Gladys Wilkes Obituary (12/15/1930 – 05/21/2022) – Vallejo, CA

On Saturday May 21, 2022, Gladys Lorraine Wilkes was called home to dwell in the House of the Lord in Heaven. Gladys was born December 15, 1930, in Albany, GA, and lived her entire adult life in Vallejo, CA. She received Christ at a very early age in her childhood. She was preceded in death by her late husband of 59 years, Harold Wilkes; both of her parents of her, the late John and Superior Hill; her brother, the late Robert Hill; and her nephews, the late Captain Tony E. Hart, and Ricardo “Ricky” Hill. Gladys graduated from Monroe High School in Albany, GA, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, with an emphasis on teaching , from Albany State University. She pursued advanced education at the graduate level, receiving her Masters of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, CA. Gladys was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority. While she was an undergraduate student, Gladys worked as a server at the South Grand Terrace Cafe in Albany, GA. She was famously known to take a great deal of pride in her customer service skills, which followed her throughout her career. She worked one summer as a Nursing Assistant at Huntington Hospital in Long Island, NY, where she enjoyed caring for young mothers in the maternity ward. When Gladys and her husband Harold began their life’s journey together in 1957, they drove across the country from Albany , GA all the way to Vallejo, CA – a small town Gladys affectionately called “Valley Jo.” She found employment as a Psychiatry Technician at Sonoma State Hospital, working with developmentally disabled children and adults. In 1967, Gladys joined the Vallejo Unified School District as an elementary school teacher. Before retiring in 1992, she taught at Farragut, Elsa Widenmann, Lincoln, and finally, Beverly Hills Elementary School. During her 25 year tenure, she significantly touched the lives of hundreds of people in the community. Long after her retirement from her, her former students from her would happily approach her in public settings and thank her for making a difference in their lives from her. From restaurants, to stores, to parks, Gladys could hardly go anywhere without people approaching her to compliment the positive impact she had in their lives! Gladys was an active participant in the community, becoming a co-founder of the California chapter of the Bon Amies Women’s Club in 1964. For decades, the Bon Amies raised money to assist low-income families by hosting events, such as trips to Reno, car washes, social dinners, and holiday parties. The proceeds from these events were used to help low-income families purchase food, clothing, or provide financial assistance for bills. The biggest joy of the club was the establishment of scholarships to college bound students from both Vallejo and Hogan High Schools. Over the years, the Bon Amies helped thousands of families in Vallejo. After retirement, Gladys spent her days tutoring elementary students in afterschool programs and playing bingo at the 777 Bingo Hall. Gladys was known in her family and the community as a wonderful cook, and she would lovingly prepare meals to bring people together. She became known for her specialty-smothered steak and onions, rice and gravy, collard greens, and cornbread. Gladys was also affectionately known as “The Admiral,” which reflected her status as the matriarch of our family. She loved us all unconditionally, and she supported us unfailingly through any hardship. The void that is present in our hearts from her absence of her cannot be filled, but she will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Gladys Lorraine Wilkes, until we see you in Calvary’s glory once again. Gladys is survived locally by her children de ella, Michael Steven and Angela Suzette; her sisters of her, B. Joanne Prewitt of Pemberton, NJ and Deborah R. Hill of Albany, GA; granddaughters, Xangô Eyeé, Jennifer Paredes, and Rachel Wilkes; and great-grandsons Raymond and Raellyn Adkins. She is also survived by her eldest cousin and surviving family member, Pearlie M. Bryant of Albany, GA; and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins ​​and family members nationwide.Inurnment will be held at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, CA on June 14, 2022 at 2:15 pm Arrangements entrusted to Skyview Memorial Lawn.

Published by Times Herald Online on June 9, 2022.

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