Cover photo for Gloria Jean Kapp's Obituary
Gloria Jean Kapp Profile Photo
1945 Gloria 2023

Gloria Jean Kapp

March 11, 1945 — December 11, 2023

Gloria Jean Kapp,78, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on December 11, 2023, at the Desert Regional Hospital near Palm Springs, California.  

A memorial service will be held in the spring at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, with interment at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Steele, North Dakota. A celebration of life service is scheduled for Sunday, February 18 at 2 pm PST at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert in Rancho Mirage and will be livestreamed on their website at

Gloria was born on March 11, 1945 to Emma (Remmich) and Nathaniel Kapp, the oldest of three children. She was raised and educated in Steele, North Dakota. Gloria graduated from Steele High School in 1963 as class Valedictorian and was editor of the Steele Pirate school newsletter. She continued her undergraduate education at the University of North Dakota, completed a Master’s degree at Michigan State University and obtained her Doctorate degree in higher education at the University of California at Los Angeles.

In 2004 Gloria retired from California State University at Long Beach where she was Senior Director of Enrollment Services for several years and highly regarded by her colleagues in her educational profession.   After retirement she was interim financial aid director at California State University at San Bernardino.  Most recently, she was vice president and on the Board of Directors for Safe Schools Desert Cities, a nonprofit organization and was in charge of their scholarships.  In Gloria’s professional life and retirement, she was dedicated to students’ lives by promoting equality and inclusivity across cultural, social and political aspects of human rights.  In retirement Gloria remained active serving on several boards, including the Four Seasons HOA, where she resided after moving to Palm Springs, CA after living in Irvine, CA for several years.  Gloria was co-chair of the Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert in Rancho Mirage, striving toward equity and dignity for all humans.  She was organized and professional in all her endeavors, known for her quick wit and eagerness to serve others.

Gloria was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling.  She was very bright and level-headed, generous and loved her family and valued her friends.  She was active and involved in promoting women getting elected to important political positions.

She is survived by her long-time partner and wife, Joan Elliott, brother Marlin Kapp of Steele, ND and sister Loris (Garry) Freier, Bismarck, ND.  She was proud of and adored her three nephews, Travis (fiance’ Lucy Giesing) Freier, Rapid City, SD, Trent Freier, Fargo, ND, James (Tasha Kopf) Kapp and great niece, Rayna Kapp, Sibley, IA, and several cousins. In addition, she had two stepchildren, Brendan Boyle, Cathedral City, CA and Jennifer (Daniel) Stadler, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and her children, Hope Boyle-Jacobs, Shane, Erin, Jude and Liam Stadler. She is also survived by two maternal aunts, Arlene Kirk, Devils Lake and LoEtta Sellner, Bismarck.

Gloria was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gloria Jean Kapp, please visit our flower store.


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