Gloria J. Browner, the youngest child of the late Robert Sampson and Leola Moore Jennings. Gloria was born January 24, 1931, in South Boston, VA. She began public school in South Boston. She moved to Chatham, VA. She graduated from Northside High School in Gretna, VA. Gloria earned a Bachelor of Science from A & T University in Greensboro, NC. While there, she was president of the Iota Phi Lamda Sorority. She did graduate work at New York University and City of New York’s Hunter College. Gloria ultimately earned a Masters Degree in Education from Columbia University, also located in New York, NY.
At an early age, Gloria was baptized and joined the Dan River Bethel Baptist Church, Bold Springs Community, South Boston, VA. She kept a relationship with this church throughout her life. Enroute to college, she was employed as a nurse in Winslow Hospital, near Danville, VA. She migrated during her college summer breaks to work at South Oakes the Long Island Home, Amityville, NY.
During the 1960s, Gloria participated in the Civil Rights movement by helping to desegregate restaurants. She sat alone at Roses 5 Cent, 10 Cent , 25 Cent- lunch counters under the surveillance of the NAACP.
Gloria then moved to Staten Island, NY, to work for the City of New York’s Department of Hospitals, where she lived in the nurses’ residence. Gloria was a Civil Service Certified ADA (American Dietetic Association) Dietitian.
Gloria married Climic Rudolphus Browner (married approximately 40 years, ending in divorce). From this union, a son, Climic Mondello Browner, was born. The family lived in Wyandanch, located on Long Island in NY. Gloria became an active member and the Director of Vacation Bible School for Hollywood Baptist Church, Amityville, NY.
She then moved to Esplanade Gardens, a new cooperative development. Gloria and Mondello were among its original residents. Esplanade Gardens is located in Harlem, New York, NY. She was very active in the Esplanade Gardens community, serving over decades in various roles (Boy Scout Den Mother, building newspaper reporter, floor captain, etc).
Gloria joined Convent Avenue Baptist Church. She was a member of Bettie B. Wilson Sunday School Class, Den Mother of Pack 711, Sick & Shut-In Committee, Stewardship 300, Senior Committee, etc.
She was a teacher in New York City for the Board of Education for 30 years, retiring in 1986. Some of the schools where she worked were Wadleigh Junior High School, Intermediary Schools 10 and 201.
Besides her formal education, Gloria continued learning using a whimsical approach. She took many classes through the United Federation of Teachers and a journalism workshop with Yusef Salaam of The Amsterdam News. Gloria even graduated from the Ophelia DeVore School of Charm where she won accolades and trophies. There she worked on areas of self-development and learned how to coordinate fashion shows.
Post retirement, Gloria was very busy. She became a world traveler. Her appetite for travel began during a teaching sabbatical where she studied bees in New Mexico. As a retiree, she visited all 50 states and 7 continents. Some of her most exotic journeys were an expedition to Antarctica, a visit to the Holy Land, Galapagos Islands, and a homeland trip to Ghana. She also greatly enjoyed cruises to the Caribbean. Her traveling nature was also fulfilled by flipping from visitor to host, as a Big Apple Greeter, giving tours of New York City to sightseers.
Gloria joined numerous senior centers, including Randolph, Kennedy, Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, and Salem United Methodist Church. Randolph was her favorite. She joined its art room and enjoyed painting and other creative works. In January 2022, Gloria’s paintings were in an art exhibit as part of Randolph Senior Center’s grand reopening after its building renovation. The event was attended by politicians, center members, and many of Gloria’s family and friends.
Gloria will be remembered for her energy, discipline, independence, reaching out to help others, sensitivity, exploring, adventuring, drive to “be somebody,” and dedication to improve herself.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Leola Jennings, and 5 siblings; Lillian Beard Rodgers, Robert Randolph Jennings, Clestie Kenneth Jennings, Roland Alton Jennings, and Hollis Leon Jennings.
Left to treasure her memories are her son, Climic Mondello Browner, his wife, Alyson, and their children (whom Gloria loving called, “My Trio”) Aiden Jacari, Zoe Alexis, and Jason Zaine. All are of New York City. There are also many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Additionally, she leaves her Goddaughter and namesake, Gloria Vines, of Washington, DC and Celia Hazzard, a neighbor and close friend of over 55 years.