Acting Gov. Tenorio declared a State of Mourning in honor of the late Gloria B. Nelson. He has ordered flags to fly at half-staff until the day of her funeral. For a PDF copy, click here. The text of the proclamation follows:
Proclamation No. 2012-090
PROCLAIMING A STATE OF MOURNING
In Honor of the Late
GLORIA B. NELSON
WHEREAS, heroes inspire others through their life, and saints keep inspiring us through their memory.
Gloria B. Nelson, like many of us, had big dreams. But unlike most, her dreams weren’t about herself. She had big dreams for her students. She was a lifelong educator who saw her place in the world as Christ saw His: as a teacher.
It comes as no surprise to her contemporaries that Gloria B. Nelson, affectionately known as Auntie Lola, went from shaping minds in the classroom to changing lives as the dominating figure in public education on Guam. She has served in a number of roles, including as Chairwoman of the Territorial Board of Education, where she pioneered efforts to make sweeping reforms of public schools. These efforts all were based in her personal belief that Guam’s children could outperform their global counterparts if given the opportunity.
Auntie Lola taught us all to be banidosu about who we are and what our children can become. She never wavered in her expectations of the Chamorro people, or of her high standards of success for all the children of Guam. And she never tolerated mediocrity.
Her spirit and strength outlasted the greatest political minds and social movers of our time because she was always ready and willing to help others who needed a helping hand. This was most recently evident in her successful 13-year fight alongside the late Candelaria Rios and Attorney Mike Phillips for the government to meet its obligations to its retirees.
But this was simply an episode in Auntie Lola’s lifetime of service and achievement. She helped countless people, whom she knew and loved by name and story, family and friendship. She held children up as far as she could so they could see the endless horizon that breathed life into their dreams. She embraced the sick in their final moments, she fed the poor in their lowest times, and she gave refuge to the weak when no one else would give them notice.
This was her life. She was a hero. Today we mourn her because she has passed from this life into the arms of our Lord, a saint among our people whose story will inspire us for eternity.
When Guamanians look back at their history in the Twentieth and the Twenty-first centuries, they will see the indelible mark Gloria Nelson made on Guam. Generations from today will forever notice the turning of the tides of a Pacific island that changed so rapidly just as she had envisioned and prepared her students for. People found comfort in her strength, solace in her protection. She stood up for what was right and what she believed in, even if she was the last person standing. While Auntie Lola was known as an excellent teacher in the classroom, it was the example she set through her life that taught children everywhere how to be better people, better citizens.
Gloria B. Nelson loved children. She dedicated her life to them. But her highest devotion was to the children she bore with her beloved husband. And as the years wore on and Auntie Lola touched the lives of even more people, the Lord blessed her with grandchildren and even great grandchildren. And perhaps the greatest testament to the gifts of vigor, humility, compassion and love she gave to the world, is that her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren possess that same strength of character. They give to others just as their mother, grandmother, and great grandmother has given to us all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RAY TENORIO, I Maga’LÃ¥hen GuÃ¥han Para PÃ¥go, acting Governor of Guam, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Organic Act of Guam, as amended, do hereby proclaim the island of Guam in a State of Mourning in honor of the late Gloria B. Nelson, a beloved daughter of Guam, who pioneered and dominated the modern public education system, and who served the people of Guam in a number ways. I order all flags to be flown at half-staff in her honor until the day of her interment. On behalf of a grateful people, I extend my heartfelt condolences to all of the Nelson family and pray for God’s guidance and blessings during this difficult time.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I hereby set my hand and cause the Great Seal of Guam to be affixed in the Capital City of HagÃ¥tÃ±a, on this Fifteenth day of October, in the Year of Our Lord, Anno Domini, Two Thousand Twelve.