A Southside Angel Has Gained Her Wings

A Southside angel has gained her wings and I couldn't be prouder to have grown up with Ana Gloria Izaguirre as my neighbor. I grew up living across from the Izaguirre Family on the Southside. We considered them family and enjoyed many special occasions together. My mom and Gloria volunteered together for many years at the St. Lawrence Food Pantry which Gloria founded.

Gloria volunteered for over 49 years at St. Lawrence Catholic Church. She spent 7 years as the Director of Religious Education, spent countless summers overseeing youth programs and taught CCD classes, for all ages, both at the church and in her home.

She founded the St. Lawrence Food Pantry, where they worked in collaboration with local supermarkets and private entities to collect food items and necessary hygiene products. What started out with just helping a few individuals turned into a community-wide effort, serving nearly 200 families a month for close to 17 years.

I would often visit and help when they distributed food. Seeing Gloria's passion to help the community was one of the first seeds planted in my heart to help those in need myself. Gloria and her husband Jesse organized and lead this food pantry program week after week helping over 200 families with a heart of gold. She helped low income families, homeless, seniors and those in need in her community.

Every Halloween Gloria and her family would giveaway hot dogs and candy to all the kids that came to trick or treat. When friends and family would come to our house to celebrate Halloween, they were amazed at the generosity this family always had for their community. Over the years we would see more and more trick or treaters visit Gloria's home and we knew that it was more than just the food she gave away; it was about a sense of community and connecting with one another.

I had the privilege of playing Bunco with Gloria, a Southside neighborhood tradition with ladies from the area. This tradition consists of 12 ladies who have met monthly for over 30 years to play together. This was a time to connect, to have fun and to bond. All her neighbor's knew Gloria for her beautiful smile, her joyful laugh and her generous heart. She shifted the community by meeting their needs and pioneered her way with giving efforts that impacted so many.

Not only did she participate in your average Halloween festivities of handing out candy, playing music and enjoying the trick-or-treaters, she and her family also prepared hot dogs with all the condiments for families on the go. This tradition started approximately 10 years ago with a distribution of 300 hot dogs and as of last year, has increased to serving close to 800 trick-or-treaters. Her commitment to the community is a genuine testament to the beautiful soul we will miss. Gloria was a true servant leader to her community.

Her home was a beacon of generosity, a hope for the community and symbol of love. I will miss her dearly and will remember the mark she made on my community. Gloria was born in Harlingen, Texas but made a home in San Antonio.

She grew her family on the Southside of town and spent 62 years married to the love of her life. For years, she dedicated her time to helping in the community and made church a second home. Her passion for family, church and Christ bring fond memories and comfort to her family.

Gloria Izaguirre, beloved wife, mother and grandmother will be greatly missed and will be remembered for many things, but her contributions to family, friends, and the community are what will always stand out. She was Mom, Nana and Great-Nana.

She is preceded in death by her parents Felix Bermea and Francisa Solis Bermea. Survivors include her loving husband Jesus M. Izaguirre, daughters Gloria Ynostrosa, Miroslava Moreno and Esmeralda Martinez, sons Jesse Izaguirre, Jr. and Dagoberto Izaguirre, sisters Rosie Galvan, Maria Kena and Estella Elizondo, brother Felix Bermea, 9 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and other family members and friends. Her neighbors will be honoring her Friday May 1, in front of their houses as her procession passes by at 10:30am.

Guest post was written by blogger Luisa Garcia also known as The San Antonio Socialista.

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