On April 10, 1945 Gloria's life came to a tragic end. At the time she and her third husband Bill Fitzgerald were renting a two-story home, located at 1630 Haslom Terrace, from actor Sidney Toler. That afternoon Gloria was taking a nap in her bedroom. While she was sleeping a fire broke out on the first floor. The flames woke Gloria up and she tried to escape through a window in an upstairs bathroom. Sadly she suffered second degree burns and died from asphyxiation due to the smoke. She was found dead on the bathroom floor wearing her pink nightgown. Her beloved dog died just a few feet away from her. Gloria was only twenty-seven years old. Her husband Bill was not at home when the fire broke out. He arrived shortly after the fire department got there and tried to run in burning house. Bill was heard screaming "My baby’s in there! I have got to get to my baby!".
Photos of Gloria's house after the fire
The fire had been caused by a lit cigarette that fell into an overstuffed chair in the rumpus room. Gloria's funeral was held on April 17 at Hollywood Forever cemetery. She was buried under a shady tree with a grave marker that reads "Thais A. Dickerson, My Baby, 1917 - 1945." After Gloria's death her widow Bill Fitzgerald started working as a truck driver. He was arrested in 1950 for "desertion in time of war" and served time in a military prison. In 1955 Bill married a woman in Reno, Nevada. One month after the wedding he was arrested for stealing checks from his new wife. Bill was sentenced to five years in the Nebraska State Penitentiary. On May 5, 1958 he died in prison from complications of a venereal disease. He was forty-seven years old.
Gloria's grave at Hollywood Forever