In Memoriam: Summer 2017

Gloria Huttner Ross, Letters and Art Member, Southeast Louisiana Branch

Born in New Orleans, Gloria Huttner Ross graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Chemistry and a Master of Fine Arts from Newcomb College. She is a founding board member and President of the Hammond Regional Arts Center. She taught interior design at Southeast Louisiana University and volunteered time to teaching art workshops.

Gloria wrote a weekly art column for The Daily Star newspaper in Hammond  for 21 years. She has been an active member of the Southeast Louisiana Pen Women since 1992, serving as Secretary for many terms.

Her recent artwork used steel plates as her painting surface to apply her acrylic paint and medium. She created abstract art forms as unique and interesting as her own Southern personality. Her work has received hundreds of awards and honors, and hangs not only in private and public places in the U.S., but also in China, Europe and South America.

In the Southeast Louisiana Branch roster booklet, she writes: “Art is my joy. I love doing it… Every bit of my work is part of my belief common to many that the eternal question of what this world is all about is the final question. I try to answer it in every painting, making all subject matter important to me.”

Gloria died November 21, 2016 at the age of 92. She is dearly missed.

 


Katie Wainwright, Letters Member, Southeast Louisiana Branch

Katie Wainwright was born in Banes, Cuba. Oriente Province, a unique little town, hometown of Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban dictator. Fidel Castro from nearby Barien, married Mirta Diaz Balart who lived in Banes. The town was a political hive. Her father, William Howard Cameron was Scot; her mother, Angela Martinez, was Cuban. Her father worked for United Fruit Company, growing sugar cane.

She went to high school in Louisiana and married Carl T. Wainwright in 1953. Between five children and work, she managed to get a B.A. in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University. “Writing has always been my hobby. In a crazy household, it helped maintain my sanity. Until now I never tried to publish anything because I didn’t want a hobby to become a second job.”

She owned and operated Katie Wainwright Real Estate for 45 years until her retirement in 2002. She wrote newspaper column, ‘Travelin,’ articles from travelers around the world, including many of her own travels, for the Hammond Daily Star for 5 years. She also wrote ‘A Date with Kate’ for the Hammond Sun for over fifteen years. Solar Today, Inside Northside, Christian Science Monitor, and Chicago Tribune have also published articles Wainwright has written.

Upon retirement, she directed her efforts toward fiction writing. “Cuba on My Mind,” about Cuba before the Castro take-over, historical fiction, a combination memoir and actual events enhanced by imagination was published by Livingston Press in 2010. “Childhood recollections inspired Cuba on My Mind: swimming in the Caribbean Sea, riding horses in the Sierra Mountains, attending a little yellow schoolhouse—an upbringing very unlike that of my own American children. Initially a collection of short stories, little nuggets of truth enhanced and broadened by imagination, Joe Taylor publisher of Livingston Press suggested I connect the story threads into a novel. “

“Secuestro” a sequel that takes place during the revolution, was published in 2012. The third book, after the revolution and the exodus to other countries is in the mill and scheduled for publication in 2014.

“The Azaleas” a real estate mystery set in a St. Francisville plantation.

“Pohainake Parish” a story of a divorced mother who gets elected to the bankrupt Parish Council, and her heroic attempts to comply with the demands of public office and maintain a stable family life.

Katie Wainwright was an active member of the Southeast Louisiana branch since her initiation in 2000. Katie passed away July 21, 2016 at the age of 81 after a brave fight with cancer. She will always be remembered for her witty charm, great talent and love of life. We miss you.