I’ve always had a heart for dogs. Many people in this community do, too, which is why I’m dedicating much of this space to Patricia Maria Glockler Gilderbloom, a lifelong animal lover who passed away in September.
According to her obituary, which was shared by her husband, Dr. John Gilderbloom, Patricia was born 59 years ago in the Dutch Colony of Paramaribo, Suriname, South America. At the age of six, she migrated to Santa Barbara – unable to speak anything but only Dutch – and eventually graduated from Santa Barbara High School.
Patricia was always proud of her Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese roots. She was also incredibly beautiful her whole life. In her twenties, Patty was a model, worked in health foods and was part of the New York art scene. No matter what she did, she always had a twinkle in her eyes and an infectious smile. In her thirties, she went to the University of Wisconsin and University of St. Thomas, where she graduated with a degree in English at the top of her class. She later attended the University of Houston where she worked on an education certificate and later finished with a master’s degree in education from the University of Louisville. There she was loved by peers, students and fellow teachers who marveled at her enthusiasm, intelligence, humor and passion.
Patricia began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher in Texas and later taught in Louisville at the Friends School, where she was soon promoted to principal. She later transferred to “where students needed the most help,” electing to teach at the poorest performing schools in Portland and West Louisville. She was known as a gifted teacher, and her students regularly outperformed expectations. She was proud that many of her students – including her own son – ended up going to the top universities in the world.
Patty, as she was known to those who knew her, loved and cherished her “rescue dogs” Reece, Lucy Roscoe, Snoopy and Dexter.
She became a devoted student of Buddhism, practicing yoga and meditation. She was also proud and invigorated by her involvement in a Christian ministry program that visited and counseled prisoners on Friday nights. Toward the end of her life, she reached out to parents who lost their children to suicide and grieved with them.
Patty was also involved in gardening, social justice, care of the elderly, renovating historic homes and educational reform. She was an avid reader of books and generously donated them to anyone who wanted a good read. She was a life-long tennis player recruited by the University of Wisconsin tennis team. She was a big fan of baseball and basketball, but disliked football.
Patty Gilderbloom loved life and living to the fullest, yet tragedy struck on May 9, 2011, when her son, Max Gilderbloom, was found dead. In her own words: “That is when my life ended.”
Patty never recovered from the loss of her son. Only a mother could truly grasp the unending grief, sorrow, and pain of losing a 21- year-old with such a bright future. She was beyond angry at the dark evil forces that took her son away from her.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations of money and/or time be made to Patty’s favorite causes: the Louisville Zoo, a place where she spent much time; planting trees in her son’s honor; or, adopting a rescue dog.
Now, Dr. Gilderbloom is trying to fulfill one of his late wife’s wishes by finding a home for Lucy and Reece, the Chinese crested dogs about which she cared so deeply.
They’re a package deal and are very healthy, since Patty’s last act was to take them to the veterinarian for a check-up. They are house trained, loving and sweet. The Gilderblooms also have an account set up for them at a local pet hospital to pay medical expenses.
Know anyone who would be willing to open his or her heart and home to Lucy and Reece and, thus, honor the life of Patricia Gilderbloom? If so, please contact me via one of the methods listed at the end of this column.
The Voice-Tribune’s longtime social columnist Carla Sue and her husband Brad Broecker have a new addition to their family: a 20-foot tall giraffe named Heuser. The big fella was carved from a tree Brad dug up from his uncle’s Shelby County farm 40 years ago. The pin oak was struck by lightning last year, which essentially killed it. So the ever-savvy Broeckers commissioned Tim Gill, a carver from Peoria, Illinois. Three days later, Heuser emerged.
Blush & Beecher Terrace
Blush Boutique is accepting new and gently used winter coats, which will be given to residents of Beecher Terrace. As an added bonus, the shop is offering 15 percent of your entire purchase if you participate in the coat drive between now and Oct. 15. Even if you’re not in the mood to shop the affordable boutique, please consider dropping off your extra cold-weather outerwear. And if you’re interested in helping with the delivery of the goods, please contact me. Your assistance is much appreciated.
Where: Blush Boutique at 3745 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40207. 502.897.7207
What: Donate a gently worn winter coat & receive 15% off your entire purchase!
When: October 1st-15th, 2012
For the past two years, The Voice-Tribune has hosted a party at a local hotspot on the third Thursday of nearly every month. Next week we do it again at Sway inside the Hyatt. As always, the event is free and all are invited (so long as you’re 21 and older). The Voice’s official deejay, DJ Jaybird, and Leigh Ann Yost will provide the entertainment. Join us from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Contact Managing Editor Angie Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.551.2698, www.facebook.com/angiefenton2, @angiefenton on Twitter and @angieeff on Instagram.