Gloria was born July 1, 1929 to Molly Belle and Paul Robert Neth in Oakland, California. She attended Oakland High School, San Francisco City College and University of Southern California where she earned her degree in Music and Education. After teaching for a few years, she went back to San Francisco State College and received her credential in speech correction. She married Claus Coeler in 1954 and had three children, Carolyn Allen (Ken), Chris Koehn (Randy) and Glenn Coeler (Amy). They were married for 13 years and lived in Marin County.
In 1966 she moved with her three children to Manteca and began her career as a Speech Pathologist with the San Joaquin County School District. During those years she took her children and often many of their friends to the family cabin on the Russian River, to Disneyland, or camping. She would gather all the kids and go pick boysenberries and apples for making jam and pies. She would paint her home every other year inside and out by herself. She was a strong and determined woman who would read any subject she had an interest in and make sure to tell everyone else about what she’d read so they too would have the knowledge. One of her favorite sayings was “knowledge is power.” She married three more times, the third and final time after meeting James (Jim) Strmiska from Oakdale, California to whom she was married from 1977 until his passing in 1991. Together they lived on a large ranch raising grapes, walnuts, pumpkins, and many different animals. They would travel to Santa Cruz each year to sell their pumpkins and walnuts out of the back of their pickup.
In 1992 she moved back to Manteca to care for Chris’ children and started teaching piano to many children in the area. Over the last 23 years she taught over 100 children to play and love the piano. Gloria’s passion throughout her life were her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, the piano, and her pets. She loved her cats, dogs especially her Australian Shepherd Heidi, chickens, lambs and pheasants when she lived on the ranch with Jim in Oakdale. She loved her white kitty and took hundreds of pictures of “Bright Eyes” while in her later years in Manteca. Gloria had a colorful life. She traveled to Europe in 1952 in her early 20’s and bicycled 1300 miles through several counties, meeting countless people and making many memories. She had a zest for life, ready to dance whenever music played, play games with the kids, grandkids and then great-grandkids or reading to them.
She was preceded in death by her mother, father, brother Clifford Neth, husband Jim Strmiska, and great-granddaughter Mia Aranda. She is survived by her children, Carolyn, Chris and Glenn and spouses.
She is survived by her grandchildren Kyle Wallace, Molly Pine (Steve), Jessica Aranda (Byron), Robert Koehn, Joel Coeler and Josh Coeler. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren Baylee Pine, Brandon Pine, Jameson Pine, Maxwell Pine, and Makayla Aranda. She is also survived by her extended family in Idaho that included Brad Allen (Veronica) and Stacie Shepherd (Josh) and their six children. While she never got the opportunity to meet the grandkids in Idaho she would have loved them as her own.
Services are planned for January 9, 2016 beginning at 11:00 a.m at Crossroads Grace Community Church, located at 1505 Moffat Blvd., Manteca, CA, 95336. There will be a reception at the church immediately following the services. We welcome all her friends, piano students from the past to current, and all our friends to join in this celebration of our Mother’s life. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to World Wildlife Fund as she had a heart for all the world’s animals, especially loving the polar bears, or to a charity of your choice.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Wednesday, January 6, 2016