Obituary: Gloria Olivas Garcia

Great-grandmother, educator, gardener, was married 63 years

Gloria Olivas Garcia died peacefully at her Claremont home surrounded by her children, family, and beloved friends on April 2 at the age of 85.

Born in Gilroy, California on June 7, 1937, she was the second oldest child of Maria Morado Olivas and Romualdo Olivas. Gloria was a curious, avid learner and student all of her life and graduated valedictorian of Riverdale High School in Riverdale, California in 1956. She married the love of her life Antonio Mata Garcia in 1959. They were married for 63 years and had six children. In 1977, they moved to Claremont, where they resided until her death.

After taking an instrumental role in raising her own brothers and sisters, especially with respect to their education, and then raising six children of her own, she returned to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. She then went on to realize her childhood dream of becoming an educator, serving with both the Pomona and the Chino unified school districts.

She is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Antonio Garcia of Claremont; children Antonio (Tony Jr.) Garcia of Coeur D’Alene Idaho, Robert Daniel Garcia (Danny Boy) of Pomona, Richard S. Garcia and wife Julie Of Tucson, Arizona, Lewis Garcia and his wife Reina of Pomona, Gloria Lisa Garcia and her husband David Brown of Los Angeles, and Mark Garcia of Claremont; grandchildren Kieran Lewis Garcia and his wife Christina Gmiterko, Rachel Ponce, Madison Garcia, Faith Garcia, and Jonah Garcia Brown: and great-grandchild Theodore Garcia. She is also survived by her sister Sofie Palacio of Diamond Bar, and brother Arturo Olivas of Pomona.

She was an ardent lover of nature throughout her life and spent many hours in her garden. She knew the names of countless plants flowers, and trees and was concerned about our changing climate and its impact on the world. To plant a tree in her memory, contact

A memorial celebration of life and Mass will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3 at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, 435 Berkeley Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.

For additional information email Lewis Garcia at or Lisa Garcia at


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