Gloria Kloster - Brookings

Dec. 24, 1947 - May 4, 2022

Gloria Jean Kloster, age 74, passed away on May 4, 2022, at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m., May 13 at Clark Center Lutheran Church, Clark, SD, with Paster Gary Anderson officiating. The family will be present at the church at 10 a.m. for one hour of visitation prior to the service.  Casket bearers will be her grandchildren, and all Optimists members will be considered honorary casket bearers. Interment will follow at the Clark Center Cemetery.
Gloria Jean (Newman) Kloster, the oldest of four children, was born in Sioux City, Iowa, to Donald Alfred and Elsie (Fowler) Newman on Christmas Eve, 1947. She grew up in Sioux City, IA, Homer, NE, Paulina, IA, and Madison SD, before the family moved to Clark SD in 1957.
Gloria graduated from Clark High School and attended South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, SD, where she and her high school sweetheart, Martin G. Kloster (Marty) were married on Sept. 11, 1967.
Upon Marty’s ROTC commissioning, they became an active-duty Army family, departing Brookings and traveling the world for 27 years and 19 moves. During that time, Gloria served in many volunteer positions assisting and advocating for soldiers and their families, to include supervisor of Army Community Service; a seven  year delegate to the Department of the Army’s Family Action Plan Symposium; and the leader of family support groups for over 1,900 family members in a battalion whose soldiers were deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and for more 2,400 members in a brigade that was spread throughout the Pacific Rim. Because of her experience with family support in both peacetime and war, she was selected as a Department of the Army Certified Trainer for the inaugural Army Family Team Building Program.
Gloria also served in a variety of volunteer positions in Officers’ Wives Clubs worldwide, including president of the Fort Huachuca, AZ, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, clubs; as well as an advisor and board chairman for military Community Thrift Shops and Army Family Team Building groups stateside and overseas. In addition to being nominated for Army Wife of the Year, Gloria received numerous unit awards for her service to soldiers and their families; and was awarded the Department of the Army Commendation Medal for Public Service from three separate major Army commands: Army Materiel Command (AMC), U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), and U.S. Army Pacific Command (USARPAC).
Gloria was a graduate of the Old Masters’ Art Academe Ad Modum Maroge, Boeblingen-Sindelfingen, Germany; and earned a degree in interior design from Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA. She taught private and group watercolor and oil painting classes, and was a juried member and president of the Eagle’s Eye Art Gallery located in the historic Hotel Del Monte, Monterey CA. She worked as the customer service manager for a financial publication firm in Alexandria VA; as a private English instructor in Sagamihara, Japan; as an Instructional Assistant for special education students in Alexandria VA and Brookings SD; provided complimentary interior design classes for military families stateside and overseas; and taught western-style interiors at a Japanese design school.
Upon Marty’s retirement from the Army in 1997 they returned to Brookings SD, where Gloria continued her volunteer service. She served seven years on the Brookings Historic Preservation Commission and stayed actively involved in community preservation issues. She was a member of the Brookings Woman’s Club and with Marty served as a cadet mentor through the SDSU ROTC Department. She joined the Optimist Club of Brookings in 1997, where she served in a variety of club officer positions and then continued in the zone, district and international level. Three highlights of her Optimist service were the years she served as the Brookings Optimist Club president (2001-02), as governor of the Dakotas, Manitoba, Minnesota District (2004-05) and as international vice president of the Great Plains Region (2010-11).
Gloria’s personal interests included collecting antiques, restoration of their 1885 home, re-upholstery, Hawaiian-style quilting, entertaining, traveling, reading and especially “Grandma Time.” She also enjoyed collecting Christmas ornaments from the places she and Marty visited, so they could be re-visited each December.
Grateful for having shared her life are her best friend and husband of 55 years Marty; daughter Michelle Downing; son Martin (Melanie) Kloster; grandchildren Robert (Danyelle) Lanega, Remington and Reno Lanega; grandchildren Martin Jr. and  Savannah Kloster and their mom Danielle (Kyle) and their son Hayden; Marie (Mike) Rasmussen; and many relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Eva and Ray Newman and Thomas and Demis Fowler; her parents Donald and Elsie Newman; her in-laws Martin and Joy Kloster; her infant sister Patty Ann Newman; her brother Donald Ray Newman and her sister Susan Oja ;and her brother-in-law J. Meldon Kloster.
Known as “the lady in red,” Gloria enjoyed a long and adventurous life and will be most remembered for her love of family and friends, ready smile, warm hugs, her patriotism and her willingness to volunteer and advocate for those causes and people she believed in.
Memorials in her memory may be made to the Clark Center Cemetery Fund or a favorite charity.
Furness Funeral Home of Clark is serving the family. There is an online registry at


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