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Gloria Piernik

Obituary for Gloria Piernik

August 23, 1947 - April 21, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 70

"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Rumi


"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Rumi

The time came to let go of our beloved wife and mother, Gloria Piernik, on April 21, 2018. Born Gloria Fay Waitschies on August 23, 1947 in Victoria, Texas, she was the cherished only child of Alvin and Theodora (Albrecht) Waitschies. Their family life was filled with many family gatherings, barbecues, picnics, and activities at First English Lutheran Church. Regardless of Gloria's multiple medical problems that required frequent appointments and hospitalizations in Houston and San Antonio, she was active in church youth group, Luther League, and speech and drama activities at Victoria High School. Her time spent at Lutheran Camp Chrysalis in the Texas Hill Country during the summers was among her favorite of her youth.

Gloria attended Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, Texas where she was active in campus activities and enjoyed times with close friends. She and her friends would go to San Antonio for various events and it was on one of these days she met a handsome young Airman from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, named Stan Piernik. Stan was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base. Gloria and Stan's first date was to the Japanese Tea Garden (Sunken Gardens) in San Antonio. They enjoyed going to movies, plays, drives in the country, and picnics in Brackenridge Park. They fell deeply in love with each other and were married on January 25, 1969 at the Chapel of Abiding Presence on the Texas Lutheran College campus. They spent their wedding night on the San Antonio Riverwalk at the Hilton Palacio Del Rio and honeymooned in Mexico.

Gloria and Stan made their first home in San Antonio and were thrilled when their only child, Bridgett Rene Piernik, was born. Stan's Air Force career provided many travel adventures for the family and pets taking them to Okinawa, California, back to San Antonio, Hawaii, Nebraska, and a final assignment once again in San Antonio. Gloria always said northern California was her favorite assignment of Stan's career. Regardless of where they lived, Gloria's first priority was always Bridgett's education and extra-curricular activities. She often served as a classroom parent and was a Girl Scout troop leader for many years. Gloria's creativity enhanced any class activity, school event, and scout project. She also was a dedicated volunteer for Children's Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) while in San Antonio. Gloria was employed in various education and social service positions in the different locations where they lived. She was also very talented in needlework and completed many embroidery and cross-stitch pieces that are treasured to this day. Gloria, Stan, and Bridgett enjoyed attending countless plays, musicals, concerts, museums, and always embraced many cultural events and artistic activities wherever Stan was assigned.

Stan's final assignment at Randolph Air Force Base brought the conclusion to his 26-year Air Force career on September 28, 1993 and the beginning of Stan and Gloria building a life in San Antonio following his military retirement. Their family of three happily expanded to four when Bridgett married Rick Yoder the weekend before Stan's Air Force retirement ceremony. The four of them loved spending time together and enjoyed dining out, going to concerts and theater shows, attending cultural events, museum exhibits, and spending time together at their homes. For years, Gloria and Bridgett had so much fun together doing errands and going out to lunch most Saturdays. Additionally, Gloria and her family frequently participated in Race for the Cure and Relay for Life events to honor her 24-year breast cancer survivorship.

As Gloria's health and mobility challenges increased, the family held on together through many difficult times and lengthy hospitalizations. Stan was a devoted and tireless caregiver to Gloria and his commitment to her care is a true example of unconditional love without fail over their 49 years of marriage. The past two years were spent together as a family in the home enjoying shared meals, spending time with pets, and watching many movies, musicals, and concert videos.

Gloria was an extremely kind, compassionate, and generous person who was always very sensitive to the struggles of others. She had a wonderful smile and laugh and encouraged others to enjoy the good things in life. She loved many things including flowers, hummingbirds, rainbows, the ocean and sea life, poetry, candles, jewelry, the color pink, Broadway musicals, and Texas wildflowers in the spring. She became a fan of UTSA Roadrunner football and had a great time attending numerous home games in their first few seasons. Gloria LOVED celebrating holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions and the family always had a wonderful time planning, decorating, and enjoying celebrations. But more than anything else, Gloria adored her family and their life together that was filled with so much love for each other.

In addition to Stan, Bridgett, and Rick, many feel the loss of Gloria's physical presence in their lives. These include numerous cousins; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Becky Piernik of Tarpon Springs, Florida; devoted friend, Robin Samaniego; Rick's family, and their faithful Maine Coon kitty, Taz. Gloria's parents, Alvin and Theo Waitschies predeceased her.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to CAMP, a San Antonio nonprofit organization that serves disabled individuals through summer camp and respite programs, or to WINGS, a San Antonio nonprofit that helps uninsured women bridge the gap between diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Donations can be made directly to the organizations through their websites: and

A visitation with Gloria's family will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Porter Loring Mortuary North. A graveside service will be conducted on Thursday, May 10, 2018, at 11:00 A.M. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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