Dolores “Maya” Bargiela
Feb. 21,1930 – Dec. 30, 2011
Dolores “Maya” Bargiela, a longtime Laguna Beach resident, independent spirit and world traveler, passed away on Dec. 30, 2011, in San Juan Capistrano. She was 81. The cause was heart failure due to complications from a stroke.
Bargiela was born in Newark, N.J., of Spanish and Hungarian immigrant parents. Benefiting from her talent in ballet performance, she moved to Laguna Beach when she was 16 to study under a Russian ballet master and later was among the first students at Orange Coast College. For a few years, she divided her time between Laguna and New York City but settled in Laguna in the mid-‘50s where she worked for a local business.
A savvy money manager as well as having high energy and a keen eye for design, Bargiela purchased and developed several properties in Laguna, taking advice from associates with Peggy Taylor Real Estate. Her most cherished project was the rehabilitation of artist Clarence Hinkle’s former home in upper Victoria Beach.
Bargiela remained active in managing her properties until her illness.
Throughout her life, she traveled extensively in Mexico and South America and lived for extended periods in Greece, Spain, France, Nepal and Bali. She was an avid proponent of education in Nepal, where she garnered support and raised money locally for a school for outcast children.
Bargiela is survived by her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. She is remembered fondly by friend Joan Jordan of Newport Beach, as well as friends in California, Greece and France. In her 20s and 30s, Bargiela sailed in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. In accordance with her wishes, her ashes will be cast into the ocean off the coasts of California, Hawaii and Mexico.