Gloria R. Serna, 68 of Grand Forks, passed on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018 at Altru hospital surrounded by her loving family. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks. Visitation will be at Amundson Funeral Home Wednesday beginning at 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery later this spring.
Gloria R. Serna, daughter of Manuel and Odelia (Rodriguez) Ramon, was born in Crystal City, Texas on November 22, 1949. Incredibly, she lived her early life in a two-bedroom home with dirt floors along with her eight sisters and three brothers. She found her way to God, and conducted herself in the light of Jesus, shedding constant care and kindness, often ignoring her own needs to care for others. She spent the first part of her life migrating to the ND/MN area to work as a field hand alongside her family. Gloria was proud to be the first in her family to graduate from Crystal City High School in 1969. Her lifelong commitment to student advocacy started in high school, where she had participated in student walkouts to open education opportunities for future generations. On December 29, 1972 she married the love of her life, Alfredo Serna, in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Crystal City, TX. Together, in 1988, after years of migrating to the ND/MN area to work the land, they moved to the Grand Cities area to raise a family and make a beautiful life together.
It was in Grand Forks where Gloria fulfilled her lifelong dream of attending the University of North Dakota; the school her father would joke was for “rich people” when she was growing up. Gloria had promised herself then, as a child, that she would one day attend UND and went on to earn three bachelor’s degrees in four years, all while raising her boys. She began teaching in area schools in the mid 90’s and taught until a week before her death. She spent the last 2 decades of her teaching career at Northland Community & Technical College in East Grand Forks, MN where she worked one on one with countless students to help them succeed at fulfilling their academic goals.
Gloria most valued her family and her savior, Jesus Christ. She heard the gospels of many churches, always listening for the words of God. Gloria was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She constantly acknowledged her kids’ strengths and differences, but always loved them equally. Gloria proudly protected, loved, and cared for her grandchildren. She took joy in their presence and visited multiple times every week to share her love, values, stories and food.
Gloria believed that anything was possible with dedication and hard work. She taught each of her children that they never have anything to fear, that she came from the dirt, and reached each goal she set in front of her through hard work and determination. She believed education was something that could never be taken from you and always refused to let anyone stand in the way of her goals.
Gloria is survived by her husband Alfredo; sons, Alfredo Serna Jr. of South Dakota, Moses (Carrie) Serna of Grand Forks, Lorenzo Serna of Minneapolis, MN and Alejandro Serna of Grand Forks along with seven grandchildren and nine siblings Petra Lopez, Irene Cortez, Sara Campos, Manuel Ramon Jr., Sulema Edwards, Marta Benavides, Juan Ramon, Ricardo Ramon, Rina Rivera. Countless nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Maria Irma Ramon.