Gloria was born in Taiwan on Monday, 1-9-1978. It was the start of a very good week!
She popular with her peers, stubborn, willful, mischievous and “bossy” according to multiple family members. But even with all that she still displayed an amazing capacity to be loving and kind. Gloria loved to laugh. She was fond of goofy play and practical jokes.
Her father moved to the US when Gloria was 4 years old to study computer science and make a new life for his family in the US. Gloria immigrated with her family into the US in 1988 at the tender age of 10. When she arrived she spoke no English and had to learn quickly as she immediately began her in public schooling in Pleasanton. She began taking ESL classes with her brother David. While attending ESL classes Gloria and David were bullied by other immigrant students and Gloria took on the role of David’s protector. During. This time her home life was quite tumultuous and Gloria did her best to shelter David from the stress that the family was experiencing, relationally and with assimilation into a new culture.
Gloria studied Piano and gained proficiency in it, though she confessed she never loved it, rather she adored her piano teacher.
Junior high was fraught with all the difficulties that adolescent kids face and Gloria was no exception, though she excelled at math among her peers and it helped her to feel that she was excelling even though her English skills were growing toward fluency at the time.
At the beginning of high school Gloria experienced a betrayal from girls she thought we her friends and unfortunately it made female relationships something the Gloria entered into vey cautiously. High school was difficult for Gloria and she struggled with emotional health and self worth issues and self destructive behavior. By the grace of God she found some healing in friends and in her faith. High school was a very difficult time for Gloria physically and emotionally.
She excelled at her studies maintaining a 3.5+ GPA and later found a love for competition Civics. Her team went on to win the nations civics championship in Washington DC and upon returning home she and her teammates were awarded the Key to the City of Pleasanton. To date no civics team from Pleasanton has matched their achievement.
Gloria was accepted to the University of California at Berkeley and Majored in Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies focusing in Organizational Behavior. While attending UCB Gloria fell in love with Café Strada and “the Asian Ghetto” food court – two of her favorite haunts. She also was changed by her Negotiations class and her classes that taught critical thinking.
In January of 1999, her Senior year she met the man who she would spend the next 22 years with. We met on campus at Sproul Plaza and went on our first date at Royal Grounds Café. The rest, as they say, was history.
Gloria graduated in May of 1999 and got her dream job – working in market research at Stanford Resources where she authored and published several industry recognized research reports called Monitrak. It was specific to the display industry. Everywhere she worked of studied she made fast and deep friendships.
In December of 1999 Gloria got engaged to be married to Todd Zaionz in Hawaii and in 2000 she moved to Richmond CA with her fiancée and began wok at a ground breaking tech company called iPix.
By January, 2001 her first Son, Jacob was born and after a rough start came home happy and healthy. 2001 was a difficult year with multiple job changes, coping with being a new mother, moving to Pleasanton, the death of Gloria’s maternal Grandmother, planning a wedding, 911, medical injury and lots of family pressure.
2002 – to September 2003 was a dark 18 month period that almost saw the end of her marriage, medical challenges and mental health challenges. This period of time saw great pain and great personal healing and relational healing for Gloria. The difficulties she encountered were overcome through great pain, endurance and by the grace and healing of the Holy Spirit. Gloria was profoundly changed during this time and learned to grow closer to her family, closer to Jesus and to embrace the forgiveness of God which allowed for self-acceptance and forgiveness.
In 2004 Nathan was born and Gloria, with. Todd purchased their first house – a town home in Pleasanton. Gloria also began working for Kaiser Permanente; where she would spend the next almost 14 years. In 2005 Gloria and Todd sold their first property and purchased another in 2006 as an investment property and in 2007 Gloria began her new love: Krav Maga. Gloria studied Krav Maga for approximately 4 years and achieved the rank of advanced Blue Belt. She became addicted to Krav and attended classes 5 or more days per week. She would come home covered in sweat and bruised all over her arms and legs from sparing and wearing a huge smile.
In 2010 Gloria developed a love for back yard chickens and started a bakery called Sugar Mama Bakery. She became know for her baked good and particularly her banana bread. Sugar Mama bakery quickly grew and was featured at Napa wineries, the Napa Film Festival, Vintner’s Association parties, private parties and at many parties for friends and family.
In 2017 we adopted our first Dog and Gloria began speaking at conferences, domestically and internationally, regarding technology innovations focusing on the healthcare field. Gloria also served on the board of KPWIT (KO Women In Technology and on the managing team of Ascend.) She was a Devoted Mother and daughter. Loving wife. Fiercely protective of her family and friends. Gloria had a way of loving people and gaining their trust by genuinely caring about their needs, wants and showering them with thoughtfulness. She is survived by her Husband, sons Jacob and Nathan and her “third child Barret”. She is also survived by her Mother and Father and Brother David.
Gloria was incredibly brave. Even though she had a fear of heights , in 2010 she braved skydiving because she wanted to be with her husband when he jumped. (he was completely unaware of this fear until they visited the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2017 ).
Gloria loved Jesus and while she had her differences with the Church, she never failed to shower persons who make up the church with love in the form of baked goods, donations of time and money and simple kindness.
She had a gift for restoring people’s hope in humanity and she demonstrated the love of Christ in so many practical ways. The world is a lesser place without her and even Heaven is improved by her presence. Her last words, in this life, to her husband were “I feel Peace”, “I love you my love” “See you soon.”
She passed on August 25th, 2021 at 7:46am.
While she is missed terribly, Gloria insisted that those left behind after her demise not mourn her, rather she wanted people to celebrate her advancement to heaven and remember those things about Gloria that we loved.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gloria Zaionz, please visit our floral store.