BAY POINT -- Gloria Magleby, fondly remembered as the unofficial "Mayor of Bay Point," died this week of natural causes. She was 87.

Before a stroke slowed her down three years ago, Magleby had a hand in helping run or developing nearly every civic organization in the unincorporated community.

"I dubbed Gloria the Mayor of Bay Point because of her tenacity, her persuasiveness, her leadership, and obvious love for her community," said county Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg.

In May 2011, the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors gave Magleby that honorary title in a proclamation for her service.

Rather than enjoying retirement in the late 1980s following a 29-year career in sales at consumer and industrial products company Dexter Hysol, now Henkel, Magleby started making her civic mark.

"Gloria dove into a whirlwind of activities that helped improve the quality of life in Bay Point," Glover said.

The community stalwart served on its two governing bodies for more than 20 years: the Bay Point Municipal Advisory Council from 1988 to 2011 and the Ambrose Recreation and Park District board from 2000 to 2011.

Magleby also founded the Bay Point Garden Club, Bay Point Historical Society, Bay Point Chamber of Commerce and Bay Point Pride, which mobilizes youths to eliminate graffiti from public areas. Friends and family said she was passionate about mentoring youths, especially on the value of service.

Friend Julie Nelson said Magleby had high expectations of those she worked with, and even higher for her friends.

"To know Glo was to become involved in the community," Nelson said. "She didn't ask -- she simply declared she wanted you to work for some organization."

A stroke in 2010 forced Magleby to move into a care home in Concord and resign from her positions months later. She tried to keep up with Bay Point affairs, but it became overwhelming, said niece Joann Magleby, who has been her primary caretaker.

"Bay Point has not been the same without her, and she will be deeply missed," read a tribute to Magleby on the Chamber of Commerce's website.

While in Concord, she remained active by meeting often with members of her Mt. Diablo High School class of 1944.

"She had a way about her, that connected her with people," Joann Magleby said.

Gloria, who never married and has no children, was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including teaching early morning religious seminary classes to high school students for 16 years.

To nephew Mark Magleby, she was the cool aunt that "you loved to hang out with."

"She knew a lot about sports, especially the (San Francisco) Giants. I remember her always having the transistor radio on," he said.

Gloria Magleby served on the Bay Point Municipal Advisory Council and the Ambrose Recreation and Park District board.
Gloria Magleby served on the Bay Point Municipal Advisory Council and the Ambrose Recreation and Park District board. (Contra Costa Times/Mark DuFrene)

Mark said he also remembers the convertible sports car Gloria had when he was a kid, and as the only family member with a pet, a black-and-white cocker spaniel with long ears named Sparky.

Born in a small town in Utah, Magleby moved with her family to Bay Point, then known as West Pittsburg, in 1942 at age 16. After graduating from Mt. Diablo High, she went to the University of Nevada and UC Berkeley, commuting to Berkeley.

A public viewing will be held 10 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m., Jan. 4 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1590 Denkinger Road, Concord. Burial will be private.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.

EPITAPH
Who: Gloria Magleby
Born: July 7, 1926, in Monroe, Utah
Died: Dec. 24, 2013, in Walnut Creek
Services: A public viewing will be held at 10 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m., Jan. 4 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1590 Denkinger Road, Concord. Burial will be private.
Donations: Donations can be sent in lieu of flowers to the Gloria Magleby Memorial, c/o Oak Park Hills Chapel, P.O. 4336, Walnut Creek, 94596