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In Loving Memory

Rudloff, Gloria “Jean” (Jackson) (Fleming)

July 17, 1931 - October 5, 2023

GLORIA “JEAN” (JACKSON) (FLEMING) RUDLOFF died peacefully on October 5, 2023. She was 92 years old.

Jean was born in 1931 in Troy, Missouri during the Great Depression; she was the first of four daughters of Edna (Creech) and Vernon Jackson. As a child, she contracted Scarlet Fever and developed a heart murmur, which directed her to more sedentary hobbies and pursuits like reading, sewing, cooking, baking and art.

When the war started, Jean began drawing her own versions of “Pin Up Girls,” which had become popular among WWII GI’s. She also began “doodling,” a work of art, of and by itself. During high school, Jean met a new friend named Betty Fleming, and through Betty, she soon met her future husband, Leo Fleming, Jr., who had completed his Naval tour of duty and was visiting from St. Louis.

Once the government passed the “Utility Clothing Act” to aid the War effort, there was little opportunity for Jean to sew, since both fabrics and colors were restricted, as well as available styles. But when it was rescinded in January of 1949, Jean began sewing in earnest, creating all of her own clothing, including her wedding gown.

Jean and Leo married on December 31, 1949, and were immediately blessed with three children, all born within 3 years of each other: Linda Lee, born 11/16/50; Leo Henry III, born 8/31/1952; and Lezlie Jean, born 11/3/1953. Though the marriage would not last, Jean always held a special place in her heart for Leo’s large, loving family, especially his sisters Pat, Bernice, Betty, Eileen, Kate, and her sister-in-law Connie.

Because of her enduring interest in art, Jean began taking night classes in commercial art at Washington University while staying home with her children. She later obtained employment with White Rogers (now Emerson Electric), but soon set her sights on the largest printing and advertising agencies in St. Louis.

At Maritz, Inc., Jean handled layout and design for many luxury brands in clothing, jewelry, furniture, housewares, sporting goods, and electronics, all part of the Book of Awards and Luxury Book of Awards. She then joined York Typographers, selling typeface to artists and designers from most of St. Louis’ elite businesses and agencies. At the pinnacle of her career, she became an Assistant Art Director at BHN (Batz Hodgson Neuwoehner), the largest privately owned advertising agency in St. Louis, whose clients included Mayrose Meats, Maull’s BBQ and Six Flags. BHN christened the new Six Flags roller coaster “The Screaming Eagle,” which was the largest, fastest coaster ever created, earning it first place status in the 1976 Guinness Book of World Records!

After her divorce from Leo, Jean met the absolute love of her life – Joe Rudloff. By their third date, Joe began carrying a small box in the pocket of his suit jacket, which he gently patted every time they got together, just to let Jean know it was still there. After a whirlwind, 90-day romance, they married on December 10, 1965. Their marriage brought together six rowdy teenagers aged 16, 16, 15, 14, 14, and 12. Somehow, they managed to get through it!

Sometime in the early 70’s, Jean undertook one of the greatest projects of her life. During her childhood, she remembered hearing that a relative – one of the Bray’s – had fought in the American Revolution. In the late 1970s, she began the tedious work of mapping her family’s ancestry, which led her to several states and numerous cemeteries, churches, libraries, and archives. Her perseverance finally led to David Bray, and his declaration for a Revolutionary War pension. Because of Jean’s efforts, Jean was admitted into the DAR in 1981. Her research now allows all descendants – both women and men – to become Daughters (DAR) and Sons (SAR) of the American Revolution.

After securing her lineage as a Daughter of the American Revolution, Jean began to encourage Joe to reconnect with friends he had made during the World War II. Joe had served in the Pacific Theater for the US Marine Corp as a “RadioMan,” and despite the fact radio operators were high value primary targets, Joe miraculously survived four major invasions, including Roi Nemur, Tinnian, Guadal Canal and Iwa Jima. One of the very few stories Joe ever told of WWII was how he had stood next to a group of Marines and watched them plant a US Flag at the top of Iwa Jima, the reenactment of which became one of the most iconic photographs in US history. At Jean’s urging, Joe and Jean began attending the annual reunions of “The Fighting Fourth Marine Division of WWII,” which were held all over the country. The last reunion Jean attended was in 1999, during which time her late husband Joe was honored for his service.

Throughout their 38 year marriage, Jean and Joe filled their days with laughter, golf, music, dancing, travel, gardening, and BBQs with family and friends. They especially enjoyed their time together in the evenings, sharing hours of conversation and a cocktail on their lanai , overlooking the golf course in Venice, Florida, or on their patio, overlooking Holiday Shores Lake in Edwardsville, Illinois.

The love they shared for each other was so enduring, “The NoteBook” could have been written about them.

Jean is survived by her children: Linda (Lindsay Craren) Fleming and Lezlie Fleming, her stepchildren Michael Rudloff and Karen (Dan) Cavanaugh, and her grandchildren Kelly (Dan) Lyons, Kimberly (Stan) Murray, Jason Rochus, Jessica (Tyler) Burklow, Jennifer (Dustin) Pranger, Vanessa and Samantha Rudloff, Joseph Leopold, and Andrew, Mack and Carly Cavanaugh.

She is also survived by her two sisters: Jenny Bauer and her children Eddie “Tuffy” Bauer, Cheri Bauer, Peggy (Denny) Schwerdt, Patty Bauer Greer, Todd (Susan) Bauer, and Jennifer (Chris) Schipper. Rosie Miller and children Jim (Cathy) Miller, Kenny (Mary) Miller, Denny (Tammy) Miller, Donnie (Linda) Miller, Nancy (John) Voss; and her niece Dawn Karlock. She is also survived by many great-grandchildren, great nieces and nephews, as well as extended family and friends.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband Joseph Rudloff; former husband Leo Fleming, Jr.; son Leo Fleming, III; stepdaughter Stephanie Rudloff; sister and brother-in-law Jacklyn and Steven Karlock, as well as their daughter Danielle; her brother-in-laws Edward Bauer and Justin Miller; and her parents.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: DOGS FOR OUR BRAVE, INC. 6244 Clayton Ave. St. Louis, MO 63139 314-312-6987 dfob.org

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT PO Box 758516 Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516 855-448-3997 woundedwarriorproject.org


2 thoughts on “Rudloff, Gloria “Jean” (Jackson) (Fleming)”

  1. What a lovely obituary to a remarkable woman!
    I am so proud to have known and loved her and be a part of her lineage!!! Her and Joe are doing a tango!!!!

  2. What an amazing obituary, reminders if some of the great stories my children and I would hear from her and Joe during all the times we’d spend with them. Both help such special places in our hearts. I’m happy they’re reunited at last and free from the earthly ailments that they endured!!! Cheers to you at the very best 19th hole you two!!! 💞💕


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