Gloria Arias
FUNERAL HOME
Forest Lawn - Coachella
51990 Jackson Street
Coachella, CA
Gloria Arias

Thermal, CA - Gloria Arias, 83, passed away peacefully at her home in Thermal, CA on May 21, 2021. She was born on January 19, 1938 in Brawley, CA, beloved daughter of Optaciano and Lucy Meraz. Gloria arrived in the Coachella Valley at the age of 10 years when her father secured a job grading the flood plain around the Salton Sea area. She attended Coachella Elementary School, now Palm View School, and graduated from Coachella Valley High School where she met her late husband of 58 years, Onesimo (Onie) Arias Jr. She is survived by her four children; Lawrence Arias (Autumn), Ernest Arias (Rosa), Juliet De Lara (Juan) and Rebecca Ann Gonzalez (Juan); ten grandchildren, Melina, Agustin, Juan Jr., Adrian, Gabriela, Ariel, Gabriel, Daniel, Joseph and Breanna; and six great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind her sister Martha Rios (John) and brother Ralph Meraz; she was preceded in death by her older brother, Optaciano Meraz Jr. (Esther).

Gloria worked for the Coachella Valley Unified School District for 31 years. Her career at CVUSD started in 1963 as an aide in the Head Start program at John Kelley Elementary School. Her dedication and hard work led to a secretarial position at John Kelley where she was school secretary from 1965 to 1970. She left her career in the school district to become a stay-at-home mom after the birth of her daughter Rebecca, returning to CVUSD in 1975 to work at Westside, Valley View and John Kelley schools as a service aide.

In 1978 she transferred to Oasis Elementary School where she worked until her retirement in 1999. When Gloria spoke about her work at Oasis School you quickly recognized that it was more than a job, she spoke passionately about her Oasis families as "my people." Gloria set the example of outreach and service to the community. Gloria was her own individual resource center, collecting clothing, food and anything that could be of help to families in need in the lower Coachella Valley. When organizations had items for donation they would contact Gloria because she knew the community and their needs. She cared not only for her students but also their families. Gloria would provide transportation for students as well as some of the parents to doctor and dental appointments. Upon her retirement Gloria sent a special message to her Oasis community, "I would like to thank the parents of the community, I didn't teach them anything, they taught me. They shared what little they had with me and welcomed me into their homes and into their families."

Together with her beloved husband Onie, Gloria helped to maintain one of the few remaining pioneer farms in the lower Valley that continues production of food crops and where generations of family continue to be raised. She endured the hardships, failures and successes of the small farmer while in the midst of change and tremendous growth in the Valley. Though in deteriorating health, Gloria insisted on remaining in her home in Thermal. Gloria's family is especially grateful for the love, care, and companionship provided her in her final years by Amanda Floreano (My Mandy), Eunicia Perez (Paloma), Wendy Anzueto, Mayte Obeso-Galindo and Robin Bierria.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 6, 2021, from 4 to 7 PM at Forest Lawn in Coachella to include Recitation of the Rosary at 5:00 PM. Due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions indoor attendance is limited to 75 people, an outdoor seating area will be available. A Funeral Mass will be offered at Our Lady of Soledad Church in Coachella at 10:00 AM on Monday, June 7, 2021, followed by graveside services at 11:30 AM at the Coachella Cemetery.

Mom enjoyed bingo games with her friends at the Thermal Senior Center. She would often ask for spare nickels and dimes on the way to the Center and though she bragged about winning, she would never pay them back. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to local senior and community centers.



Published by The Desert Sun from May 28 to Jun. 4, 2021.
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28 Entries
Gloria was my high school classmate, CVUHS Class of 56, and until this notification I never realized she became an Arias. The Arias family is a very proud family and is held with great respect by our family and they have Juan De Lara as part of that family, what a great addition. Reading about Gloria makes me proud to be on the same planet as people like her. Rest in Peace Classmate, Art Montoya
Art Montoya
Classmate
June 15, 2021
My deepest condolences, please know she is being received with open arms!
Diana Monroy
June 12, 2021
I remember Gloria since I was attending middle school at John Kelley school. Then I saw her again when I started working at Oasis School as a teacher's aide and then as a teacher. Gloria was always smiling and welcoming people as they passed by her desk. She was a very hard working woman who cared for everyone (staff, students and their families). When she retired, the office didn't feel the same without her. I missed her very much and even though we didn't keep in touch after that, I always remember her and I will will always do. My condolences and prayers for the Areas family.
Gloira Perez
Coworker
June 8, 2021
Extending our prayers and blessings to all the Arias family and Sister/Mrs.Becky Gonzalez family we fondly remember Mrs. Arias for her laughter God bless you
Ray and Luz Anzaldua
Friend
June 4, 2021
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I loved the fact that even after she retired she was still able to recognize students even as adults. I have great memories of her fat the Old Oasis school. We were extremely lucky to have had her at there all those years. She was very nurturing and loving. May god bless her soul and her family. She was truly an Angel.
Just A Kid From Oasis
Student
June 3, 2021
Mrs.Arias was ways going the extra mile to help all the students at Oasis School. She was part of my childhood, always taking care of us. She will be remembered for her kindness and loving personality. There are so many great memories, one of them was Gloria Day. The whole school celebrated Mrs.Arias retirement!! It was one of the best celebrations I attended as a child. On behalf of the Oasis Community we thank her for all her efforts and love for these families. Our condolences to all her family, may she rest in peace.
Eva Rodriguez
Student
June 3, 2021
My condolences to my Nina Gloria’s family and many friends. She was my sponsor for my First Communion. I saw her at our family function, but lost touch after I moved out of the Valley in 1970. Rest In Peace Nina.♥
Gloria Pasillas-Sais
Family
June 3, 2021
I first met Gloria in 1965, she and Barbara Bracamonte enrolled me and my sisters and brothers to attend John KelleySchool (we moved from Coachella to Thermal) during my 5th grade. By 6th grade I would volunteer in the School office and help Gloria Arias. Her son Larry is my classmate. I always enjoyed seeing Gloria at the Thermal Senior Center while I worked at CVUSD. I will miss seeing Gloria with her beautiful smile. God Bless.
gloria velasquez
Friend
June 3, 2021
I can still remember her at her desk when I attended oasis school she was always super nice and patient with me and I was a pain lol may you rip..
Bernice Rojo
Student
June 3, 2021
Ms. Arias was the sweetest, she took extra care of us at Oasis School, I remember coming to her for everything from a toothache to a missing pencil, she always found a way to make me smile. May the love of friends and family carry on her memory. Rest in Peace Ms. Arias.
Oralia Soto-Vladimirov
June 3, 2021
Will always be missedRIP
Limbania Contreras
Friend
June 3, 2021
Wonderful memories
Rest in peace
Irma Rodriguez
Coworker
June 2, 2021
Our prayers are with the family.my condolences, one of the most kind and helpful person i have ever met always with a smile and a how are you doing today attitude and i would see her alot cause i was always in the principals office.we got to know eachother well.she will always be remembered and never forgotten...until we meet again....blessings to you in heaven.
Joe Velarde
Student
June 2, 2021
I send all my love and condolences to my Nina Gloria's family..I wasn't much in contact with her and my Nino Onie, since my dad Robert Arias ,took us to live in Mexico City.
But I would see her at family reunions ,when possible.
I'll keep her in my heart, and my prayers go out to all her family.
Rebecca Perez Vertti Arias
Family
June 2, 2021
Ms. Arias you will forever be in our hearts thank you for everything you did for my family and for me while I was in Oasis School... you always took care of all of us like we were one of your own... you were an amazing Human being..... Thank you for everything.
Aida Rodriguez
Student
June 2, 2021
Ms Arias was the first person to help me when I started at Oasis as a new teacher. She knew all the students and knew just what they needed. She was always there for others.
Helen McCloud
Coworker
June 2, 2021
She was so nice I remember her when she worked in the office at Oasis Elementary School.
May she Rest In Peace
My condolences to her family
Patricia Hernandez Winford
Student
June 2, 2021
My condolences Gloria was a great friend. May she Rest In Peace. Love Josie Vasquez
June 2, 2021
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