by Sheila Pierce
March 26, 2017, marked the 40th anniversary of the homegoing of our mother, Gloria Mae Pierce. She passed away on March 26, 1977. We are her children, Anthony, Bobby, Larry, Sheila, Dexter and Linda (deceased). It’s so hard for us to believe that 40 years have actually passed. To us, her entire life is still so very vivid in our minds.
To write about our mother and not to mention her grandchildren, this memorial would be incomplete because of the love she had for them. More than half of them weren’t born at the time of her passing. Their girls’ names are Katrina, Vanessa, Ericka, Shauna, Monique, Sunceria, Nicole and Tiffany. The boys are Bobby Jr., Anthony Jr., Kamon, Larry Jr., Tony, Calvin III, Robiel and Domingus (deceased).
We also would like to mention our mother’s only surviving sister, Ms. Carrie Lee Battle, who resides in Los Angeles. Aunt Carrie loved her sister so much and misses her just as much as we do.
Our mother was only 46 years old when she unexpectedly passed away. Gone far too soon, not just for us but for many people who knew her and loved her as well.
Mom left us with so many good, wonderful memories that we feel blessed, because she gave so much of herself to us we really could not have asked for a more loving and caring mother. She would have wanted us to remember the good times, and we do.
Gloria Mae Pierce was the first and only Black woman to own and operate a restaurant at the San Francisco Navy Shipyard and it was booming. We know she would have expanded it to a chain of restaurants by now and it could have been another Sweetie Pie’s or maybe even bigger. She cooked like nobody else. It didn’t matter what it was that she was cooking; it was always absolutely delicious.
She gave several indigent people a full course meal. She informed her staff, when someone comes into the restaurant and can’t pay, you treat them like they were paying customers. That’s the kind of mother we had.
Gloria Mae Pierce was the first and only Black woman to own and operate a restaurant at the San Francisco Navy Shipyard and it was booming.
Gloria was not only beautiful, she was smart, a go getter. She also was a fashion queen and oh, could she dress. She didn’t really have to work on dressing well; it came naturally. Some people have it like that and some don’t. Our mother had it like that: She was the ULTIMATE GLAMOR GIRL.
You might even say she was in a class all by herself. She enrolled in a school called Beeline Fashions just to perfect her gift. What she discovered while studying fashion is that most of what was being taught there she already knew, but she did say in some ways it helped.
She also studied interior decorating. She enhanced her skills on how to decorate with different floor plans and what materials and furniture to use for each room of a house.
One would think she studied Christmas decorating, but she didn’t. She would decorate for Christmas with lights inside and outside our apartment. Also outside our apartment she would put snowmen, Santa Claus, giant Christmas candles. The Christmas tree not only changed colors but would turn around and around. All throughout the apartment there was Christmas candy, fruit, nuts and mistletoe and Christmas stockings, one for each of us with our names on them.
In the projects where we lived in Hunters Point, the decorations were so professional and elegant we would actually win contests for the best decorated apartment in all of Hunters Point. When we moved out of the projects into a house, she continued to decorate, and it was just as beautiful as always. She loved it and so did we.
Mom left us with so many good, wonderful memories that we feel blessed, because she gave so much of herself to us we really could not have asked for a more loving and caring mother.
Well, Mom, you’ve been walking all over God’s Heaven for 40 years, and now you have Linda to walk with you.
Our mother Gloria left a legacy of love, respect and distinction that will remain with us forever. She would have always wanted us to love and respect each other as family.
We love and miss you, mom, with all our hearts. Rest forever in peace!
To everyone who reads this memorial, we, the family of Gloria, would like you to give a moment of silence to mark the 40th anniversary of her passing, regardless of what day you read it on. We would greatly appreciate it.
Sheila Pierce would like to hear from readers about her mother. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.