Gloria Berlow (1924-2014), an overdue tribute

She was born Charlotte Gloria Entin on April 29, 1924, the youngest child of Joseph and Elizabeth Entin. She did not like the name Charlotte. But, let’s hold off on that until later. She had an older brother, Moe, and an older sister, Pearl.

Moe would become a respected doctor and Pearl would marry a pharmacist. If you measure success in Life by those standards, I can tell you right now, she was not a successful lady. However, she had other values of a higher nature.

She survived scarlet fever as an infant. This was supposed to cause her heart to be weaker. I never saw any evidence of that. In fact, she had a big heart.

When World War II broke out, she enlisted into the Navy and was stationed in San Francisco.


It was well known that Bostonians were famous the world over for jaywalking. The story goes that, one evening when out with some friends, she was, well, acting like a Bostonian. An MP’s whistle blew and he called out “Hey, Boston. Get back on the sidewalk.” She was thoroughly embarrassed.

After the war, her friend Shirley Bailey fixed her up on a blind date with a friend of her husband Benny. George Berlow never let the effects of childhood polio get in the way of being charming, adventurous, and loving. They eloped in September of 1947, taking the train from Boston to New York City, stopping in Hartford to get married by a Justice of the Peace. Cute, huh? The real fascinating part of this was that they continued to live in their respective homes until they could break the news to her mother, a woman engrained in the Old Country.

On December 31, 1947, they were married in a religious ceremony.


Life was not always easy. George was not a doctor or pharmacist but he did do everything to provide for his growing family. Three sisters preceded me. Even at the age of 38, Gloria was a loving and doting mother, from the cute new baby boy…

With Baby

to the high school graduate.


All the while, George and Gloria enjoyed their lives together, going on vacations with their children, supplementing their income selling antiques, and creating an environment of art and culture and love. And books in every room of the house. (Perhaps I was destined to be a writer.)


Okay, the styles weren’t always ideal but they made the most of them.

They moved to Florida in 1986, away from the bitter cold of New England winters. They were able to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary before George passed away in October of 2012.

Ma and Dad

She didn’t cry. She said he had been suffering for years and he was now at peace. She amazed us all with a strength that, honestly, we never knew she had. It was at this time that she requested to be called Charlotte. She was coming into her own.

She died one day after her 90th birthday. She had a stubbornness about her that was actually endearing. I am quite certain it was a trait I inherited. My greatest joy was being able to make her laugh until she was in tears. Laughter was another trait I inherited from her. It does the soul good.

I miss her greatly. But knowing my parents are together, free from pain, holding hands, and kissing like silly teenagers, is a warm and comforting thought.


  1. Sharyl said,

    February 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Beautiful tribute to your Mother H.


  2. Gary W said,

    February 28, 2015 at 11:55 am

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your mom and dad. Met them both while I was dating your sister Valerie during the mid 70’s, when she and your mom were in a local theater group with me. I found your parents both were very charming.


    • H.B. Berlow said,

      March 1, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you for the gracious words, Gary. In going through old papers, I came across the programs for the two shows they were in: Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” and “Hello, Dolly!” Impressive shows for a small-town theater group. I believe it gave a lot of people a creative outlet.


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