Catholic 04

Gloria Cortese Boyt

May 22, 1929 ~ February 15, 2019 (age 89)


Gloria Cortese Boyt died Friday evening, February 15, 2019. She was 89 years old.

Visitation will take place on Tuesday, February 19th at the St. Theresa Catholic Church Gathering Space (University at Merle Hay Road) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The funeral Mass at St Theresa Catholic Church will begin at 1:00 p.m. 

In honor of their mother please direct memorials to St.Theresa Catholic Church or the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry.  Additional memorial and mailing information is listed below.

To send a condolence/flowers to the family and service select the "send tributes/flowers" tab on this screen or call (515) 981-0700.  


Gloria Cortese Boyt's Life Story

Gloria was born May 22, 1929 in Des Moines, Iowa to Sam and Jennie (DeMarco) Cortese. Both of her parents had immigrated to Des Moines from Italy.

Gloria graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1947 and from Drake University in 1951 where she met her husband James O'Malley Boyt.  Jim and Gloria were married for 66 years and lived in the same house in Windsor Heights throughout their marriage.

Gloria belonged to Questers and St. Theresa Altar and Rosary Society. For many years she enjoyed singing in the St. Theresa Choir as well as attending the Church's Over 50's Dinner Group. Her High School Club and Mother's Club were also special to her. She volunteered at Mercy Hospital for more than 22 years as a floral designer, and belonged to The Des Moines Pioneer Club and The Serra Club.

She was an avid reader. Gloria and Jim were proud members of the Friendship Force traveling to Europe a number of times.

She enjoyed frequent lunches with her many friends, dinner out with family every Friday evening, and dinner every Saturday with lifelong friends.

Her family was her greatest pride and joy and her greatest source of fulfillment.  Jim (who died in June 2016) always declared that "Gloria was an outstanding and caring wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother."

Gloria is survived by her five children: Diana (Jim) Jensen, Arnolds Park; Bridget (Dan) Olson, West Des Moines; Jean (Don) Tool, Earlham; John (Margaret) Boyt, Iowa City; and Sheila (Bob) Nelson West Des Moines; sisters-in-law, Cathryn Cortese, Jeanne Boyt, and Kathleen Spargur. Gloria is also survived by 10 Grandchildren and 11 Great-Grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; an older brother, Dr. Joseph Cortese; and two brothers-in-law, Robert Boyt and William Spargur.


"It is by dying that we are born into eternal life"

St. Francis of Assisi

To send flowers to Gloria Cortese Boyt's family, please visit our floral section.


February 19, 2019

11:00 AM to 12:45 PM
St. Theresa Catholic Church
1230 Merle Hay Roa
Des Moines, IA 50311

Mass of Christian Burial
February 19, 2019

1:00 PM
St. Theresa Catholic Church
1230 Merle Hay Roa
Des Moines, IA 50311


Des Moines Area Religious Council (DEMARC) Food Pantry
1435 Mulberry Street, Des Moines IA 50309-3624
Tel: 1-515-277-6969

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