Gladstone Booth, a veteran and retired employee of the Army Quartermasters, died on Sunday, May 19, 2019. He was 94.
He was born on Aug. 2 1924 in Philadelphia to the late Henry Augustus and Constantia Barber Booth. He was the last of five children, including Ivy Booth Wallace, Lloyd Booth, Myrtle Booth Ashhurst and Henry Booth.
Raised in South Philadelphia, Booth attended Audenreid School and Benjamin Franklin High School where he achieved wide acclaim for his stellar football athleticism.
Upon graduation, Booth became the first in his family to serve in the U.S. Army. He served for two years during World War II.
After receiving an honorable discharge, he was recruited by the football coach of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. While there, he joined Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Smith was the first in his family to go college. He encouraged his nieces and nephews to successfully follow suit.
Also while attending Shaw, he met and married the late Annabelle Lee Johns, a Bennett College graduate, from Portsmouth, Virginia. He and his wife resided in Virginia at the Johns family home for two years. During that time, Booth was introduced to the game of tennis. He then transferred his athletic abilities to the sport and became a master at it. During this time, their first child, Constance, was born.
With his family growing, he had an opportunity to return to Philadelphia. He became a coach for a neighborhood basketball team.
Booth maintained a position at the Army Quartermasters for approximately 30 years until retirement. Once retired, he devoted much of his time at the Woodford Tennis Club in Philadelphia where he was one of the founding members.
He passed the baton to his son, Christopher, who is a tennis coach and an active member of Woodford. The tennis legacy continues with his granddaughter, Joanna, a recent graduate of Amhurst College.
He also played a significant part in his daughter’s business, Madame Butterfly Too. He was also lover of jazz.
“The very name Gladstone, has housed in it many symbolisms that defined who he was,” his family said in a tribute. “Gladstone — he was a happy man, a loving man, glad to be, and the stone represented the strength of his character, solid as granite rock.”
In addition to his children, he is survived by: his grandchildren, Adam and Joanna Booth, Marcia Ashhurst Whiting and Janice Booth Wood, special friends, Sandy Marshall Booth and Renee Bellamy Booth.
A memorial service will be held June 14 at 10 a.m. St. Simon the Cyrenian Church, 1401 S. 22nd St. Burial is private.
Terry Funeral Home handled the arrangements.