Gloria C. Arriaga
September 25, 1950 – July 31, 2018
Gloria Cantu Arriaga, age 67, retired Executive Director at Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loving husband and family, on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018.
She was a woman of humble beginnings but rose to become one of the first Hispanic women overseeing a major government agency, AACOG opening the pathway for professional women seeking higher positions.
Gloria was born September 25, 1950 to Eugenio and Irene Cantu in Monterrey, Mexico, a city she valued due to her family heritage. Gloria was the second oldest out of six beloved Cantu children Robert, Cesar, Alma, Maria and Carlos. She was a devoted daughter and sister and instrumental in raising her siblings making sure they were cared for and loved while Eugenio and Irene provided for their family. Gloria and her family eventually moved to Los Angeles, California in 1955. In 1968, Gloria graduated with honors from St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Los Angeles. Her dedication to her studies earned her a 4-year scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her parents decided to move to San Antonio in 1969 to create a new beginning for their family. Gloria was unselfish in life and honored her parents’ wishes, but in doing so had to give up her scholarship and dream of attending UCLA. In January 1969 Gloria’s family settled in San Antonio, Texas, the city which would become her permanent hometown and the center of her life.
In March of 1976, while attending the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), Gloria met the love of her life, Douglas Arriaga. They continued to date over the next two years. On April 15th, 1978, Gloria was united in holy matrimony to Douglas at Saint Margaret’s Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. Douglas and Gloria remained faithful husband and wife and just recently celebrated their 40th year anniversary amongst family and friends. They are life time companions and will forever be each other’s soulmate. Douglas and Gloria were blessed with two beautiful daughters, Antoinette and Victoria Arriaga. Antoinette was born on October 31st, 1979 and Victoria was born five years later on August 15th, 1984. Gloria was devoted to her two daughters and always encouraged their participation in scholastic and sporting events never turning down an opportunity to volunteer or praise their accomplishments. Through the years, their relationship grew and flourished into something more than just mother/daughter but into best friends. Gloria’s character and attributes, including her beautiful smile and contagious laughter, will live through her daughters and carry on to her grandchildren.
Gloria began work as a secretary with AACOG in 1971. In the early 80’s, she was promoted to Executive Secretary. Throughout her career and while caring for her family Gloria took night classes at UTSA and Trinity University to further advance her education. Gloria graduated from the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1982. In 1985, Gloria was awarded Secretary of the Year by the Anacacho chapter of Professional Secretaries International. Gloria graduated from Leadership San Antonio in 1992. In 1993, she graduated from Trinity University with a Master’s degree in Urban Economics. Over the years and through hard work and dedication, Gloria progressed through numerous positions at AACOG, such as Executive Secretary, Human Resources Manager, Director, Deputy Director, and finally attained the position of Executive Director of AACOG in 2007. As Executive Director she managed various departments including Administration, the Area Agencies on Aging, the Bexar Mental Retardation Authority, Housing, HIV Administrative Services and Workforce. In 2011 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from AACOG for 40 years of dedicated public service. Gloria retired from AACOG that same year for health reasons. Gloria's civic involvement included her chairmanship of the San Antonio/Bexar County Committee on Aging, a leader of the Urban Management Association of South Texas, the TARC Executive Directors Committee, and Bexar County Civil Services committee.
While Gloria made strong advancements in her career she always made time to enjoy life to the fullest. Gloria was an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs and has been a season ticket holder for over 20 years. She attended every home game possible never missing an opportunity to cheer loudly for her home team. Her love for the game was infectious to the people around her and she became a well-known face at each and every game. In addition to the Spurs organization she also had many hobbies which included the Book Club with some of her closest friends, crocheting blankets and scarves for loved ones, cooking, baking her infamous rum cakes, and traveling with family and friends creating lifelong memories. She never missed a single birthday, anniversary, or holiday. She took pride in organizing these events especially the Annual Christmas Cookie Swap.
She believed in family, community, and charity. She gave to many organizations including Goodwill, the San Antonio Foodbank and the Archdiocese Catholic Organization to name a few. Always a devout Catholic she attended Mass weekly at St. John’s the Evangelist Catholic Church for 26 years, where she served as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister. Throughout retirement she continued to devote her time to many organizations. Gloria was a member of the City/County Joint Commission on Elderly Affairs, she was a member of the Alzheimer’s Association; the San Antonio Book Club; the Olmos Park City Council (where she helped approve the addition of the bike lane on McCullough Avenue), and the Women’s Olmos Park Luncheon.
Gloria will always be remembered as a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother.
Gloria is survived by her loving husband, Douglas Arriaga; her daughters Antoinette McCune and husband Jacob and Victoria Downing and husband Christopher; her grandchildren Annalise, Alexander, Abigail and Aurelia; her siblings Alma Maldonado husband Ben, Maria Cantu, and Carlos Cantu and wife Sandi; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice. Family, friends and those whose lives were touched by Gloria are invited to attend the funeral services honoring Gloria Arriaga:
FUNERIA DEL ANGEL ROY AKERS 515 N. Main Ave., San Antonio, TX 78205 Viewing starting at 5 p.m. Rosary starting at 7 p.m. August 6, 2018.
Funeral services the following day: ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC CHURCH 102 S. Audubon Dr., San Antonio, TX 78212 Funeral starting at 10 a.m.
Proceeded by burial at: SAN FERNANDO CEMETERY #2 746 Castroville Rd., San Antonio, TX 78237
Concluding wake: Arriaga’s residence August 7, 2018
In the parting words of Gloria Arriaga… “Bye Felicia!”
- Gloria is survived by her loving husband, Douglas Arriaga; her daughters Antoinette McCune and husband Jacob and Victoria Downing and husband Christopher; her grandchildren Annalise, Alexander, Abigail and Aurelia; her siblings Alma Maldonado husband Ben, Maria Cantu, and Carlos Cantu and wife Sandi; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
- Visitation Monday, August 6, 2018
- Rosary Monday, August 6, 2018
- Funeral Mass Tuesday, August 7, 2018
- Committal Service Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Gloria C. Arriaga
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August 6, 2018
My best friend has passed away, and I have fallen into a well of sorrow. I shall miss her in so many ways, and yet feel selfish in my loss. I say selfish because I want to continue to meet her for lunch every week, I want to call her to talk about the latest global injustice and controversial local politics, I will miss her at our birthday club celebrations, I will miss her invitations to Spurs’ games, and I will miss her at our book club meetings.
After she retired from AACOG, she found time to chair many important committees, but one of her favorites was meeting with our Easy Readers Book Club group. She often told me how much she loved meeting with the members and listening to their comments and of course she was not afraid to share hers. She loved romance novels and lamented that it was not suggested reading! However, she grew to love the recommended books, and grew in her appreciation of literature.
I have so many stories I could tell about her being generous to a fault, her intense loyalty, her sense of justice, her empathy, especially toward seniors, and her love of family. Let us celebrate the wonderful person that she was. She will be missed by everyone she touched. As for me, I will forever carry her memory in my heart.
…. Berti Vaughan
August 5, 2018
I remember Gloria as a joyful person. Her laugh and quick wit made each day at the office fun I was fortunate to witness her graduation from college--something she worked so hard and so long to accomplish. She will be missed. Janie Santos
August 5, 2018
My name is Bonnie Moelter. I met Gloria through my daughter, Cindy being friends with her daughter, Victoria. They went to school together. It was a pleasure to meet her. She was a beautiful lady and I remember her sweet smile. I will be praying for the family. God bless each and everyone of you. She will be a special angel in heaven.
August 5, 2018
My deepest sympathy to the family on the loss of Gloria. I was blessed to know her through our children at First Presbyterian Child Development Center, through ACCOG, and her dear sisters Maria and Alma.
What a wonderful person. Always smiling, always caring and just a wonderful individual. She will be truly missed.
August 4, 2018
I will miss Gloria so much. I worked for (and with) Gloria for 9 years at AACOG, as she also hired me. I have known Gloria for over 16 years. She was an inspiration and a great friend. I learned so much from her as she was a guide and mentor in many ways. Gloria’ had a great compassion to help others, she shared her love for the cinema, books, fine arts and the SPURS among other things. Her generosity, kindness and compassion touched me, as she always treated everyone with respect and was very fair, and always was among the first to offer assistance when it was needed. She was instrumental in supporting and establishing our Easy Readers’ Library, located at AACOG. Our friendship continued after Gloria’s retirement, and I would see her often at the Book Club and Birthday Club. I always received birthday and Christmas cards, and a call or flowers on Administrative Assistant’s Day, even after her retirement! She had the nicest thoughtful details and made you feel special. She would often gift me with knitted scarves, holiday baskets or baked goodies, all made by herself! She was a very special lady and friend, I will always treasure Gloria’s friendship and will keep her close to my heart. You have left a dent in this world and forever will be missed!
August 3, 2018
Gloria will always be so special to me! She mentored me throughout the years I worked with her at AACOG and I was honored to have worked for her for the 20 years I was there. She was the sweetest, kindest person I had ever met and NEVER forgot my birthday even after I left AACOG. She was a special friend to me and I will miss her dearly. I am lucky to have some wonderful memories of her with the beautiful scarves she knitted for me and the starbucks mugs she gave me that I still drink my coffee from. Gloria, your definitely an Angel that will always be forever in my heart. xoxoxo Melissa Pulido
August 3, 2018
My deepest condolences to the family. She will be missed forever. She was my mentor, my supervisor and my friend! Always there to lift me up when life and work got tough and unbearable. I feel blessed to of known Gloria for almost 30 years. She never missed a birthday or Christmas and i wondered how does she do it. But it was just her being her...rest in peace Gloria you will be missed.
Nancy Arispe Shaw
August 3, 2018
Dear Doug & Girls, I regret that we’ll be out of town on the days of your services for Gloria, but I just wanted to let you know that I will always remember her for the zest she had for life. At AACOG, she would brighten my days with her radiant smile and hearty laughter. And she so loved you all. May she live in our hearts and thoughts forever. Nancy Arispe Shaw (formerly Roth-Roffy).
August 2, 2018
Gloria was a great woman that I had the pleasure of meeting through my best friend her niece Liz. She was beautiful on the inside and out. I had the pleasure of being able the call her Aunt Gloria even though we weren’t blood realatives. To Doug , you are awesome man you had a awesome wife she will be truly missed.
August 2, 2018
Gloria was an amazing woman. Working with Doug for 14 years, I have been blessed to know them both. Gloria has been Doug's rock and I know she will be well received by our Good Lord and Saviour. Gloria and the family will remain in our prayers.
Pedro (Pete) Jimenez
August 2, 2018
Gloria was a great friend who always sought to make everyone’s life better through her caring and her can do attitude.
Her family was her strength and solitude and she will watch over them from above for the rest of their lives.
I will always be grateful for her counsel and sense of humor while working as an intern at AACOG.
She will be missed but her love and spirit will always be present in our daily lives.
Rest In Peace Gloria and thank you for your kindness and generosity.
August 2, 2018
Mis más sentido pésame a toda la Familia en este momento difícil aunque sabemos que mi prima Gloria ya está con Dios. Elevamos nuestras oraciones para una pronta resignación. Los Queremos mucho y los recordamos siempre desde Monterrey. Un abrazo fuerte a Todos.
Al & Betty Cervera
August 2, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Gloria was a person to be admired. Smart, quick thinking, kind, and always had a smile for you. We will miss her, but we will continue to pray for her eternal rest in the arms of the Lord!