Long-time Mansfield residents and community leaders Norman and Gloria Vickery, died recently at the ages of 90 and 89.
Gloria died at her home in Pocasset on September 24 and Norman at Falmouth Hospital after a short illness on November 26. Gloria A. DeLong was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts to Esther M. (Hogquist) and Vernon M. DeLong. The family moved to Mansfield when Gloria was very young.
She and Norman met while skating on Fulton's Pond as high school students. She attended Mansfield High School and Northfield Academy in Northfield, Massachusetts, and attended Westbrook Junior College (now Westbrook College) in Portland, Maine. Norman A. Vickery was born in Mansfield to Elizabeth J. (Brown) and Newell B. Vickery. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
Gloria and Norman were married on one of his first leaves, before flight training in Pocatello, Idaho and his eventual deployment to World War II where he was a bombardier on a B-24 bomber. He served many missions over Germany and North Africa. Norman was decorated numerous times for innovation and courage in battle, including the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Army Air Corps Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Triple Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Croix de Guerre from France.
The Croix de Guerre, the highest military medal of France, was awarded to Norman and his crew by Gen. Charles De Gaulle after they flew the general from England to North Africa. He was recognized on his 90th birthday last year by the town of Mansfield and the State Legislature for his military achievements and many years of service to the town.
The Vickerys were active in many town and community organizations. Gloria served for many years as a fundraiser and co-administrator for Westside Benevolent Circle, which provided food, clothing, help with housing, and holiday gifts and meals for needy Mansfield residents.
She also worked on committees for the Mansfield Congregational Church, Girl Scouts, and many other organizations. Norman established the DeSoto-Plymouth dealership Vickery Motors in 1946, which later became a Chrysler Plymouth dealership, with his two brothers Bruce and Donald. Vickery Motors also employed many other family members and other Mansfield residents over the years. Norman and Gloria retired from Vickery Motors and closed the business in 1987.
After 1987, Norman worked as a part-time director of the Mansfield Cooperative Bank, a post he kept until about four years ago. The Vickerys lived in both Mansfield and Pocasset until a few years ago, when they sold their house in Mansfield and moved to their Cape Cod house.
While running the business, Norman served as a board member and chair of the Mansfield Board of Selectman, and other town committees, including the Industrial Development Commission, which led the planning and development of Cabot, Cabot, and Forbes industrial park. He also served on the board and as moderator for the Congregational Church, was active for many years in the local Rotary chapter, was president of the Bristol County Lung Association, and was in leadership roles of many other community organizations. January 2013 would have been the couple's 70th wedding anniversary.
Norman and Gloria are survived by their children Roger Vickery of North Falmouth, Meredith Holford of Mansfield, Alison Stannard of Manchester, Vermont, and Martha Vickery of St. Paul, Minnesota, and by 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in their names may be made to Visiting Nurse Association Hospice of Cape Cod (434 Rt. 134, Bldg. D, Ste. 3, South Dennis, MA 02660) and the Bourne Conservation Trust (Box 203, Cataumet, MA 02534).