Gloria Wasilewski, 81

Mrs. Gloria Wasilewski, 81, of Fairview Drive in Ellwood City, passed away at Kindred Care in the Beaver Medical Center on Friday, November 15, 2013 surrounded by her family.

Mrs. Wasilewski was born January 12, 1932 in Warren, Ohio, to the late Thomas and Geraldine Rose Ben. She was a graduate of Lincoln High School and Westminster College, where she obtained her degree in communications. Gloria (or “Mrs. Waz” to most students) began her teaching career at Beaver Falls High School in 1953, and in 2004 retired from Riverside High School following 51 wonderful years of teaching.

During her tenure, Gloria, a communications teacher, initiated a Forensics club and a debate team, assumed the role of cheer leading sponsor, directed countless musicals, and made a positive impact on thousands of students.

Gloria was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Ellwood City where she was a member of the choir, Hazel Adams Scholarship committee, the quilting group, and various other positions throughout the years. She also had a passion for travel, exploring dozens of countries and every continent except Antarctica.

Other activities that she enjoyed include reading, writing, attending musicals and plays, spending her winters in Florida, and in particular, traveling and spending time with her loving family.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Gene Wasilewski in 1996, and a sister, Betty Jo Cummings in 1976.

She is survived by her three daughters, Jody (and Dean) McCracken of Tampa, FL, Pepi (and Barry) Baker of Grove City, Tanya (and Bruce) Bellissimo of Ellwood City; one son, Geno Wasilewski of Golden, CO; ten grandchildren, Gemma, Gino and Nico Bellissimo, Brooke (and Candace) Hatcher, Stephanie (and Leone) Siliga, Kevin Baker, Michael and Kylie McCracken, Chelsea and Gena Wasilewski; one great granddaughter, Leila Siliga; and numerous loving nieces and nephews.

A private viewing will be held for the family at the Marshall Funeral Home, Ellwood City. Friends are invited to a memorial service on Saturday, November 23 at 11 am at the First United Methodist Church, located on the corner of Fifth Street and Crescent Ave, across from Lincoln High School.

In lieu of flowers, donations be made to the “Gloria Wasilewski Scholarship Fund,” a trust fund to be established for high school seniors planning to major in education. Donations can be sent to 110 Fairview Dr., Ellwood City, PA 16117. Or, donations can be made for the United Methodist Women at the First United Methodist Church in Ellwood City.

Online condolences may be sent to

8 thoughts on “Gloria Wasilewski, 81

  1. Jody, Pepi, Tanya and Geno – It is a special heartache when a parent passes away and my sympathies are with you at this time. In a way, we are all losing a parent, becasue “Mrs. Waz” was a guiding force in all the lives she touched over the years. Her Honors English class was one of the toughest I’ve ever taken, but with the toughness she brought excitement, dedication, joy, diligence, responsibility, complexity, and respect. We, in turn, found those qualities in ourselves, learning so much more than English Lit. Mrs. Waz was a great lady. She will be remembered for years to come. – Joanne Pelliccioni

    • Miss Gloria Ben was my teacher at Beaver Falls High School in 1953 and 1954.
      She married and became “Mrs. Waz” immediately. I still have good memories
      of her classes. She taught Drama and Speech Workshop at that time.

  2. To the family of Gloria- You have my deepest sympathy for your recent loss. She was a great neighbor and will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

  3. Jody, Pepi, Tanya, Geno and families. My deepest sympathies to you and your entire family. I have many fond memories of your mother both from the church and various clubs. Her memory will live on in each one of us in so many ways…..and she will be greatly missed by all.
    Love, Lois Hoffman

  4. Jody, Pepi, Tanya, Geno and families,

    Our deepest sympathies to you and your entire family. We have many fond memories of your mother and father. Wasi and I were classmates in high school while GA and I were classmates in college. When Wasi got out of the navy and came to Westminster it was destiny that my two good friends should meet. Work severed my wife Ellie and I from Pennsylvania, but it did not sever our friendship with your parents. They both brought joy to our lives.

    Jim & Ellie White

  5. Mrs. Was will be missed by many and I send my sympathies to you all at this time. She made a difference in the lives of countless students.

  6. You have my deepest sympathy. I was Mrs. Wasilewski’s last student teacher in the fall of 2003. She set a high bar by both example and expectation. She gave me a wonderful start on my career and some great advice for living. She remains one of the best teachers I have ever known, and her legacy continues in those whom her students and family influence every day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *