Gloria Rose Improta, who resided in Stamford for over 70 years, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 25 at Stamford Hospital. She was 88 years old.
Gloria was best known in recent years for working at Mama Carmela’s Deli in Darien, where customers knew her by name and enjoyed her genuine smile and the care she took in catering to them.
Her hospitality was her passion as customers, family, and friends were drawn to her engaging personality and resourcefulness.
Gloria was born Feb. 21, 1930 in White Plains, N.Y.
She and her late husband, Mario Improta, met while working at Machlett Laboratories (which went on to become Raytheon) in Stamford in the 1950s.
They combined their desire to build something on their own and bought the Dairy Queen in Westport in the 1970s. It was a brave move they took to support their family of five.
— an obituary from Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home
They went on to buy and run Mr. Deli in Darien in the 1980s, and after that worked side by side at Critic’s Choice in Stamford.
Gloria never shied away from hard work and ways to expand her skills from computer training at IBM to certification as a nurse’s aid, graduating top of her class.
Besides her work, Gloria loved to be creative — sewing curtains for her home as a new bride, baking specialty cakes as well as her famous, delicious butter cookies.
She recently enjoyed her 88th birthday and was filled with joy on that day.
She is survived by her daughters, Mary “Micki” Szeligowski, Joanne Labs, and Lisa Gold. Gloria’s family was her greatest joy, including her sons-in-law Raymond Szeligowski, Kerry Gold, and the late Kenneth Labs. She was especially proud of her grandchildren — Jonathan Szeligowski and his wife Sarah, David Szeligowski and Ryan and Noah Gold.
In addition, she is survived by her nieces and nephews, their spouses and children, born to her beloved late sister Laura Bonaiuto. She is also survived by her nephew John R. Fasoli and his wife Gretchen. She loved all of her family dearly.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 27, with final visitation from 9 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28 at the Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home (next to the Knights of Columbus) 453 Shippan Ave., Stamford. Burial will follow at Fairfield Memorial Park/Oaklawn Cemetery in Stamford.
We look forward to greeting you and sharing joyful stories of her life.
To send on line condolences to the family, please visit the funeral home website.