Gloria Jean “Glo” Dunnavan

October 2, 1947 - January 16, 2018
Gloria Jean “Glo” Dunnavan

Gloria Jean “Glo” Dunnavan, 70, of Wilmington, North Carolina, passed away on January 16, 2018.

Gloria Jean was born in Louisville, KY, on October 2, 1947 to J. Calvin and Betsy Dunnavan. She graduated from Pleasure Ridge Park High School in 1965, then attended the University of Kentucky, earning a Bachelor in Science in microbiology. Gloria Jean began her lifetime career in public service as an FDA inspector in Louisville and Nashville, Tennessee.

She moved to Gaithersburg, MD in 1979 to work as a Compliance Officer in the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, where she handled the Center’s most complex and precedent-setting enforcement actions. She served as CVM’s Director of the Division of Compliance for 10 years, and during that time traveled the nation and the world as a globally-recognized expert on mad cow disease. Throughout her 35-year long career in the FDA, she was consistently recognized for her outstanding work and dedication to the safety of our food supply, earning many awards and honors including Vice President Gore’s Hammer Award, FDA’s Award of Merit, and several HHS Distinguished Service Awards. After leaving the FDA, her expertise led to a second successful career as a consultant in food safety.

Upon her retirement, Glo lived her life to the fullest for 11 happy years in Wilmington, North Carolina. She enjoyed walking on the beach, attending concerts and performances, watching and reading science fiction, swimming at the Y with her friends, and hosting her nieces, nephews, and cousins at her beautiful beach cottage.

Whether they knew her as Gloria Jean, Bean Jean, GJ, or Glo, her friends and family will remember her quick wit, excellent conversational skills, thoughtful insights, and generosity of spirit. She will be greatly missed by a great number of people whose lives she touched.

Her life will be celebrated at Wilmington Funeral and Cremation (1535 S. 41st Street) at a visitation on Friday, February 2, 2018 from 5 – 8 pm and a memorial service the following morning from 11am – 12pm. Donations may be made in her name to the YWCA (Lower Cape Fear branch), or to Airlie Gardens in lieu of flowers.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.

Tribute Video


Saturday, February 3, 2018
11:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Wilmington Funeral Chapel - Directions
1535 South 41st Street
Wilmington, NC 28403


Friday, February 2, 2018
5:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Wilmington Funeral Chapel - Directions
1535 South 41st Street
Wilmington, NC 28403

Purchase Flowers

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • January 26, 2018
    A. Marie Pettiford Casey says:
    Condolence to the Family of Gloria Jean Dunnavan, There are few experiences more difficult than the loss of a loved one; no doubt Ms. Dunnavan will be sadly missed. Having endured such a loss, I find comfort in knowing death was not God’s purpose for mankind and his purpose has not changed. God’s word is clear, “He will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more....The former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) Further, recorded at Isaiah 26:19, “Your dead will live. My corpses will rise up. Awake and shout joyfully, you residents in the dust!....And the earth will let those powerless in death come to life”. The restoration of life is guaranteed! Jesus not only spoke of the coming resurrection (John 5:21, 28, 29), he himself was resurrected by his Father and performed many miracles including resurrections. All such miraculous events took place on earth giving us a precious glimpse of what is to come.......seeing our loved ones again! May Jehovah God continue to bless your family during this difficult time and in the days ahead as you cherish the many fond memories of Ms. Dunnavan.

  • January 26, 2018
    Rikki Stearman lit a candle:
    Lit since January 26, 2018 at 1:07:40 PM

  • January 29, 2018
    JIM GIUFFRE says:
    Lane three at the YWCA should have your name posted on it!! Very sad. I called the hospital every day to see when I might send flowers. Never got the chance.

  • January 30, 2018
    Louis Kaufman says:
    Jean will always have a piece of my heart as she was a warm, caring woman who always had a positivoutlook on life. My heart goes out to Jean’s family and friends who appreciated Jean for her many good qualities and valuess. While Jean hardly talked about it, she was a very religious person and I hope she finds peace in her next life.

  • January 31, 2018
    O. WOMACK says:
    MY CONDOLENCES TO THE DUNNAVAN FAMILY There are no words to express the pains of death. At Revelation 21: 4 Jehovah God promises to do away with tears, pain and even death. So may you find comfort in his promises during this difficult time while you await to be united again with your love ones.