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Gloria Ostis June 03, 1928 ~ July 04, 2019


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Born in the West End of Boston to Albanian immigrants on the eve of the Great Depression, Gloria turned what could have been a life of stricture and privation to one of well earned strength and boundless love.  Her intrepid spirit surfaced early:  the only girl among boys jumping from the center of the Longfellow Bridge into the Charles River (swimmable, in those days), competing in & winning jitterbug contests, skipping school for an entire week to see Frank Sinatra.  A member of a founding family of St. John the Baptist Albanian Orthodox Church in South Boston, Gloria sang in its choir for decades and continued to lend her lovely soprano to groups such as Sweet Adelines and subsequent church choirs. 

The adventure continued as she eloped (albeit to the church) to marry a man of Greek descent, thus learning to speak a third language fluently.  Together they raised four children to successful, productive adulthood, with much celebration along the way: on four separate occasions, she danced at the weddings of her children’s children.  Her vivacity, with a love of Greek & Albanian dance and song, made her the life of any gathering, while her generosity and talent as a superb cook often had her as its hostess.  She maintained close, lifelong friendships, many of eight decades and more, not just in times of rejoicing, but also as a caring listener and quiet confidant.  She was able to feed her own soul, as well, as a voracious reader and lover of concerts (from early days with Arthur Fiedler), art and film.  There was travel to far-flung places, from Machu Picchu to Jerusalem to India, with a return to the villages of shared heritage bringing the most delight: Treska, in the mountains of Albania, and Fatsa & Ordu, Greek lands along the Black Sea in Turkey.  And ultimately, there was fulfillment of a life-long dream to settle by the sea, wherein she took daily joy.  

Gloria is predeceased by her parents, Pandi & Celia Michaels, and her brothers James & Alexander (Sonny) Michaels.  She is survived by her husband of 69 years, John Nicholas Ostis; by her sister, Virginia Anastas; by her children Michelle Ostis (Spencer Burton), Nikki (Paul) Makris, Damon (Rhonda) Ostis, and Harley (Heather) Ostis; by her grandchildren Freya (Matthew) Gaertner, Danika (Steve) Wade, Damon (Rachel Williams) Burton, Lianna (Haley) Burton, Allison Ostis, Melanie Ostis, and Nikolas Ostis; great-grandchildren Corinne & Genevieve Gaertner, Penelope Wade, Calliope & Heath Williams Burton, and Xanthe Burton; along with cousins as close as sisters, nieces & nephews as daughters & sons, and lifelong & close friends, including her Condo Angels.

A Forty Day Memorial Service will take place on Sunday, August 11, 2019, at St. George Albanian Orthodox Cathedral, 523 East Broadway, Boston, MA 02127, immediately following the 10 am Divine Liturgy.  Plans for a memorial gathering in Florida are to be determined and will be posted on this site at a later date.

Donations in Gloria’s memory may be made to The Salvation Army.  

May Gloria be given rest among the saints and angels and may her memory be eternal! 


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


George and Carol Yaitanes

July 10, 2019, 6:49 am

Condolences to the Ostis family. We knew your parents in FL and have many fond memories of them and George remembers swimming in the family pool as a child in Stoughton. May her memory be eternal

Jacqueline Boucher

July 11, 2019, 7:33 am

Damon, Rhonda, Nik, and the Ostis family:

My deepest condolences to you on Gloria’s passing. I remember her amazing cooking, her beautifully appointed home, “intrepid spirit,” and her incredible commitment to John. After reading her obituary, I learned so many other incredible things about her. May God bless and keep you all. Jacqueline

Jacqueline Boucher

July 11, 2019, 7:33 am

Damon, Rhonda, Nik, and the Ostis family:

My deepest condolences to you on Gloria’s passing. I remember her amazing cooking, her beautifully appointed home, “intrepid spirit,” and her incredible commitment to John. After reading her obituary, I learned so many other incredible things about her. May God bless and keep you all. Jacqueline

James Alexander

July 13, 2019, 8:39 am

Dearest Ostis family….I am so very sorry to read this tragic news. May God watch over Nouna’s journey and your entire family.
James Alexander

Ted Ostis

July 13, 2019, 9:05 pm

Thank You Aunt Gloria. Rest In Peace. With Love Ted, Tomoe, Julian, John and Jesse.

Steve and Linda Makris

July 14, 2019, 4:20 pm

What a loving obituary, so thoughtful, and such a full life. May Gloria rest in peace, and may God bless her and her entire family.

Sheryl Schmidt

July 14, 2019, 8:47 pm

Dear Michelle and Spencer, I did not know of your mother’s passing. You have been on my mind and in my prayers for a while now. I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers are with you both.


July 19, 2019, 10:30 am

Dear Ostis Family,
Our hearts are broken hearing this sad news about Gloria. Gloria was always there for me through laughter and tears. Not only was she my dear cousin but a special friend. We will always miss her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Love, Cookie and family

Al Grayzel

July 20, 2019, 6:24 pm

Dear John, Shelly, Nikki, Damon and Harley,
I have fond memories of the times I spent with all of you. Gloria was a very special person and raised a very special family.My condolences and best wishes to you all.

Barbara R. Calabro

July 22, 2019, 12:27 pm

Dear Michelle and Spencer and all the Ostis family,
Your wonderful memories of her will help during the coming months.
Prayers that the Lord fill all of you with his peace during this difficult time.

Love from the Calabro family.

Rosie Kelly

July 25, 2019, 1:41 pm

Dear Michelle and Family,
This such a loving, beautiful tribute to Gloria. Her name exemplifies all she accomplished in life, especially raising her children. What an amazing time she had on this earth. And, now, Gloria’s soprano has been added to the celestial choir.
Love from Rosie and Bill


August 6, 2019, 2:21 pm

Dear John, Shelly, Nikki, Damon and Harley,
What wonderful memories I have of your mother and father, and you all, as our families were growing up together! I feel fortunate that my family and I experienced in our lives the loving, strong and generous person you describe so beautifully. I will always have a very warm place in my heart for you and your families because of her and your father. My condolences and loving wishes to you and your families.
Love, Frieda

Hilda and Max Perlitsh

August 8, 2019, 3:13 pm

Dear John, Shelly, Nikki, Damon, Harley… wives husbands and extended family and multitude of friends…
Gloria will always be a part of each of us as she so generously gave us her spirit, wisdom, insights into us and the world around her. Who could not love and appreciate her?? For me she was a “mother earth”…nurturing of body and soul. Who can forget spinach /leek pie and stuffed grape leaves, laughter at absurdities and an openness to other’s stresses. And those gifted hands!!! They interpreted music in dance, kneaded dough with gusto, wove intricate patterns into macrame bags and plant hangers and sewed dresses for our daughters that were loved and later passed down to others because of their practicality and charm. Those hands were always at work or giving comfort and affection.
And she could express her great capacity for love, loyalty … to John especially… children, spouses grandkids and all the rest of us. Her heart ❤️ was enormous and she would wish that we give and receive love as she did… she is/was an exemplary model for me. We are so grateful that she touched our lives and hope that you all continue to
comfort each other. We share in your deep, infinite sadness but her
love lives on…
Hilda and Max

Ronald Nasson

August 9, 2019, 12:43 pm

Our prayers to the Ostis family. Memory Eternal +Gloria. Love!❤️☦️🇦🇱🇺🇸

Tina Burnham

August 30, 2019, 2:24 pm

Dear Damon and Rhonda, Brian and I send our condolences to your family for the passing of your mother, the grand patriarch of the family. I have only heard of her great and interesting stories through Damon all the 40 years but I felt as though I knew her. A great loss. The obituary was full of exciting events and stories, such a loving person will surely be missed. Again, our condolences and loving memories for you and all your families. Tina and Brian Burnham

Mary Ellen Kalinowski-Diehl

September 17, 2019, 11:48 pm

Dear Damon, Nikki, Shelley, Harley, and all your family,
So very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing away. She truly was a remarkable women, and certainly made a difference in my life. Peace to all your family.
Mary Ellen Kalinowski-Diehl

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