Former Emmitsburg resident, Gloria Joy Martin Bauerline, celebrated her 100th birthday on September 5, 2023. She enjoyed several parties with her family and friends. One celebration on her birthday was held where she resides at Transitions Healthcare in Gettysburg. Another was held Saturday, September 9, at the Emmitsburg VFW Chapter 6658, located on North Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg. For Gloria, this celebration was special, as Gloria has many wonderful memories of serving the VFW Ladies Auxiliary there.
The Emmitsburg Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars started in 1946, and its Ladies Auxiliary charter was organized on July 10, 1947, with 23 members in the early years.
Gloria shared that when her son was two years old, she would go and clean the bar area of the VFW and receive $10.00 a week. She used the $10.00 to buy groceries for a poor family that lived in the hotel across the street.
Gloria’s sister and her mother were also members of the VFW Auxiliary. Gloria remembers that they made sandwiches and sold them at the VFW to keep everything going while the men were off fighting the war. Also, they had card parties upstairs and charged 25¢ per person to play the games. Members of the Ladies Auxiliary worked at the Emmitsburg carnival to raise funds.
Gloria was the Auxiliary’s chaplain for 35 years, and she has many good memories of visiting the sick and elderly members in their homes, especially remembering the Christmas visits. Once a month, Gloria traveled to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and entertained the men in the hospital there with bingo games and refreshments.
Gloria was president of the Auxiliary for three years, between 1969 and 1971, and she also served as secretary under her sister, Dolores Henke. In later years, they attended conventions in Washington, D.C., and then later in Ocean City, Maryland, and had wonderful times together.
Gloria shared that her parents were Herbert and Gertrude (Sebold) Joy. She has five deceased and two living brothers, who have honorably served our country: Bob, Joe, Ken, Jerry, and Don (who is still with us) were Army. Brother John served in the Navy, and Mike (who is still with us) served in the Marines. Bob was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and came home. Joe was stationed in Germany and guarded Adolf Hitler‘s henchmen. When Gloria’s brother Kenny asked to be sent to Germany where his brother Joe was stationed, he arrived and found Joe polishing his boots as he entered the barracks. As a side note, as John’s ships sailed past his friend, Bill Roger’s ship, they waved at each other and did not see each other again until the end of World War II. Gloria’s two other siblings were Rosemary and Patrick.
Gloria raised four sons: Denny, Tony (who died in 1983 in a motorcycle accident), Gene (who served in the Navy), and Bruce Martin.
As of today, Gloria is the last charter member of the Emmitsburg VFW Ladies Auxiliary. She’s very proud of her service at 100 years of age. In remembering the service of other auxiliary members, Gloria’s friend Mary Topper served as president for 25 years and did a remarkable job. There were many women who were very faithful as well, and when Gloria was unable to continue her role as chaplain, her good friend, Shannon Boyle, took the position.
Gloria has wonderful memories of attending the VFW’s state conventions in Ocean City. During a convention presentation one time, a visiting VFW past president asked the approximately 250 members present to stand when he called their years of service. Gloria had the honor of standing alone from year 60 all by herself!
Gloria Joy Martin Bauerline (pictured front row, second from left) is shown with her brother, Mike Joy (left); and brother, Don Joy (second from right).