Gloria R. Hershberger

Gloria R. Hershberger

Hollandale/Madison, WI – Gloria R. Hershberger, age 83, passed away on Monday, January 8, 2018. She died from complications of a life well-lived. Gloria was born on October 15, 1934 to Otis and Gladys (Nelson) Retrum in Dodgeville, WI.

Gloria started her education in a one-room schoolhouse and never stopped her desire for learning. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in music. Music has permeated her life ever since. She taught music in Freeport public schools and was the long-time choir director of First Lutheran Church in Freeport, IL.

Gloria Retrum and Roger Hershberger were married at Hollandale Lutheran Church on June 13, 1959. They raised their sons Michael and Tom in Freeport, but Gloria ensured that the boys were fed a steady diet of UW-Madison songs. She was not shy about proclaiming UW’s virtues.

Gloria switched careers in the 1970’s and became a successful Realtor. She was a natural people person and worked closely with her husband Roger for 30 years operating Hersh Realtors. Gloria was an eternal optimist and never met a stranger she couldn’t find something in common with – traits that she passed along to her grandchildren.

Gloria loved family. Her absolute joy in life was her grandchildren. She always had popcorn ready for their visits and was very enthusiastic about their latest adventures. Gloria also loved spending time in Hollandale with family, especially sisters Marie and June who were Gloria’s lifetime best friends, confidants, and inspiration.

Gloria is survived by sons Michael (Linda) and Tom (Sherry); grandchildren Jenna, Benjamin, Jesse, Daniel, Rebekah, and Sarah; sisters June Diel and Marie Gilbertson; and her great aunt Mae Beuter, who was always willing to listen and give good advice. Gloria influenced many lives with her encouragement and positive attitude. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

A visitation for Gloria will be held Friday, January 12th from 5:00 until 8:00 pm at the New Hope Lutheran Church, Hollandale, WI. Another visitation will be held at the church at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 13th with the funeral service and luncheon to follow at 11:00 am. Rev. Michelle Elfers will officiate the service. Online memories and condolences can be shared with the family at

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to New Hope Lutheran Church.