The Biography of Gloria Braunhardt
Gloria P. Braunhardt (1921-2010) Gloria was born in Beverly in 1921, the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Perrotta. She grew up and graduated from Beverly High School. Later, she became the wife of George Braunhardt. She had two children, Donna and Robert. For most of her life, she was a resident of Newburyport. Regrettably, her son Robert who was living in California passed away in 2008. Later in her life, she contracted cancer and died in the evening of September 9th, 2010 at her daughter’s home in Yarmouth Port at the age of 89.
As for the impact she had on Newburyport, it is best to relay the special tribute that was made by Albert G. Decie II and his wife, Vicki Myette in 2014:
“A popular religious hymn, "To God Be The Glory," in part reads, "Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done ....”
This story is not about religious music but a tribute to our wonderful Glory B, you may know as Gloria Braunhardt. To her closest friends she is and always will be Glory B. Glory B through her life has taught us great things and has done great things in the name of the common good for all citizens. For the first time in Gloria's many years, illness interrupted and sidelined her many activities. It is important for us to honor her with our praise and thanksgiving, for the things she has taught us and the great things she has done.
Many in our community are unaware of Gloria's many causes, issues and unselfish deeds. Humbly but never in a shy manner, Gloria attended the many Newburyport meetings of the council, Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and the various other city government meetings. From this dedication Gloria was extremely knowledgeable on the various issues involving city government and the impact on the citizens' common good and the environment. After a brief conversation one would become aware of what an interesting women she was.
Widowed at an early age, this feisty little woman took life's challenges on with courage, determination and boundless energy. From maintaining her own home (painting outside, cutting grass, shoveling snow and planting her beautiful gardens) to working well into her late years and volunteering in our schools, she was an inspiration to anyone wondering what retirement could hold. However, at 90 years young, it is safe to say Glory B didn't know the meaning of the word retirement. To fill a day even greater, Gloria loved working her artistic creations, penning a letter to The Daily News or some city government board and the mayor. In Glory B's spare time she played golf, ice skated, bowled and loved long country walks.
Several years ago Gloria was instrumental in helping to form the Citizens for Environmental Balance, CEB. Again, her only objective was the citizen's common good, the protection of our disappearing environmental treasures and the application of our laws. Picture this woman of boundless energy on a mission to make the world and our community a better place, righting what is wrong to the best of her ability, and you will still only touch the surface of this incredible woman.
The issues that Gloria followed were many, complicated and very time-consuming. Gloria met head on with knowledge of the issues and fortitude. Some of the CEB issues were and still are today: the citizens' vote (twice) for an open waterfront, Hale Street developed into a truck route, the toxic factory development in the middle of the North Common Pasture wetlands, name petition collection to bring the CPA to the ballot box, the environmental destruction by the Crow Lane landfill with a soccer field top, the protection of the wetlands and the Little River along the old access road and the government's plan to place a sewer line through it, the Little River Transit Program, development in the middle of Woodman farm wetlands, and the Oleo Trust wetlands development. On all issues the main goal was the environment and public awareness. With Glory B's talented pen to paper, that was archived in most cases.
If you knew Glory B, I am sure you are a better person for that gift. Great things she taught us and great things she has done. At the time of this writing, our Glory B is now with her Lord.”
The City, in gratitude for her untiring civil service for the municipality; the bike trail that was made from the abandoned Route 95 access road was renamed the Gloria Braunhardt Bike Trail by the City Council and was officially dedicated in 2014.