Gloria Pekema, 84, of Modesto, passed away peacefully Friday, Jan. 20, following a short illness.
She was born in Scribner, NE, and lived on a farm outside nearby Laurel (no electricity nor indoor plumbing). She attended a one-room school house, sometimes riding a horse bareback to school with younger sister Ardith beside her. The family moved to Yuba City, CA, in 1945 to join relatives which had made the same journey, looking for a better life. It was also in Yuba City where Gloria married John Pekema and started their family.
Gloria and her family moved to Ceres in 1968 and lived on a small ranchette just outside of town for many years. She enjoyed tending a large garden and taking care of a revolving menagerie of animals – sheep being her favorite. Her life revolved around her family and the varied activities associated with being a caring homemaker.
She volunteered at her children’s schools, as well as at the library in Modesto. She was an accomplished seamstress and made sure her son and daughters had plenty of clothes. Spare time activities included playing cards, reading (especially mysteries), browsing garage sales and flea markets, and camping with her family (she loved the ocean).
She is survived by a son, John (Barbara) Pekema, and two daughters, Sharon (John) Biven and Barbara (Gabriel) Pacheco. She has six grandchildren: David Pekema, Andrew Pekema, Derroch Biven, Zach Pacheco, Gianni Pacheco and Josie Pacheco; and one great-granddaughter, Hope Olivia Pekema. She was preceded in death by her husband, John Pekema, in 1988.
At her request, there will be no services. Memorial donations in her name may be made to Casa de Modesto, 1745 Eldena Way, Modesto, CA 95350. She and her children greatly appreciated the wonderful attention and care given to her for the past six years in the facility’s independent living section.