Funeral services for Mary Louise Gladney will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 at the P.L.M.&D District Center.

Funeral services for Mary Louise Gladney will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 at the P.L.M.&D District Center. Rev. Roy Lee Williams will officiate. Burial will be in Jackson Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m.,  Friday, Aug. 25 at Wofford Chapel Church. 

Mary Louise Goldsberry Gladney was born to Rev. E.C. and Annie Estella Goldsberry in Helena-West Helena on Aug. 28, 1934. She was the 11th child born to this union. She was a wife to Will Gladney and a mother to seven children. She departed her earthly life Aug. 18, 2017 surrounded by family and loved ones to begin her eternal life with the Lord.

Mary began her lifelong service to Wofford Chapel Missionary Baptist Church at an early age. She worked diligently with the youth department and coordinated an Easter and Christmas program that had everyone talking about for weeks. She loved to sing in the choir and began her day with a spiritual song.  Her love for music was exemplified through her young daughters whom she formed into a gospel group, The Gladney Sisters.  Mary also worked with the BTU, Sunshine Band, Red Circle, and held several financial offices including secretary/clerk, and the Mother Board.

Although she worked several years as a domestic worker, her true passion and calling was supporting youth achievement and community service.  This included work in the PTA, Brownie and Girl Scout leader, and Band Booster parent. She became a foster parent and family life advocate for over a dozen children, many of which remained in contact with her over the years. 

She is a life member of the New Bethel Chapter No.1604 Order of the Eastern Star. She was instrumental in bringing 4-H to the Pillow Hill community in the early 1970s by chartering a local club which prepared youth for public speaking, leadership, and competitive fair play by opening horizons around the country. Mary lived and encouraged the 4-H Motto "To make the Best Better.”

Mary was a member of numerous social clubs and was always the life of the party. She was a friend to many and a stranger to none. She met you with a smile and a kind word. She loved flowers and gardening and had one of the most beautiful yards in the community. She frequently named flowers after her friends and family. Although she was a big sports fan, she loved the Arkansas Razorbacks and “called the Hogs” with the best of them and rarely missed a televised game. She also loved to cook and fed anyone who came to her door.

She came from a large prominent family in the community and proceeded to teach her children the lessons she learned.

She is preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Jimmy, Johnny, Elias, Steve, Amos, James, Robert, and Wilson Goldsberry, sisters Estella Moore, Vernice Cornice, Elnora McKinney, Wilma Jean Goldsberry, and Elizabeth Cates, her husband, and three children Janie, Robert, and Willie Alvin.

She leaves to cherish her memory, her daughters, Vanessa Gladney Mercy (Thomas), Frieda Gladney Aden, Sherry Gladney, Karen Gladney, Robinson (Louis); grandchildren Maya, Erin Ashley, William Christopher, Mary Candace, Justin Timothy "J.T.", Joshua, Evan, Jason, Kierra “Cookie” and Jamie; great-grandchildren, Mayven, Caleb, Cayden, Avyn, Avri, Shemar, Journee,Suri. Sahana, Justin, Jr and Cerenity; sisters, Ora Goldsberry and Cora Goldsberry; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

 Family and friends may sign the guestbook