Gloria Ellison Levin


image of Gloria Ellison Levin

Gloria Ellison Levin

Gloria Ellison Levin of Seattle, Washington passed peacefully at age 88 on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Daughter of Swedish immigrants, Gloria was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 6, 1934. She graduated from Harper High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1952. She was awarded a scholarship and attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1956.

While a student at Augustana, Gloria met Arnold Levin, a seminary student. They married July 20, 1957. While Arnold was earning his Ph.D. in Theology at Harvard, Gloria worked as a secretary for Dr. Conrad Block (a Nobel prize winner in 1962 for cholesterol research). When Arnold served as a pastor of a Lutheran Church in New Hampshire, Gloria enjoyed serving their church community.

Gloria and Arnold and their children moved in 1965 from Boston to Rock Island, Illinois, where Arnold taught at Augustana as a theology professor, and Gloria taught Kindergarten in Orion, Illinois, a small farming community. Gloria’s enthusiasm and love for children profoundly touched the lives of many students and their parents, many of whom stayed in touch with her. While teaching full time, Gloria earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Western Illinois University. She supported Augustana College’s summer speech and hearing clinics where she mentored young college students seeking teaching careers. Gloria had a lifelong desire for learning, growth, and an open heart for acceptance of all.

Gloria’s enthusiasm for social connections and her boundless compassion created communities of love that surrounded her always. She was voted “Most Friendly Girl” in high school. She had active friendships in every community she touched, and even in this digital age, she sent and received over 200 Christmas letters each year by U.S. mail. Her knowledge of her hundreds of friends was richly detailed and often included names, locations and careers of their children.

Gloria and Arnold devoted much of their lives to Christian education and being an example of Christ’s love in the world, continuously active in a Lutheran Church in each of the cities they lived. After years of worship at Augustana Campus Church and Faith Lutheran Church in Moline, Illinois, when they retired and moved to Andover, Minnesota in 1999, they joined Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka. Gloria became active in social events (including trips to Germany and Norway) and volunteer work within the church community, especially for homeless families.

Arnold and Gloria shared a deep love and were married for 55 years and created a large loving family with 4 children,10 grandchildren, and a great grandchild on the way. After Arnold passed away in 2012, Gloria traveled extensively with her grandchildren and their families throughout Europe and the United States. Gloria loved music and the theater and enjoyed attending plays and concerts with her family. In 2019, Gloria relocated to a retirement community in Seattle, Washington (Ida Culver House Broadview), where she thrived in a community of peers.

Of the numerous ways Gloria made the world a better place, none was greater than her devotion to her children and grandchildren. She nurtured bonds that enabled each family member to feel supported, cherished, and empowered.

Gloria is survived by her four adult children and their spouses: Lori (Gary) Westerlund of Kent, WA, Lynn (Rod) Schaefer of Maple Grove, MN, Sheryl (Phil) Lundahl of Lynnwood, WA and Eric (Barbara) Levin from Chapel Hill, NC. Her ten grandchildren are: Kerstin (Bensouda) and Karin Westerlund; Sarah and Hanna Schaefer; Anna (Stults) and Linnea Lundahl; and Gunnar, Karenna, Halden, and Bengt Levin.

A celebration of her life will be held at University Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington on June 24, 2022. We are working on details to livestream and record this event.

For Gloria’s lifelong connection with and support for the Lutheran Church, please direct memorials to University Lutheran Church Seattle Capital Campaign, Fling Wide the Doors, information on website: (

Alternately, for global outreach, memorials can be directed to Lutheran World Relief for Ukraine emergency support (

3 Responses to “Gloria Ellison Levin”

  • Anna Stults says:

    My grandmother’s obituary is very well written, it made me cry:)

    Anna Stults

  • Dianne (Christensen) Bratz says:

    What a precious tribute to such a lively, lovely, extraordinary woman. 💕

  • Pam Pilcher Spencer says:

    A Kind Heart, a Gentle Generous Soul, & not without a sense of humor! Yes, the Friendliest… made you feel a million bucks about yourself. We all Love you Gloria!!!!
    Gloria… G L O R I A !!!!!
    Glory to God.
    Thank You for time spent with you Gloria!

Leave a Reply

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE