Obituary of Gloria Sonia Hunt
Gloria Sonia Johnson (Hunt) was born to Claudine Virginia Tate (Johnson) and Edward Johnson, on December 17, 1920. She was born at Sloane Hospital for Women in Harlem, NY. Her parents were from Lynchburg, Virginia and Farmville, Virginia, respectively, but met Up North. Gloria took pride in being a “city girl” and frequently shared a story about rejecting the farmland that her Black and Native American father’s family had offered her, sometime in the 1940s. Her reason for declining it—she wouldn’t be able to deal with the loose chickens she saw, and the outhouse she was expected to use, on her one and only trip to visit the farm. She said that she had taken the train Down South and immediately caught a train back to New York, when she saw what country living was like! She shared that she did not understand the value of what was being offered but wanted her descendants to be smarter.
Gloria was a graduate of both the controversial, yet groundbreaking, Wadleigh High School for Girls, in Manhattan, and Drake Business School, in New York. She was feisty, funny, dynamic, and sharp. She loved to get dressed up, wear makeup, and preach the virtues of lathering your face with Vaseline at night to avoid wrinkles. This was the secret to her youthful appearance!
Her places of employment included Western Union, typing up telegrams (although we now hear that she sang some of them too), and she worked at The Country Day School, as a teaching assistant. She fostered teen mothers, unwed mothers-to-be, and their children, for many years, through Inwood House in Manhattan. After that, she ran an in-home daycare center that offered extended hours to support working parents. Dozens of Lakeview residents, and families in surrounding communities, enjoyed her antics as their babysitter. Everyone who knew Gloria had stories about her, and those stories demonstrate that she loved life, loved people, was generous, and lived every moment to the fullest.
Gloria was involved in many community and civic organizations. She was a charter member, who held various offices in the North Lakeview Lions Club. She also held various offices as a member of Key Women of America (Lakeview Branch) for well over 40 years. She was a member of the Lakeview NAACP, a Past President of the Lakeview Senior’s Group, and she was the President of the Resident Council at Grand Pavilion Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center until her death. She was a member of the American Legion Hall in West Hempstead; she attended Sandel’s Senior Centre in Rockville Centre; and she had a church home at The Church of Good Shepherd in West Hempstead, NY before becoming a proud member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Rockville Centre, NY.
Her marriage to Harold Hilton Hunt produced one child, Claudine Sharon Hunt, who was the light of her life, and whom Gloria called “Deanie”. Claudine (Deanie) married and gave birth to Felicia Claudine Hunt, whom Gloria adored and referred to as “Granny’s little angel.” Felicia gave birth to Elyjah Rah McKoy, and later married, and gave birth to Ayaba Adora Ase. Gloria took pride in both her great-grandchildren, spoke with them as much as possible, and kept up with their talents and interests.
From the young people she took care of, to the children of her loving neighbors that were like family, to her godchild(ren) from Philadelphia, Gloria loved all “her children,” with all her heart. She was a dedicated mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, community advocate, and friend. She never missed an opportunity to tell others they are loved, give them a word of encouragement or advice, or share a funny story—even in the nursing home.
This bright and brilliant lady, fondly called “Granny” and “Mother Hunt” by family and community members alike, demonstrated Christian love. She departed this life on May 5, 2023, and is survived by Felicia, Elyjah, and Ayaba, and a host of community members and friends.