BAY POINT -- A community garden at Ambrose Community Center will be renamed to honor Gloria Magleby, a longtime Bay Point resident who strove to make the town a better place before she died last year.

The community garden next to the Ambrose Community Center was established in 2009 with the help of volunteers on a vacant lot owned by the district. The naming ceremony will take place on Memorial Day, which is when the Bay Point Garden Club holds its seventh annual spring derby parade and festival, along with a tribute to local residents who died in wars.

Magleby was dubbed the unofficial mayor of Bay Point for her longtime involvement with the community. She served on the Ambrose Recreation and Park District board from 2000 to 2011 and on the Bay Point Municipal Advisory Council from 1988 to 2011.

Doug Long, General Manager for the Ambrose Recreation and Park District, looks around the garden in the Ambrose Community Garden in Bay Point, Calif. on
Doug Long, General Manager for the Ambrose Recreation and Park District, looks around the garden in the Ambrose Community Garden in Bay Point, Calif. on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The garden will soon be named to honor Gloria Magleby who died last year. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group) (Kristopher Skinner)

"She was a very important person in Bay Point and loved to get people involved," park district board member Judy Dawson said.

Magleby also founded the Bay Point Historical Society, Bay Point Chamber of Commerce and the Bay Point Garden Club, a supporter of the community garden. She was named "Woman of the Year" by the California State Assembly in 2002.In March, the five-member park district board voted unanimously to name the garden in Magleby's honor to acknowledge her contributions to the park district and Bay Point over the years. "She would have been honored if it was the pots that hold the geraniums that she so much loved," board member Eva Garcia said of the decision to name the garden for Magleby. "She had a lot of followers, and she put a lot of people to work. She called you over, and next thing you know you were doing it."


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"She was always like that. She would say, 'You can do it,' " added board member Mae Cendana Torlakson, who along with Garcia is also on the board of the Bay Point Garden Club. "Somebody said to know Glo is to work for Glo."

Magleby moved with her family from Monroe, Utah, to Bay Point, which was then known as West Pittsburg, in 1942 when she was 16 years old. She lived in Bay Point until 2010, when a stroke forced her to move into a care home in Concord. Health issues prompted her resignation from the park district and Municipal Advisory Council.

Her nephew, Mark Magleby, was touched that the community garden would be named to honor his aunt.

"It's wonderful.

She gave her heart and soul to the Ambrose Recreation and Park District," he said.

"She certainly had a huge social bone in her body to be involved in as many ways as possible, whether it be in history, in politics or the environment.

She wanted to be part of the community as much as possible and to change it for the better."

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.

Plants grow in the Ambrose Community Garden in Bay Point, Calif. on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The garden will soon be named to honor Gloria Magleby who died
Plants grow in the Ambrose Community Garden in Bay Point, Calif. on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The garden will soon be named to honor Gloria Magleby who died last year. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group) (Kristopher Skinner)
If YOU GO
What: Ceremony to rename the Ambrose Community Garden the Gloria "Glo" Magleby Community Garden
Where: Ambrose Community Center, 3105 Willow Pass Road, Bay Point
When: Memorial Day following the 9 a.m. ceremony to acknowledge Bay Point residents who died in wars