Gladys Lena Manker Tyrus Sams, age 99, died on Thursday April 6, 2017 in Jacksonville, FL.
She was born in Orlando, FL to Arthur and Lena (Glenn) Manker and was one of five children; all of whom preceded her in death. Her family moved to Jacksonville while Gladys was young to seek better educational opportunities. Gladys excelled in the public school system and skipped several grades. She was salutatorian of her high school class at Stanton, where she was the first of three generations of Stanton graduates. She also excelled as a student at Bethune Cookman College. Gladys was married to Zara Tyrus Sr and to that union, two children were born. She later married Joseph “Nip” Gardner Sams. She committed her life to Christ at an early age and remained faithful throughout her life. She was a member of First Baptist Church Downtown.
Gladys worked or volunteered in many capacities but her most endearing moments were at Edward Waters College where she served tirelessly as Secretary to the President and in the Registrar’s Office for over 20 years. She regularly supported the college even after her retirement. Gladys was also a faithful volunteer for Community Hospice which supported her through the deaths of her mother and Gardner. Despite declining health in her later years she was known for her wit, tenacity, and quick smile. She was devoted to her family and friends and loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. Gladys will always be remembered as a bright shining light.
She leaves to mourn two children, Zara Tyrus, Jr. (Louise) and Wanda Brown (James), five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Funeral service will be 2:00 PM Friday April 14, 2017 in Evergreen Chapel 4535 Main St. N. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service. A small repast will be held at 1911 Woodleigh Dr W., Jacksonville, FL 32211.
Arrangements are with Evergreen Funeral Home and Crematory (904) 353-3649