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78-year-old Gloria Jean (Jelley) Sweatt, a Jasper, Indiana resident, left her earthly body for heaven at 1:22 PM on January 4, 2021.

Gloria was born in Taylorville, Illinois, the fourth of five children, and the only daughter of Joseph Farrell Jelley and Margaret (Pertuset) Jelley. She is survived by her son, James Sweatt (Barbara); daughters, Twyla Hankins (Dean), Lisa Petras (Mitch), Debra Sweatt, and Marīa Sweatt; grandchildren, Jordan Sweatt, Alexzander Bassaj, Chad Hankins (Megan), Hudson Hankins, Livia Petras, Dayton Cummins, James Sweatt, Jr., Dillon Cummins, and Dustin Cummins; great-grandsons, Zane Barham and Liam Hankins; her brother, Glenn Kelley (Cecelia); and nieces and nephews (and great nieces and nephews). She was preceded in death by her mother and brothers, Richard Jelley, Donald Jelley, and Larry Jelley.

Gloria was raised in Southern Illinois and relocated to Paducah, KY in 1955 where she lived with her maternal aunt, Melba (Pertuset) Ervin, upon the untimely passing of her mother. She married in 1959 (to David Sweatt of Clarksville, TN, husband from 1959-1978 and father of her five children), started a family, and lived in Texas and Tennessee in the early1960s, after which time she and her family were longtime residents of Paducah, KY. Gloria also lived in Kenosha, WI from 1978—1981, and lived several years in Southern California. Her later years were spent in Southern Illinois and Hillham, IN where she treasured being involved in the lives of her three youngest grandsons and was lovingly watched over and cared for by the Cummins family (including former son-in-law, Darin Cummins) when her health was in decline.

Gloria spent several years as a retail clerk in Paducah, KY, including appointment as a store manager for the Minit Mart chain in the 1970s. She was also employed as an Administrative Clerk in Kenosha, WI and in Garden Grove, CA where she worked for MetLife Insurance Co.

While raising her children, Gloria enjoyed engaging in their development and took pleasure in participating in such activities as being a den mother for her son’s Boy Scout troop, heading a children’s Vacation Bible School a couple of summers at Sharpe Missionary Baptist Church in Benton, KY, creating one-of-a-kind costumes for her daughters’ school plays and competitions, and encouraging and supporting other creative outlets and extracurricular activities. Gloria was an excellent seamstress and made outfits for her young daughters and many of her own clothes for decades. Her favorite holiday, by far, was Christmas. She enjoyed everything about the holiday and the joys of the season, from the traditional praise songs to festive decorations and gift-giving, bringing happiness to the children in her life.  She was an avid reader and at one point had amassed a personal library of hundreds of books. She also dabbled in poetry writing and had entertained the notion of publishing a book. She enjoyed auctions and yard sales and liked to collect sewing machines and sewing notions. Gloria also had a soft spot for dogs and once said every household should have at least one; she never met a dog she didn’t love. While she often said that her five children were her greatest accomplishments, it was apparent that her nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren were her greatest sources of pride and joy. She relished following their early development and individual pursuits; nothing made her smile like the children.

While Gloria enjoyed seeing live flowers in fields, on flowering bushes or trees, and roadside wildflower patches, she expressed a desire to not have flowers sent upon her passing. To honor Gloria’s wishes, the family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a library or animal shelter in Gloria’s name. Suggestions for this include the Dubois Public Library’s A Gift of Reading program and Dubois County Humane Society’s Tribute Gifts program.

A memorial service to inter Gloria’s ashes at the gravesite of her mother in the Old Miner’s Cemetery in Royalton, IL will be held later this year. The family will release specific information in these regards at a later date.

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