Gloria was born on December 10, 1926, in Cimarrón, NM and was raised in Taos, NM, the oldest of eight children to Elijio “Lee” and Emilia “Emma” Peña née Lujan. Gloria was 94. She passed of natural causes, peacefully and gracefully, into God’s embrace on December 29, 2020.
Gloria Peña was a merry, mischievous little girl who loved life and all life’s joys, trials, and tribulations. She especially loved Taos her entire life and visited often.
Gloria attended St. Joseph’s School K-8 and graduated from Loretto Academy in Santa Fe, NM. Gloria then matriculated to St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago, IL, graduating with her degree in nursing in 1949. While doing her clinicals at the hospital, she met the love of her life, William “Bill” Lipps, Jr., a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana, IL on the G. I. Bill.
They were devout Roman Catholics wed on August 6, 1949 and were married for nearly 57 years until Bill passed away in February 2006. They moved to Southern Californiain 1952 and raised five children. In 1979, Gloria was selected to attend the Nurse Practitioner’s program at the University of California,San Francisco Medical Center. She became one of the first Nurse Practitioners in the state of California. She went to work running the Los Angeles County medical clinic in West Los Angeles just as the AIDS epidemic broke out in 1980.
Gloria worked as a Registered Nurse for 40 years. In 1989, Bill and Gloria retired to Albuquerque,
NM and then to Sun City West, AZ.
Gloria’s fondest wish was to be reunited in Heaven with her husband, her mother Emma, and her father Lee Peña, the sheriff of Taos who was killed in the line of duty just before Christmas in 1944
while Gloria was still in high school. Now, a loving God has granted that wish.
Gloria Lipps is survived by three sisters, four children, eleven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. One daughter and four brothers pre-deceased her.
Services will be held at both the Veterans National Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix, and Sierra Vista Cemetery in Taos, NM following a mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Due to Covid-19, the Taos committal will be determined at a later date.