayne Holley. In 1967, they made the move to Montrose, Colorado with their oldest child (that’s ME) in tow. They added 2 more children to the family. A daughter in 1971 and a son in 1979. Gloria and Dennis were sealed for all eternity in the Mesa, AZ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints temple in 1979. Gloria lost her only son, Patrick, in 2008 and her one and only love, Dennis, in 2017. What a joyous reunion they are having.

Gloria began her career with the Forest Service in August of 1967 and gave 30 years of service before retiring in 1997. She made the transition to Wildland Fire Dispatching where she became “famous”.

Gloria’s faith was a very big part of who she was – which translated into who she was as a human. Not only did she have an unshakable faith and strong belief, but she also actually physically and visually lived it. She set the example for everyone she met. I have heard several times, from ALL sorts of people, that she was the example of exactly what it meant to be Christian and human. The world views never touched her or shook her faith.

Gloria spent 20+ years in the Wildland Fire Dispatch community. Along with her strong faith that shined wherever she went, her name in the fire community is also spoken in reverence. She traveled all over the country working fires or for FEMA. She went to Puerto Rico to teach the official dispatching system, she worked with NASA in Atlanta to recover space shuttle debris, she went to South Carolina to work during hurricane Katrina and stayed for several months to assist – just to name a few.

Anyone who met her remembers the first time they met or worked with her and the impact she had on them. In her final months, she received hundreds of cards and letters from all over the United States. Mom said at one time that she couldn’t believe how many people were reaching out and telling her what an impact she had on them. This was the best thing about her – she was who she was without judgement or realizing her impact. She was inclusive, happy, friendly, loving, caring regardless of how anyone differed from her. Anyone who met or worked with her has been “Gloria-fied”

Gloria was proceeded in death by her parents, her 4 brothers, her husband Dennis and her son Patrick.

Survivors include her daughters Jill Cox (Craig) and Dawn Barlow. Her beloved grandchildren – Braunsen Mitchell, Skylar Mitchell (Monica), Tessa Rivera (Andrew), Bethany Robbins (Anthony), Mackenzie Cox, Chantz Barlow (Jasmine), Gannon Barlow and Wiley Harrison. She also has 10 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Rest easy mom – your work here on earth is done and what a fabulous job you did exemplifying your beliefs and your goodness as examples for us all!

Gloria’s service will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on 21028 Uncompahgre Road Montrose, CO at 11:00 am on August 12th.

Crippin Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family. 970-249-2121

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gloria Jean Holley (Matthews), please visit our flower store.


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