The news is almost too much to take in. Gloria Molina has finished her journey on this earth and the outpouring of love and prayers being sent her away is a mere testament to the impacts she had on her people, her community and life in Los Angeles.

Her passing Sunday was announced by family members of Molina on her Facebook page.

The post began with these words:

“It is with heavy hearts that our family announces Gloria’s passing this evening. She passed away at her home in Mt. Washington, surrounded by our family.

Gloria had been battling terminal cancer for the past three years. She faced this fight with the same courage and resilience she lived her life. Over the last few weeks, Gloria was uplifted by the love and support of our family, community, friends, and colleagues. Gloria expressed deep gratitude for the life she lived and the opportunity to serve our community.

We are so proud that Gloria will be remembered in history for the impact she made on Los Angeles, the state, and country as a Chicana activist, State Assemblymember, Los Angeles City Councilmember and Los Angeles County Supervisor.”

Molina passed away at her home in Mt. Washington surrounded by loved ones.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, Molina made her mark as the first Latina Assembly member in California, the first Latina on the Los Angeles City Council, the first Latina on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The times also made mention of how Molina fought electeds in Sacramento and elsewhere who attempted to stash prisons and businesses that spread pollutants in her Eastside district.

Molina acted as a confidant of the Latino community and a stalwart public servant for more than three decades. Until her final years, when her battle with cancer took a mighty toll, Molina was known to be fierce, fervent and tireless.

“We have lost a great champion of social justice and a tireless advocate for Jose y Maria,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC national president, in a prepared statement released Monday. “I was privileged to have known her and worked alongside Gloria on many battles for labor equity and equality for our people. Also, she was a staunch and unrelenting force for Latinos on issues that included access to housing, health services, investment in Latino barrios, and representation in the halls of power,” he said.

Given how much she took care of others, it was almost befitting that Molina passed away on Mother’s Day.

More words from her Facebook page:

“For us, Gloria will be remembered in our hearts as our loving mom and grandmother, protective oldest sister, wise tía, and loyal friend. We will miss celebrating with her on Christmas Eve, hosted at her home decked out in a new theme for the holidays and nourished with handmade tamales and a holiday feast with all the trimmings.

We will miss watching Gloria the artist, seeing her imagine and create beautiful quilts that tell the story of our Mexican roots, and Gloria the teacher, who shares her passion with others so that they too can express themselves through this art.”

CALÓ NEWS salutes you, Gloria Molina. Where would we be without you?

Daniel Vasquez is a veteran, award-winning journalist and writer. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist who grew up in newsrooms, having served stints at the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, San Jose...