Gloria Yvonne Mathre, 89, of Houston, TX, died on Friday, April 16, 2021, in the Plaza at the Buckingham in Houston, TX, under the care of Hospice.
Gloria was born in Teien Township, Minnesota, on June 27, 1931, the daughter of Elias “E.B.” Herseth and Florence (Brenberg) Herseth. She was baptized, confirmed, and married at Skjeberg Lutheran Church.
She spent her childhood at Kennedy and Teien Township and attended schools in Kennedy, District #9 County School, and Drayton High School. She graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, with a major in Public School Music and sang in the Concert Choir.
She married Paul G. Mathre at Skjeberg Lutheran Church on August 20, 1954. During their marriage, they moved over 30 times as Paul completed Luther Theological Seminary, served as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force, as Pastor in the Lutheran Parish Ministry before finally retiring to Houston, TX. She devoted her life to raising four children (Becky) Lynn, Mark, Mary, and Karen, while managing the responsibility of moving the family every 1-2 years. She lived her life committed to her family, music, education, community service, and creative projects, including a form of Norwegian needlework called Hardanger.
Besides teaching music, she was an organist, director, and church choir member during the family’s travels. She was a proud member of the Concordia Concert Choir under the direction of Paul J. Christianson. The annual choir tours included concerts in Carnegie Hall and Constitution Hall and the first choir to sing in the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. She had the privilege of being a contralto soloist in Handel’s Messiah at multiple locations in Madison, SD, San Antonio, and Del Rio, TX, and twice with the Minot, ND Symphony. As a family, she ensured we all had music lessons, and the family’s fondest memories are of her playing piano and singing to us.
She cherished education and was grateful that her parents invested in sending her and her two sisters to college, which was uncommon for that time. She passed on the value of education to her children.
In each community, she found a way to serve. At Naha Air Force Base in Okinawa, she was church organist and performed community outreach with an Okinawan Christian Congregation while raising their three oldest children. At Kelly Air Force Base, she was the chairman of the Officer’s Wives Club Welfare Committee as they aided people in need in the San Antonio Community. In Del Rio, TX, she organized a joint Protestant and Catholic choir that sang the “Seven Last Words of Christ” by Dubois. In Twin Valley, MN, she organized a children’s rhythm choir at the church.
Gloria was creative. She sewed clothing, made quilts, learned to paint, and was a consummate decorator of homes. She learned many forms of needlework and spent years perfecting a complicated and exacting form of Norwegian needlework called Hardanger, producing dozens of pieces, including a custom-made stole with the cross for Paul’s Vestments. One of her pieces is displayed in Skjeberg Lutheran Church as part of the rededication of the new church built after the fire.
Her loving family members include her devoted husband of 66 years, Paul G. Mathre, her four children, and their spouses: Lynn Mathre and Stewart O’Dell of Houston, TX, Mark and Linda Mathre of League City, TX, Mary Mathre and Steve Overby, of Missouri City, TX, and Karen Mathre and Chris Storment of Sonoma, CA. Additional family members include grandchildren Erika Mathre Peters, David Andersen, Susan Andersen, Elizabeth de Guerrero, Christopher Mathre-Overby, Shayna Berkowitz, and Niko Storment; and numerous great-grandchildren. Also surviving our mother are many in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives, many of whom still live in or near Drayton, ND, and Teien Township, MN, where she grew up.
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents, Elias “E.B.” and Florence (Brenberg) Herseth, and siblings Velma Carlson, Minda Bertilrud, and Harold Herseth, all buried at Skjeberg Lutheran Church in Minnesota.
The family will host a private memorial service at noon on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Bradshaw-Carter Memorial & Funeral Services at 1734 W. Alabama St. in Houston. Neighbors and friends are encouraged to attend virtually by clicking on the Livestream link at Gloria's tribute on Bradshawcarter.com. There will also be a screen at the funeral home for those who would like to watch live at noon. All are welcome to join in an open visitation and reception from 1-2:30 p.m. at Bradshaw-Carter following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the following charities: Skjeberg Lutheran Church of Drayton, ND, Concordia College of Moorhead, MN, Houston Public Media (Classical Music), or to the Houston Symphony.
Skjeberg Lutheran Church c/o Koda Bank
Box 369, Drayton ND 58225
Houston Public Media (Classical Music)
4343 Elgin Street, Houston TX 77204-0008
Please fill out the "in honor of" name AND put the address for the family under additional information
615 Louisiana St. Suite 102, Houston TX 77002
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