Majors Juvencio and Gloria Utrera
With over 83 combined years of service as Salvation Army officers, Majors Juvencio and Gloria Utrera recently entered honored retirement.
Juvencio and Gloria were both born in the Philippines, and first encountered the Army through its outreach ministries.
After World War II, Juvencio’s family moved to Hawaii, where the entire family lived and worked at a plantation camp on Kauai. When the labor union went on strike, they found themselves in need. At Christmas, The Salvation Army provided them with toys and a food basket. An invitation to attend Sunday school followed, and at eight years of age Juvencio gave his heart to Jesus. At 19, he answered the call to officership and was commissioned in San Francisco in 1959 with the Pioneers Session.
Gloria Aguila was raised in the Philippines with her ten siblings. When their father died at an early age, the family experienced severe financial hardship. As a child, Gloria’s first experience with the Army was an open air meeting, where, intrigued by the band and singing, she followed the Salvationists back to the corps. At age nine, she began attending Army meetings, after an invitation from her sister-in-law. She entered training in the Philippine Territory and was commissioned in 1966 with the Defenders of the Faith Session.
Wed in 1968, the couple has served at 26 appointments throughout the Philippine and U.S. Western territories, including early assignments in Hawaii followed by many in the Southwest, particularly in Arizona. They retired from their post as corps officers of the Sun Cities Area, Arizona corps. Both attended the Brengle Institute, Juvencio in 1972 and Gloria in 1974, and Juvencio attended the International College for Officers in 1987. They have two children, Dan and Rachel.
Colonels H. Bruce and Dorothy Harvey officiated at their Celebration of Service, where one of the speakers was Representative Bob Robson of the Arizona House of Representatives.
Their retirement address is 16636 S. 22nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85048.