Gloria Williams passed away on October 6, 2023 at the age of 67.
Gloria spent her last day on earth singing gospel songs while taking care of the shoes and infants department at the Fairlawn Walmart, where she worked for the last 20 years. She always was especially grateful to Tammy Spradlin, her Walmart manager, and so many of what she called her “Walmart Church” family.
Gloria loved the Lord and sang almost everywhere she went. Nursing homes. Summit County Jail. The Haven of Rest and for friends and people she met along the way.
Gloria loved bright colors. Gloria loved the Bible. Gloria loved her pastors – Bishop Joey Johnson and Darren Brake – at Akron’s House of the Lord. She was a member there for 41 years.
Gloria’s love for music and the Lord came from her mother, Melva Hardison, and her father, James Wiliams. Early in her life, Gloria sang on local television. As time passed, she realized her calling was to reach those who often are forgotten or ignored by society. She sang at Summit County jail and the Haven of Rest City Mission for at least 30 years.
She was a powerhouse member of the jail ministry team with Frank Willliams, Stephen Haley, Harry Watson along with Roberta and Terry Pluto. At the Haven of Rest, she delivered the gospel through songs and encouragement with Luis McLat, Roberta and Terry Pluto. She last sang there 10 days before her death.
Gloria visited her 97-year-old mother Melva Hardison four nights a week at St. Edward Village in Fairlawn. She loved to connect with her prayer partners: Michelle Bryant, Gwen Cunningham, and Mother Mira Roberts.
Gloria battled Epilsey for decades, enduring many seizures. Few knew of her medical situation. She passed away four days after her birthday from a seizure. The last song she sang was Zion Is Calling Me To a Higher Place of Praise while riding in the car coming home from work with Terry Pluto.
Gloria spent her entire life in Akron. She graduated from Garfield High in 1975. She was never married or had children. The woman who could sing like an angel is now singing with angels with her heavenly family.
Gloria was preceded in death by her father, Reverend James R. Williams, sister Audrey Hardison Walker and brother Ned Fuqua.
Gloria is survived by her mother, Melva Hardison, and brothers Darnell and Ronald Hardison – along with many cousins, nieces and nephews. She also was a sister to Terry and Roberta Pluto in their “Psalm 68” family.
In lieu of flowers, please give donations to The House of Lord in Akron or Haven of Rest in Akron. All attendees are asked to wear bright colors to the Family Visitation & Celebration of Life Service. Gloria loved bright colors.
Public viewing will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, from 5:30 pm until 7:00 pm at Sommerville Funeral Services, 1695 Diagonal Rd. Akron, Oh 44320.
Celebration of Life Service will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 11:00 am at The House of the Lord, 1650 Diagonal Rd. Akron, Oh 44320.