Gloria Park

Obituary of Gloria Gayle Park

Gloria Gayle Park passed away on August 31, 2023 at Seneca View in Montour Falls, New York. She lived life to its fullest, developing a deep faith, working to lift up people in need, energetically exploring a variety of hobbies and interests, and forging strong connections with family and community. Gayle was born on July 1, 1935, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Dr. Wilfred Lionel Hufton and Thelma Marie Butler. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, where her father practiced medicine. As a girl, she was an accomplished dancer and an award-winning marksman. Gayle graduated from Albion College in 1957. During her college years, her spirit of adventure and inquiry took her to Pakistan, where she spent her junior year studying at Kinnaird College in Lahore through the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. Gayle traveled extensively as a young woman, visiting countries including Afghanistan, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, the USSR, Italy, Austria, and Germany, where she taught briefly on a U.S. Air Force base. Gayle's experiences abroad focused her attention on issues of social justice. She met her husband, the Rev. Julian Philip Park, while working in the civil rights movement in Detroit, Michigan. They were married in 1961 and divorced in 1982. After moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gayle earned a master's degree in special education from the University of Pittsburgh. She continued her career as a teacher of the blind in Pittsburgh and Bergen County, New Jersey while raising two daughters. During this time, she managed to find time to volunteer in her children's schools and lead a Girl Scout troop. Gayle moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1982, where she spent her teaching career working with underserved minority students with multiple disabilities. She became an active member of the Celebration of Life Presbyterian Church of Mesa and of the Presbytery of the Grand Canyon. With her congregation, she worked to respond to humanitarian concerns on Arizona's border with Mexico. Her efforts on behalf of women earned special recognition from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. She also became an avid quilter and birder while in Arizona, and she spent as many summers as she could at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, helping with an archaeological dig. In addition, she was active in the lives of her grandchildren, seeking out fishing holes, learning new technology, and traveling to Mexico for visits. Shortly before her 80th birthday, Gayle moved to Ithaca, New York, where she was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, also known as Pick's Disease. In Ithaca, she was a resident of Longview, a participant in an aphasia support group at Ithaca College, a student of Tai Chi, and a member of First Presbyterian Church of Ithaca. Gayle is predeceased by her parents; siblings Wilfred Lionel Hufton II, Judith Hufton, and Thomas Butler Hufton; and her daughter Suzanne Marie Marette. She is survived by sister Priscilla Hufton of Tempe, Arizona; daughter Pamela Gayle Walker (Bob) of Corning, New York; and grandchildren Christopher John Walker of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Michael Timothy Walker of Corning, New York, and Chloe Margaret Marette of San Jose, California. A memorial service in Gayle's honor will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Gayle's memory to the Ghost Ranch Foundation, 280 Private Drive, 1708 Highway US-84, Abiquiu, New Mexico 87510 or online at
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