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Gladys Ann Sawyer

May 12, 1949 April 22, 2022
Gladys Ann Sawyer
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Obituary for Gladys Ann Sawyer
Gladys Ann Sawyer, 72, died April 22, 2022.

Gladys Ann Hunter Sawyer was a devoted and magnanimous daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend. . Gladys was an artist, a writer, an entrepreneur, and a chef. A force to be reckoned with, she exuded grace, class, and formidability. She loved her family and worked hard to provide them with comfort, experiences, and education.

Born in Memphis, TN on May 12, 1949 to Raymond Thomas and Bernice Hunter, Gladys was the oldest of her mother’s nine children and the second of her father’s five children. Her birth position required Gladys to mature quickly as she took on responsibility for her younger siblings. Her grandmothers, Big Mama and Mama Frances, were important role models in her young life. They taught Gladys to sew, to cook, and to love learning.

After graduating from DuSable High School, Gladys moved back to Memphis from Chicago, IL and attended Memphis State University. There, she was crowned the first Miss Black Memphis State, became a member of the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and was the secretary of the Memphis State 109. Gladys would eventually move to Chicago and enroll in Roosevelt University completing her Bachelors degree.

Gladys is the mother of two children, the first Michael Anthony Hooks, Jr. was her pride and joy. While working at an accounting firm, Gladys met and subsequently married her husband of 43 years, Andrew Benjamin Sawyer, Jr. Together they had Tamara Ashley Sawyer, who was Gladys’ legacy and sidekick.

While her children were young, Gladys embarked on several entrepreneurial endeavors. She owned and operated Cooking with GAS catering in Evanston, IL. With Andrew, she owned and managed the North Shore Examiner, a local paper in Evanston, and Brides Today, the first bridal magazine targeted to women of color. Later, Gladys served as a senior marketing manager for Nutrasweet and received several recognitions for her leadership including ones from the Monsanto Corporation and Dollars and Sense Magazine.

In 1994, Gladys and her family returned to Tennessee to help care for her grandmother. During this time, Gladys joined Trust Marketing as a vice-president. She was a board member of the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis and Girls Inc. of Greater Memphis. In 2000, Gladys became a member of the River Ciy (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In 2001, she formed HGF, Inc., a highly recognized and regarded marketing and project management firm. HGF, Inc.’s clientele includes governmental and non-profit agencies across the country. Both of her children worked for HGF, Inc. in the onset of their professional careers leading to their own development as business and community leaders. Because of Gladys’ leadership and vision, HGF, Inc. remains successfully in operation today.

In addition to her professional and community involvement, Gladys enjoyed cooking and entertaining family and friends. Passionate about the arts, she was a member of Jus’ Us book club and a founder of Hattiloo Theatre’s Whitman Sisters. She was an avid seamstress and spent the last few years making quilts for her loved ones. Ever an English major, she was known for the fierceness of her editorial red pen.

In her later years, Gladys’ heart belonged to her grandchildren, Morgan Alise and Miranda Alexis Hooks. She baked cookies, made mini quilts, read, and even played with her girls. Fondly known as Nana, Gladys held special relationships with many young people including her great niece and nephew Ryan Phillips and Raegan Powell.

Glady’s generosity touched too many to name through Christmas cards, birthday cards and gifts, smooches texts, and more. Her memory and gifts will be held close by her husband Andrew, son Michael, daughter in law Kenya, daughter Tamara, granddaughters Morgan and Miranda, sisters Maridale, Patricia, Bobbie Jean, Camille, and Geraldine, brothers Frederick, Rudolph, Darryl, and Boris, aunt Bobbie, uncles Tony and Merrill, nieces Denise, Gail, Cappie, Gladys, Robin, Nicole, Angela, Jazmyn, Denise, Tiffany, and Bailee and nephews Earl, Jamal, James, Ricky, Marcus, Michael, Sean, Rudolph, Jr., and Braylon. She cherished a host of cousins, sister-friends, friends, and professional relationships.
Gladys believed to whom much is given much is required. She gave us her all every day.

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11:00 AM 4/29/2022 11:00:00 AM
First Baptist Broad

2835 Broad Ave.
Memphis, TN 38112

First Baptist Broad
2835 Broad Ave. Memphis 38112 TN
United States

Cemetery Details


Serenity Columbarium and Memorial Garden - Rotunda Final Resting Place

1622 Sycamore View Rd.
Memphis , TN 38134

1622 Sycamore View Rd. Memphis 38134 TN
United States

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