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Gloria Millicent Bullock

November 12, 1929 - September 03, 2017

Gloria Millicent Bullock was born in Harlem, New York City in 1929 to Sarah Hairston and Harry Bullock. Her father received an education in the south and moved north to seek better opportunities as an architect. As a Black man in the 1930’s that did not happen. Her mother’s family had come from Puerta Rico. Gloria’s great grandfather came from China to work on the Transcontinental Railroad. At that time Chinese women were notallowed to immigrate to the USA.

Harlem in the 1930’s was very, very poor. According to Gloria, gangs ruled her neighborhood. Her father had taught both Gloria and her sister how to defend themselves. Both her parents valued education. In New York City at the end of the sixth grade, Gloria tested so well she entered Hunter College Honors Junior High and High School for the gifted. From there, Gloria received a full scholarship to Hunter College and graduated in 1950 with a B.A. in mathematics and a minor in physics.

Gloria’s parents were devout Christians. She was baptized and attended a Black Church in Harlem where she loved to sing. As Gloria got older she preferred to go fishing with her dad and not be “dressed up” all day for Sunday church and activities. Sarah, her mother, was a highly skilled dressmaker, seamstress and an outstanding cook.

With a BA in mathematics, Gloria was recruited to work in early research using mathematical models for the beginning of computers at a company in southern California. In her spare time, she got her pilot’s license and joined a flying club. With other companies, her work involved extensive traveling: East Coast, Hawaii and Miami. While in Miami she would spend the weekends in the Caribbean. Being fluent in Spanish, she traveled extensively in Central America and almost got in the middle of a coup.

Gloria was also married for a few years, but to her disappointment she had no children. Her husband took a job as a school principal in Arctic Alaska where they worked with the native population. Gloria said she loved it. They canoed down the Fraser River and camped during several days of a rain storm in their tent. When the Eskimo’s went whale fishing Gloria was there to help carve up the blubber and store it for the winter’s food supply even though there was a small company store.

When I met Gloria, she had left her 25 years in industry and decided to make a difference with kids. That transition included extensive course work at Cañada College where she was part of a cycling club.

In 1981, she joined the Sequoia Union High School District, first working with the newly formed Computer Academy's Program at Menlo Atherton. From there she,became a bilingual senior Math Associate at MA and then at Redwood, where we met. She tutored, not only students, but also many adults, who needed to pass a math exam for their promotion: teacher, principal and district administrator. At Redwood, her math tutoring let to increased passing rates for all testing: GED, CHSPE and Proficiency Exams.

In her later years Gloria especially enjoyed singing at Karaoke events. She loved to read. Kepler’s was her favorite book store. Gloria had an extensive library of health and nutrition books.

Through the teaching, music and welcoming atmosphere at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Gloria recommitted her life to following the teachings of Jesus.

Gloria has now joined her parents, sister and her special friend, Wade Glass with our Lord. Prepared by Suzanne Wells, Redwood HS counselor and friend

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