Gloria Marquez Misto was born on March 30, 1932 in Madrid, Spain, to bullfighter Antonio Marquez (el Belmonte Rubio) and Cuban rum heiress Ignacia Arechabala. Gloria was adored and protected by her older brothers, Jose Antonio (Rubio) and Javier.
During the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939, Gloria's parents sent her to a boarding school in France to escape the dangers of the conflict. As a result, she became fluent in French and spoke it, as she did English, with a charming Spanish lilt.
When she was a charismatic and beautiful young teenager, Gloria and her family moved to Cuba, where she met and eventually married Pedro Entenza, a young, handsome, and idealistic attorney involved in the anti-Batista movement. Four of Gloria's and Pedro's daughters were born in Cuba. In 1959, Cuba's new president, Fidel Castro, nationalized all businesses, including Gloria's family's Arechabala industries, primarily involved in the production and distribution of sugar products, the most famous being Havana Club Rum. Observing that Castro had become closely aligned with Russia, Pedro became active in the anti-Castro movement, making him a target of the Castro regime and endangering his life. In July of 1960, Gloria, Pedro and their daughters had no choice but to leave all their possessions behind and seek refuge in the U.S. Most of the extended family also left Cuba for the U.S. They all pitched in together and found any available work, first in Miami, and then Puerto Rico, where Gloria gave birth to her fifth daughter. After the passing of Pedro's father, the family patriarch, Gloria and her daughters returned to Miami, joined by Pedro's widowed mother, Carmen Teresa (Tete), who alongside Gloria helped care for the children. During this time, Pedro was establishing a residence for the family in Virginia while obtaining a doctorate in Spanish literature. Within a year the family was reunited in Virginia, where Gloria and Pedro's sixth daughter was born.
In 1969, Gloria suffered a great loss when Pedro was killed in a car accident. As a young widow with six daughters, Gloria relied on the love and support of her mother-in-law Tete, other family members, and good friends. She worked two full time jobs to support her daughters.Tete, who lived with her, helped to care for the girls. Gloria was a shining example of strength, courage and perseverance to her daughters.
Gloria married Steven Misto in 1973. Tragedy struck Gloria again in 1979 when Steve passed away, leaving her widowed for a second time. Steve's granddaughter Jennifer Stisher eventually came to live with Gloria and became a seventh daughter.
Gloria had a large and devoted group of friends and family who adored her. She was a caregiver not only to her children and grandchildren, but also to her mother and Pedro's aunt. She had a friendly and engaging personality, with a little bit of feisty thrown in. Gloria's laugh was easy and infectious, and when she smiled, there was a mischievous twinkle in her eye. Her daughters were all inspired by her and deeply loved and appreciated her more every day.
Gloria is survived by her daughters, Gloria Holmes (Bill), Lourdes Freeman (Jimmy), Rosie Ruff, Carmen Mugge (Paul), Annie Schuette, Mariana Lawrence (George Balulis), and Jennifer Stisher (Mark Phillips; her grandchildren, James (Stephanie), Mariana, Katie, Jeff, Sean (Jenn), Melissa, Eric, Sarah, Roy and Malia; and her great grandson Dylan.
Through the entirety of her life, Gloria was a woman of strong faith. She was a reflection of God's love every day. She has now joined the Lord in everlasting peace.
A Mass to celebrate Gloria's life will be held on January 23rd at 11:00 AM at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, 6720 Union Mill Road, Clifton, VA.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Catholic Relief Services, https://www.crs.org/
Catholic MassSt. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church6720 Union Mill Road
Clifton, VA 20124 January 23, 2019