Gloria Jean Salter Fenn


Gloria Jean Salter Fenn of Norman, Okla., passed away Tuesday evening, March 7, after a brief and debilitating illness.

An upbeat and openly friendly person, she made circumstances brighter and people happier with her spontaneous and unqualified smile.

Her accomplishments in the areas of work, service and achievement were significant. She graduated from Natchitoches High School in 1955 as valedictorian. Her undergraduate degree was from Southern Methodist University, and her graduate professional degrees were from The Baylor School of Medicine (Dallas), and OU Health Sciences (OKC). She is best known for her work as a speech pathologist and her focus on children. Throughout her career, she also served as the wife of a Methodist minister and mother to two children.

Gloria Jean was born and raised in Natchitoches, La. After graduating from SMU, she married her husband of 63 years, Phil Fenn. They lived in Dallas, Belen, N. M., Fairview, Okla., and Norman where Phil served as paster to Methodist churches.

In those places, Gloria Jean served as pianist, organist, choir member, choir director, Sunday school teacher and church visitor, at one time or another. Outside the church, she was a PTA president and a member of PEO.

Gloria Jean was a small person, 4’11”, but full of life. Among her many recognitions, she was presented with a plaque that reads, “Though She Be Little, She is Fierce.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Mason and Thyra Salter; and a brother, Lowell, and his spouses Nancy, whom he married after the death of his first wife, Betty.

Gloria Jean is survived by her husband, Phil, her daughter and spouse, Deborah Lynn Fenn and Michael Rock of Chicago; her son and spouse, Dale Fenn and Molly Stephenson of Fairfax, Va.; her granddaughters, Mikaela and Kiara; her brother and spouse, Stanley and Marion Salter of Natchitoches, and several nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at the McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Private graveside services will be held that morning. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the McFarlin church.

The vacancy Gloria Jean leaves in the hearts of family and friends is, perhaps, the loudest and most articulate tribute that can be given.