Gloria Rometo Gaydos, a longtime Sewickley resident, passed away on May 8 at the age of 94 from natural causes, with her family by her side.
Gloria was born July 19, 1925 to the late Emil and Mary Sader Rometo of Glassmere. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. John Gaydos, sons Robert and Jeffrey Gaydos, and her brother Emil Rometo.
Gloria’s father was one of 12 children, and she loved growing up in the large, extended Rometo family. She was proud of her Italian heritage. After graduating from East Deer High School, she attended Penn State University, where she was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She graduated in 1947 with a degree in medical technology. Gloria worked at the HJ Heinz Company performing quality control checks on ketchup, before taking a job as a lab technician at Sewickley Valley Hospital. That’s where she met John and they married in July of 1949, beginning a remarkable love-filled journey of 52 years.
Gloria had exceptional domestic skills. She was a talented seamstress, who made clothes for herself and her children. She could hang wallpaper, reupholster furniture, had an eye for interior design, and planted beautiful gardens. But it was in the kitchen where she excelled the most. Gloria’s chicken and peas casserole, roast beef, homemade pizza, chicken paprikash with dumplings, and zucchini pancakes were unforgettable. She loved desserts and baked everything from scratch. We still struggle to replicate some of her signature recipes, especially her nutroll and flaky piecrust. Her kids often accused her of omitting secret ingredients when she shared her recipes.
Gloria had a kind and generous heart. Her door was always open and there was always an extra seat at her table. She loved to have fun, never passed up a reason to celebrate, and boy, did she know how to throw a party! She enjoyed entertaining, whether it was a gathering for a hundred people or one of her big weekly Sunday family dinners, she made everything herself, and always went the extra mile. She would poach whole salmons, shuck oysters, and it wasn’t out of the ordinary to see her at the head of the table, igniting a pan of bananas flambé for dessert.
Gloria loved lobster dinners, crossword puzzles, shopping trips, snowy days, penguins, romance novels, cruises, Caribbean beaches, and strong Manhattans at happy hour. But she loved her family the most.
She was a warm and loving Mom and leaves behind three daughters: Jennifer Chmay and her husband Peter of Edgeworth, Claudia Scanlon and her husband Kieran of Sewickley, and Leslie Harper and her husband Jack of Holliston, MA. The girls were in daily contact with her and were in constant disagreement over which one of them was her favorite. Gloria tried to settle the argument the day she bought each of them the same t-shirt that said “Mom Loves Me Best.” They always told her she was the greatest Mom in the world, but she was arguably an even better Grandma.
Gloria doted on her nine grandchildren: Victor Gaydos, John (Jody), Jeffrey and Katherine Chmay, Connor and Kiera Scanlon, and Grant, Blake and Laine Gloria Harper. They have many happy memories of those big family dinners; her amazing cooking, especially her homemade pasta and spaghetti sauce, swimming in her pool, the beautiful brooches she always wore, the money and candy she loved to slip them, and the magical Christmas celebrations at her home. They remember she was not afraid to speak her mind and dole out honest advice when needed, whether they wanted to hear it or not. Grandma could always be counted on to cry at all of their accomplishments, be it a First Communion, good report card, sports victory, graduation, engagement, wedding or just about anything else. She loved them to pieces. Gloria also leaves five great-grandchildren, Alexis, Alivia, Dante and Noelle Gaydos, and Sophie Chmay.
Gloria was an eternal optimist. We can’t remember her ever complaining, no matter what life threw at her. Her glass was always half full. We hope you’ll fill your glass the rest of the way, find something to celebrate, and make a toast in her honor. She would love that.
We extend a huge thank you to the loving staff at Masonic Village who took extraordinary care of her in her final years. We will have a celebration of Gloria’s life at a later date. Donations in her memory can be made to Masonic Village, 1000 Masonic Drive, Sewickley, PA 15143 or Friends of Quaker Valley, PO Box 29, Sewickley, PA 15143.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gloria Rometo Gaydos, please visit our floral store.