GLADYS L. DABNEY CLARKE, "Auntie,” a long-time resident of Buffalo, New York was born on July 19, 1918 in Warwick County, Virginia to Frank and Ruth Dabney (nee Lipscomb). Gladys reached her Centennial birthday milestone in 2018.
Gladys was the oldest of five siblings: Armstead Dabney, Minnie Dabney, Alminta White, and Charles White. Gladys had an influence on all of their lives; she took on the role of adult very early in life and never released it.
Gladys and her family moved to Newark, New Jersey. While visiting friends in Buffalo, New York, she met her future husband, Jacie Clarke (Uncle Jake), they united in holy matrimony and settled in Buffalo. This union lasted for 45 years until Uncle Jake’s passing in 1982.
After the passing of her sister and brother-in-law, Minnie and Pete, as well as her mother, Gladys became “mother” to her two nephews: Ronald Lee and Dennis Franklin Crocker, raising them into adulthood. Gladys became the official matriarch for Armstead, Charles, and Alminta, and was the sibling her family looked to for ongoing support and guidance. Gladys was a long-time domestic worker for two families in Buffalo who remained in close contact with her.
Her longtime and faithful friend, the late Elista Parks “Parks” was more like a sister. Gladys and Parks, along with countless other friends, shared many wonderful times together, including a 37-year membership as Daughters in the Emma V. Kelly Temple No. 700 IBPOEW of the Elks. Gladys was a 63-year active member of St. Luke A.M.E. Zion Church, serving as an Usher for 56 of those years and teaching Sunday School. In 2006, Gladys was honored by St. Luke’s and presented with the Commitment to God and Zion Award for her continuous membership and service.
In 2012, at the age of 93, Gladys was relocated from Buffalo to Fayetteville, North Carolina for a short stay with her dear sister, Alminta and niece, Debra. She then moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she lived and was cared for by her beloved nephew and niece, Dennis and Lateyfa (Tee).
Gladys loved good food and socializing; she enjoyed traveling with friends and had a wonderful way about her that made everyone feel welcomed and special. She often told others that when she passed on– to Celebrate and to not cry for her because she had lived a wonderful life.
After a Centennial, having experienced the highs and lows of a long and fruitful life, the time has come for a well-deserved rest.
On Thursday, June 27, 2019, Gladys L. Dabney Clarke transitioned to be with the Lord, peacefully in her home.
Gladys is preceded in death by her husband, Jacie Clarke; parents, Frank and Ruth Dabney; sisters, Alminta White and Minnie Crocker; brothers, Charles White and Armstead Dabney; sister-in-law, Dorcas Dabney; brothers-in-law, Albert Carter and Pete Crocker; nephews, Ronald Lee Crocker, Lawrence Dabney, Albert Carter Jr., Armstead Dabney (June), Richard Dabney (Sue), and Rev. Phillip Dabney (Jessie); and niece, Adrienne Carter.
She leaves to cherish her memories her nephews, Dennis (Lateyfa) of Atlanta, GA, Donald Dabney (Marie) and Mark Dabney, both of Buffalo, NY, Charles F White III (Ana), Gregory Wheeler (Alicia), Abdullah Ali-Muhammad-Craig White (Delores), and Darren White (Judith); nieces, Deborah Barkley (Charles) of Fayetteville, NC, Elnora Smith (Kermit), Cheryl Little (Roger), Denise White-Zimmerman, and Nanette Carter; sister-in-law, Fannie (Charles) of Newark, NJ; loving friend and “daughter,” Jerrie Parks Ward (James) of Atlanta, GA; dear friend, Mary Jo Healy of Williamsville, NY, who never failed to send Auntie her favorite box of See’s Candy on special occasions; Bob Derrick of Lady Lakes, FL, who sent her beautiful floral arrangements each Christmas; and dear friends, Gracie Noble and Vernell Ross, who brought great joy to her in her later years.
She also leaves many nieces and nephews, a host of friends and loved ones.
Family will receive friends Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11am at Brian K Lewis Funeral Homes, 2528 Bailey Ave. Funeral to follow at 12 noon. Interment held at Forest Lawn Cemetery.