The recent passing of Gladys Braugher on Sunday, April 19, 2009 was a tremendous lost for her family and friends, but also the West Side of Chicago. In December 2006, Austin Weekly News featured Gladys when her family gave her a surprise 80th birthday party. Not only was she a longtime West Side resident, Gladys was a member of Carey Tercentenary A.M.E. Church (1448 S. Homan) for the last 50 years.

Gladys and her beloved husband Beonville (BeBe) had been married for more than 60 years. Three wonderful daughters were born to this union. Gladys was a devoted wife and mother who took an active role in her children’s development from PTA to chaperoning events. She often entertained at her home and served as business manager for her social club, the Las Buenas Amigas. Gladys was a wonderful dancer and taught her daughters how to dance. She also was an accomplished seamstress. A number of prom dresses throughout the neighborhood were sewn by “Miss Gladys.” She annually showcased her talent by designing outfits that were worn to her social club’s annual Father’s Day event.

I met Gladys in the 1970s while working at General Foods, Inc. (now Kraft Foods). As the first and only African American woman supervisor at the West Side facility (known as the Calumet Plant) she was highly regarded by those she supervised as well as management.

Those who knew Gladys always remarked about the love she had for Bebe and her girls.

Carey Church was filled to capacity with family, friends and many former General Foods employees. One individual she supervised, Clyde Branch, spoke on behalf of all former employees who were present.

Officiating pastors were Pastor Walter Harris, Pastor Annie Brooks, Pastor Theodore Moran and the eulogy was done by Pastor William L. Townsend (retired).

Gladys is survived by her husband Beonville (BeBe), daughters Cheryl (Prentis), Denise (William Sr.), Bonita (Herbert), 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

-Delores McCain