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Gloria M. Paulsen, 88, former resident of Caledonia and Rockford passed away peacefully February 4, 2017. Born April 28, 1928 in Rockford, IL to Ernst and "Lisa" Elisabeth (Carlson) Kalin. She would be the first family member born in the U.S. to Swedish immigrants with her first language being Swedish. She attended Wyght School, Lincoln Jr. High and graduated from East High School in 1946. She worked at a local dry cleaners to earn $240 to enroll in the Swedish American Hospital School of Nursing in the fall of 1946. Gloria graduated class of 1949 as a Registered Nurse after which she completed post graduate work in Chicago and New Jersey. She advanced to Supervisor of Obstetrics and eventually worked as an instructor for the school of nursing. Gloria completed her career at Swedes in 1961 after the birth of her son and later worked at First Step Day Care for 10 years before retiring. Gloria married Ronald S. Paulsen on September 16, 1955. Ronald was the son of Norwegian immigrants and was also the first of his family born in the U.S., his first language being Norwegian. Together they passed a mixture of both languages and cultural heritages onto their children. As a family they traveled to Sweden and Norway.
Music played a vital role in her life from a young age. Gloria was taught piano by her sister Linnea and later became a vocalist. In high school she would be hired by a local voice teacher to be the accompanist for her voice students. She is a former church pianist/organist of Caledonia Congregational Church, and choir member/church pianist for Bethany United Methodist Church, Rockford, IL. Gloria volunteered at Alma Nelson, playing piano for the Sunday church service, and later, played piano for Vesper Services and sing-along at Valley View Apartments.
For the past several years Gloria and her grandson Erik have devoted countless hours to family genealogy. She has identified over 1500 photos, and shared invaluable information about family in Sweden and Norway. She also did a DNA test, which will continue to provide new discoveries. Her Swedish heritage was of great importance and she leaves a legacy of wealth and information.

Gloria is survived by her son David Paulsen of Rockford, IL; daughter "Lisa" Elisabeth (Bill) Rodgers of Caledonia, IL; grandchildren Erik and Sara Rodgers (Dalton Annabel); brother in-law & sister in-law Donald and June Wernberg; brother in-law, Bjorn Paulsen; nieces Sonja (Troy) Davis, Diane (Wayne) McReynolds, Tonnya (Jim) Bivins; and four great nieces and one great nephew. She is predeceased in death by her husband Ronald; parents; sister and brother-in-law Linnea & Erik Carlson; and in-laws Axel and Margit Paulsen. Special friends, Mary Lou, Ina, Virginia, Gladys, and Sharon.
Many thanks to Dr. Stim/Staff, DaVita Belvidere, Dr. Stocker, ATS Transport, Maple Crest Staff/Anthony & Claude, Swedish American Hospital 2nd and 4th floor staff.
Funeral Services will be at 11:00 am, Saturday, February 11 at Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Ltd., Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 2nd Ave., Rockford with Pastor William Rodgers officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 am to 10:45 am prior to the service. Burial in Scandinavian Cemetery. Memorials to the family. To share a memory or send an online condolence, visit

Condolences & Shared Memories (14)

  1. Joanne Majernik Carner

    Lisa and family. I am sorry to hear of your moms passing. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Bob Zika

    Gloria was my mentor for Valley View Vespers and Singalong. Her "can do" spirit reminds me whenever I "don't want to do"" it. Thanks, Gloria, for all you taught me, in faith and friendship.

  3. Susan Fudge

    God Bless to your family. I love all of the pictures you have posted of your mother, and all of the tender loving care you have given her.

  4. Cyndi Olson

    David, I am sorry to hear of your moms passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Ashley Rodgers

    Such a lovely and feisty woman, our condolences to Elisabeth, Bill, and the kids. God speed, Gloria. Hugs, Sean, Ashley, and the boys

  6. India Blade

    so sorry for your loss, I know Gloria is a true Angel, from the counter Queen Indy

  7. Donna DeRemer Anderson

    I appreciated Mrs. Paulsen's instruction in Mother-Baby at Swedish American Hospital. She was an excellent and kind instructor. Her work directly and also through her students extended to many, many people. My sympathy to her family. SAH Class of 962

  8. Roland Carlsson

    Beklagar sorgen. Vi minns med glädje de tillfällen vi fick träffa Gloria, senast för åtta år sedan då hon och David var i Sverige. Många gånger besökte hon vår mamma Alice och vår morbror Sven. Minns också alla julkort hon skickade till oss. Det var alltid trevligt att träffa henne och höra att hon talade svenska så bra. Hälsningar från Linköping, Roland,Willy, Berndt och Per Carlsson med familjer.

  9. Roar Østli.

    Sorgen er med for alltid, tiden forsvinner så fort. Minnene får man beholde, til lindring når savnet er stort.

  10. Mary Hale

    R.I.P my dear angel as you enter the golden gates.

  11. Ruthie Farrior-Rydgren

    Our thoughts are with you from Sweden. Vila i frid. ❤

  12. Donnamae Hayes

    Lisa, Bill and family, Thoughts and Prayers are with all of you at this most difficult time. Your Mom was such a special lady and she will be deeply missed. Our Sympathy, Love you ........

  13. Barbe Powell

    She was a wonderful person. I remember her from First Step Daycare and also when she visited her sister and played the piano at Alden.We got reacquainted when she came to Alden Debes to visit and I worked as a receptionist on long term side- we would always spend time chatting with each other when she was in. She had such a beautiful outlook on life. But her special bond she had with daughter, Lisa, and her family was absolutely the most beautiful and loveable and so special. Lisa and she had a bond that will never be broken. It is interesting to read about her birth and first language and early facts. God speed Gloria- a special angel has joined heaven. Hugs and prayers to the family

  14. Samuel A. Wilson, III

    God is.....GOOD!

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