Gloria "Nana" Pierce-Byrd
August 13, 1945 – January 21, 2018
GLORIA PIERCE-BYRD “Mother, Nana, and Life Long Counselor”
Gloria Pierce-Byrd was born on August 13, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York to the union of Prince Albert Pierce and Annie Leary Pierce. She was the youngest of five children.
Gloria was educated in the New York City public school system where she attended elementary, junior high, and Thomas Jefferson High School. Gloria had a very vibrant personality. She loved cooking, reading, watching movies, listening to music, dancing, spending time with her family, and helping her community. Gloria was employed as a bookkeeper. She also worked in banking and telemarketing until she relocated to Glendale, Arizona.
In August 1974 Gloria married “the love of her life” Harvey Byrd. She was not shy in letting others know how she felt about her husband. The couple enjoyed spending time as a family, and participating in activities with their children. Gloria is the proud mother of three children: Kevin, Maisha “Mimi,” and Habib. Gloria supported her children’s dreams and did everything that she could to promote their success.
Gloria found her passion as a child care provider when she relocated to Arizona in February 1992. With $15.00 and the support of three client families Gloria started “Nana’s Care” a ministry which spanned nearly two decades. Gloria created an environment where all children were loved and cared for. She began to raise a nation of leaders. Gloria believed that the only way to defeat hate was by loving babies. Gloria partnered with one of her day care parents (who was a juvenile detention worker) and started an “adopt a kid” program to provide Christmas gifts to children and show them love at a time when they were not so lovable. Gloria believed in promoting strong families, so she took her Nana’s Care mission a step further and allowed her day care parents to have a date night. During this time, Gloria kept her day care children over night so that their parents could have a night to themselves.
Besides her commitment to Nana’s Care, Gloria helped many of the neighborhood children who were not part of her program. She helped to promote their education via teaching them and assisting with homework. She also provided delicious snacks, which the children enjoyed. Gloria also had a mentoring ministry, where she would fix breakfast and mentor single moms, one Saturday per month.
Gloria was also very passionate regarding the care of her grandson James who was diagnosed with autism. Nana participated in James’ team meetings and treatment plans. She took him to medical and therapy appointments. Nana worked with James diligently to promote his growth and success. James could also count on Nana to cook special food just for him.
Gloria entered into rest on January 21, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. Gloria’s husband Harvey Byrd, parents Prince Albert and Annie Pierce, brothers James Pierce and Charles Pierce (who passed as an infant), and sister Katherine Pierce-Coy all preceded her in death.
Gloria leaves to cherish her memory: her children, Kevin Studdard, Maisha Pierce-Byrd, and Habib Pierce-Byrd (Miral); her brother, William Pierce; grandchildren, James Magee, Ari Pierce-Byrd, and Alena Pierce-Byrd; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and hundreds of “Nana’s Care” babies.
We Love You Gloria, But God Loves You Best
- Celebration of LIfe Saturday, August 11, 2018