School 04

Gloria S. Rush

January 24, 1934 ~ March 10, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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Gloria Rush Obituary

Gloria Yvonne Smith Rush was born on January 24, 1934 in Washington, D.C. She was the eldest daughter of Mack and Lucy Marie Waddy Smith. She and her 3 siblings, Robert, Rebecca and Cynthia, often accompanied their parents on visits to their mother’s family in Pittsburgh and their father’s family in the Richmond, Virginia area, during the summer and on holidays. Family and faith were paramount. 

Gloria was a proud graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 1951.  Dunbar High School is a historically Black public secondary school located in Washington, D.C. Established in 1870, the school was America’s first public high school for Black students and maintained an academically elite reputation until the mid-1950s. 

Gloria continued her education at Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1955.  Initially established in 1851 as the Miner Normal School for “colored girls”, Miner is now a part of the University of the District of Columbia. 

Miner Teachers College was adjacent to the campus of Howard University where, while visiting The Yard one day, Gloria noticed Carlton Rush and his Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers standing in formation under the Kappa tree.  She didn’t know him, but she decided that Carlton was going to take her to the Spring Dance. Mission accomplished, and two years later, on August 25, 1956, they were married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

Later in 1956, Gloria moved to Cleveland, Ohio with Carlton so that he could pursue his career as an Electrical Engineer at the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI).  He later became the City of Cleveland’s first African American Building Commissioner.  Their son, Daryl Paul, was born in 1957, and daughter Carla Marie was born in 1959. Daughter Chanda Yvonne was born in 1970, and later that year the family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Gloria’s teaching career began in Cleveland at Epiphany Catholic School, which later became part of Mount Pleasant Catholic, at both of which she taught first grade.  Later, she taught first and fifth grades at Robert Fulton Elementary and Brooklawn Elementary in the Cleveland Public Schools, and became a reading specialist for multiple grades at the latter.  She retired in 2005.  Gloria was passionate about literacy and prioritized reading and phonics in her instruction.  She encouraged all of her students to become life-long readers.

Gloria’s love of words translated into her being an avid Scrabble player, crossword puzzle solver, and Wheel of Fortune fan.  She loved words, but she loved socializing and entertaining even more.  Gloria played pinochle, belonged to multiple bridge clubs, and The Girls bid whist club.  Family and close friends will fondly remember Gloria’s ability to plan the most special details for holidays, especially Christmas.  No matter the occasion, entertaining her friends and family, and sharing good times, were passions.  Gloria loved people, loved to laugh, and no one she encountered was a stranger for long.

Gloria was a devoted and involved member of Epiphany Catholic Church and St. Cecelia Catholic Church, where she was Parish Council President from 1989 until 2006.  After St. Cecelia closed, she joined St. Dominic Church where she sat in the same pew every week and was known for her warm smile and for tapping her feet and clapping while singing along with the choir.

Gloria was initiated into the Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. on December 7, 1952, and was a devoted Life Member of the Alpha Omega Chapter.  Gloria joined the Cleveland Chapter of Jack and Jill of America in the mid ‘70s, and served as the chapter president from 1985 until 1987.   During her presidency, the Cleveland Chapter held their inaugural Cotillion, which is now an annual event.  Gloria was also an enthusiastic long-term member of The Carrousels, Inc, whose mission is to “facilitate joyous interactions among friends”.

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Services

Wake
Saturday
March 23, 2024

9:30 AM to 10:00 AM
St. Dominic Catholic Church
19000 Van Aken Blvd.
Shaker Heights, OH 44122

Ivy Beyond the Wall, AKA Sorority
Saturday
March 23, 2024

10:00 AM
St. Dominic Catholic Church
19000 Van Aken Blvd.
Shaker Heights, OH 44122

Celebration of Life
Saturday
March 23, 2024

10:30 AM
St. Dominic Catholic Church
19000 Van Aken Blvd.
Shaker Heights, OH 44122

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