DOVER – Fighting for her life for almost a week after a frontal car crash, Gloria Snowman, 71, died two days after Thanksgiving. Her husband, Bob, who called her “her loving soul mate for 25 years”, joined family and friends in saying that the longtime Dover school district educator was kidnapped too soon.

Police allege an under the influence driver crossed the center line and caused the collision on Sunday, November 21, just before 3 p.m. on Highland Street in Rochester. Rochester Police said Snowman was extracted from his heavily damaged Toyota Rav4 and taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

Gloria’s family said she was returning home after shopping, but never made it. She died on Saturday November 27.

Gloria Snowman, left, with her family, Bob, Kim and Bobby Snowman.

Gloria, a Rochester resident, worked for Dover Schools for over a decade, first as a special education teacher at Dover Middle School before her brief retirement, then returned to work at the secondary school in Dover, where she remained a staff member at the time of her death.

“Her impact was not over, she had so much more to give,” said Cathy Calandriello, a close friend and former special education teacher at DMS. “The way it was taken was so unnecessary and so unfair. We all lost a lot because she had such a big heart and a bottomless pit of things to give.

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Bob said he met Gloria when she moved to New England. She was in her 40s and Bob was in her 30s with two children Gloria immediately looked after and loved, said Bob.

Through his work with the Dover School District, she inspired him to work as a paraprofessional in college eight years ago and later in high school. He said what brings her peace now is working with the students whose lives she was able to make an impact on before her death.

“Gloria was a passionate gardener, so I think of the students she touched around the district like plant seeds,” Bob said. “She provided the fertilizer to help them bloom in college, so I go to the garden that she planted every day to work with these students who are now in high school. This is something special.

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Gloria grew up in Dekalb, Illinois. Her sister-in-law Janet Rocap said she never lost her heart and lived with a feeling of strength and “Midwestern raw”. Gloria’s sister, Gail, was born with cerebral palsy and died young. This was the starting point for Gloria’s passion for working with children with disabilities, her family said.

“Everyone knew Gloria, and if you had met her before, you would remember her.” She just brought everything and everyone she crossed paths with to life, ”said Rocap.

“A champion for children”

Friends and family describe Snowman as an avid quilting enthusiast, gardener, and nature and animal lover; a passionate and caring educator; someone whose laughter would light up a room. They say she made an impact on everyone she met.

Calandriello said Gloria has good sense with students and sees someone’s potential even when they can’t see it on their own.

Gloria Snowman, in red, is remembered for inspiring and having fun with colleagues at the Dover School.

“She has worked with autistic and developmentally disabled children, and she was their trusted support person. She was like a mom to them in school and was a huge role model for them, ”Calandriello said. “She saw beyond what they could or couldn’t do. She could see inside people’s souls and see their potential, guiding them until they saw it too.

She was often called “the chicken whisperer” in school, known for having chickens, fish, and all kinds of animals in the classroom, as a way to make learning more hands-on and immersive, remember former colleagues.

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Christine Boston is the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services for the Dover School District. She said Gloria’s passing was a personal loss to her, as well as to the district and the community as a whole. She called her a “beloved educator and friend.” Boston and Gloria started in the neighborhood at the same time, so their bond grew over the years, and Gloria became a confidante and close advisor, “always telling me what I need to hear instead. of what I want to hear, ”she said.

“It’s impossible to measure the impact she’s had,” Boston said. “She had this zest for life and contagious upbringing. She was masterful in building relationships with students, even those who were reluctant to participate. Before they knew it, they were doing everything they thought they couldn’t or didn’t think they wanted to do. Her life was truly her students and her family. She was a champion for children.

Gloria Snowman, right, is seen with Carol Manning, a colleague from Dover Middle School.

Carol Manning, secretary at DMS, said Gloria was loved and known to everyone as the kind of person you can count on for support and have a good time.

Barb Lynch, consultant at DMS, worked with Gloria for eight years. She said Gloria always had a smile on her face and was ready to offer help to anyone who needed it.

“It’s tragic that his life was taken too soon, it’s a loss for everyone,” said Lynch. “She was dedicated and invested in working with her special education students. She often made quilts for staff on special occasions or when there was a struggle in a family situation. She made these unique quilts for the family, hoping the quilt would keep them warm and tight throughout the hardships they faced.

Gloria Snowman was known for her love of animals.

DUI case in county prosecutor’s hands

The investigation into the accident that claimed Gloria’s life is still ongoing. The initial police investigation found that the other driver, Scott Boire, 37, of Raymond, crossed the yellow center line in oncoming traffic and struck Gloria’s vehicle.

Police arrested Boire and charged him with impaired driving. Drinking was not seriously injured, police said.

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Rochester Police Captain Todd Pinkham said Boire had previously committed a drinking and driving offense and the department was working with the Strafford County District Attorney’s Office to investigate further charges after the death by Gloria. Drinking was arraigned on the original charge the day after the accident, and he was released on personal recognizance. Strafford County District Attorney Tom Velardi said his office is reviewing the case.

Joseph Pietro is listed as Boire’s lawyer in court documents. He could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bob Snowman is calling for more to be done to keep people with a history of impaired driving off the roads.

“The hardest part to figure out is the other driver,” said Bob. “It seems so wrong that a multiple offender can go home on personal engagement after an accident like this. She’s gone now because of it, and it’s hard. How many times do we have to go through this, how many other families have to go through what we are going through now before there is a change? ”

Bob said that while grief leaves many questions, the biggest question on his mind isn’t “why isn’t she here, that’s why this drunk driver was left on the road.” road? “

“What will it take to tip the scales to make a difference? Bob said. “I don’t hate this man. He probably has someone looking after him and wondering if he’s going to come home every night. This person is going to feel bad, like I do now. I don’t know what the answer is, but we have to do something to change the outcome, to prevent it from happening to others.

Gloria’s visits will take place on Thursday, December 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tasker Funeral Home in Dover. A funeral service will follow.