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Veteran Texas Dem Political Activist Dies

May 6, 2003

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ Political activist Gloria Oliveira was remembered Monday as a woman focused on her family and the Democratic Party.

Oliveira, 72, died Thursday of complications from high blood pressure.

``I can assure you that if you fail to vote in any election in your life, and one day are before St. Peter, Gloria will be nearby with a voter registrar’s list,″ her son Rep. Rene Oliveira said Monday.

``Gloria was a remarkable woman _ the mother of young men that became leaders in the government and the media,″ former Texas Gov. Ann W. Richards said in a story in Tuesday’s editions of The Brownsville Herald. ``Her activism in South Texas on behalf of her family and the Democratic Party was very significant and important.″

Family members remembered her passion and her colorful nature.

``She could string expletives together that had more color than a painter’s palette, but somehow it was all right because it was Gloria,″ Rep. Oliveira said.

``We all know that she smoked, drank and could use the English language in ways Shakespeare never imagined, but there could never have been a better role model.″

Cameron County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Costilla said the community and the Democratic Party had lost a special person.

Oliveira, widowed at 42, raised four sons _ Mark, a professional fund-raiser; Rene, a lawyer and state representative; Jaime, an examiner with the Texas Department of Banking; and Tony, a lawyer.

``No woman could ever have loved her sons more,″ Rep. Oliveira said.

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