Chapter BR in Mesa, Arizona, was planning a special celebration for their two 70-year Golden Girls, Gloria Anderson and Fran Higley. The chapter knew that they were long time friends but while working on their biographies for the celebration, they learned that their wonderful friendship started in early childhood.

After Gloria’s family moved to Fran’s neighborhood in Wyandotte, Michigan, their mothers became best friends, as did Fran and Gloria, from age two on. They attended school together through their high school graduation in 1950. During this time they were active in Girl Scouts and in many different school activities, preparing them to become future P.E.O.s!

Gloria attended Detroit Commercial College to become a stenographer. After graduation, she married a high school classmate; Fran was the maid of honor at their wedding. The newlyweds moved to Mississippi, where Gloria’s husband was stationed in the Air Force.

Black and white wedding photo from the 1950s. Bride is seated with four bridesmaids standing behind her.

Fran (2nd from left) was the maid of honor at Gloria’s wedding












Fran attended secretarial school and then Michigan State, where she earned her teaching degree. While in college, Gloria and Fran returned to Wyandotte to be initiated into Chapter AF, which was their mothers’ chapter.

After Gloria’s husband completed his Air Force service and attended engineering school, Gloria and her family ended up in Maryland, where Gloria became active again in Chapter D, District of Columbia. P.E.O. has always been an important part of Gloria’s life. She has been in 11 chapters, held all the offices, been president in three chapters and president of reciprocity in three states. She also organized two chapters and initiated 10 new members during her terms as president. After moving to Mesa, Arizona, Gloria became a member of Chapter BR when she met several chapter members at a 100th birthday party for her mother. The highlight of her P.E.O. life was when her daughter Sue initiated her granddaughter into P.E.O. and four generations of P.E.O.s were present.

Fran met her husband while in college. After graduation, they married and move  to Los Angeles for his career and Fran began substitute teaching. From this time on, Fran was active in P.E.O. Fran continued to teach during her family’s various moves and when they settled in Illinois, she became an elementary school principal. She was active in P.E.O., serving as chaplain and president over the years. While in Illinois, she attended every state convention and was involved in reciprocity, serving as co-chair for many years. After teaching for 30 years, Fran retired; she and her husband moved to Tucson, where she served as president of her P.E.O. chapter. Fran moved to Mesa after her husband passed away and soon became an active member in Chapter BR. Once again, Gloria and Fran are members of the same chapter.

These two sisters have always stayed in touch and when their paths crossed a few times in their various moves, they were able to see more of each other. They remain best friends and dedicated P.E.O. sisters to this day! What a great friendship and commitment to P.E.O. Gloria and Fran have had! Chapter BR has been lucky to have them!

Article Info


Ann Henley, BR, Mesa, Arizona



Article Type

Special Feature

Related Articles

Summer 2024

Bolstered by Sisterhood, P.E.O. Claire Collins is a Shining Star in the Rowing World

Claire Collins, AA, Washington, D.C., calls rowing “a sport of contradictions.” While a boat gliding…

Spring 2024

Reflections on Becoming an Objects & Aims Woman 20 Years Later

APRIL OF 2024 MARKS 20 YEARS since I wrote my address to California State Chapter…

Spring 2024

The Magic of Weeki Wachee Spring: Once a Mermaid, Always a Mermaid

IN 1953 MY FAMILY MOVED from Ohio To Florida; I was eight years old. We…