Cover photo for Gloria Anne (Decker)  South's Obituary
Gloria Anne (Decker)  South Profile Photo

Gloria Anne (Decker) South

November 13, 1937 — November 5, 2022

Paw Paw

Gloria Anne (Decker) South was born on November 13, 1937, in Pontiac, Michigan. She passed into the loving arms of her Savior on November 5, 2022.

Gloria married the love of her life, Neil, on May 12, 1961, and they shared 61 years together. Strong-willed and passionate, visionary and caring, she had a fire in her heart to make a difference - and she did for so many.

Family was everything to Gloria, her foundation. She relished being a wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker while always managing countless projects. She never did anything half-heartedly and always put herself out there for others.

A lynchpin of her extended family, Gloria was raised surrounded by siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins. As a young adult, she started a tradition of annual family reunions. These fun days continued over the decades, with many rollicking gatherings that for a while spread to a whole weekend of cards, games, eating, laughter, swimming and talking.

Gloria was also a great listener and easily reached out to help others, always generous and caring. She also loved cats and cherished many special ones as pets. She collected stuffed bears, which inspired the name “Bears’ Den” for a Bed and Breakfast she and Neil ran for five years. She loved Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, word search puzzles and was a natural and patient teacher. Her daughters learned to read at a very young age due to her guidance. She taught her children, grandchildren and many others to work puzzles, play games and cards.

Gloria greatly enjoyed connecting people and wrote many family newsletters. She was always calling, visiting or hosting extended family and friends. She also loved to sit and talk for hours and, as a night owl, would often stay up late playing games and chatting. Near the end of her life, her iPhone hummed with texts to family, neighbors and friends.

Touching many lives with her care and creativity, she started Friends Living in Possibility (FLIP) in 1993 to coach people to be their best. This transformed into Words Around the World, where participants picked a word to inspire their year. She custom designed each resulting YearWord refrigerator magnet for her community and sent out frequent newsletters. Over 21 years, she supported up to 120 people annually to improve their lives.

Gloria was preceded in death by Harold (Dolores) Decker, Marge (Curly) Hubbard, Bob Decker, Ruth (Vern) McNeven, Jay Hubbard, John Hubbard and Kitty Stone.

She is survived by her husband, Neil, daughter and son-in-law Julie and Mark Benner, daughter Carol South and grandchildren Angelica (Chris Jones) South, Sage, Rose and Laurel Benner. She loved her exchange students: son German (“Sherm”) Spiller and daughter Daniela Buehler, keeping connected for decades.

A celebration of Gloria’s life will be held on Monday, November 14, at 11 a.m. at Adams Funeral Home, 502 W. Michigan Ave. Paw Paw, Michigan. Please wear red (Gloria’s favorite color) or bright colors, if desired, and bring a memory or two as the service will include an informal time to share. Following services, there will be a time of food and fellowship held at the funeral home.

Gloria’s family would like to thank the dedicated and hard-working staff at White Oaks, Bronson Lakeview Hospital and Centrica Hospice for their care, guidance, support and love.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gloria Anne (Decker) South, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, November 14, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Add to Calendar

*Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 3

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors