Gloria J. West, a retired Correctional Officer, died on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2020. She was 74.
She was born on Oct. 8, 1945, in Philadelphia to Willie Pearl Edwards and the late Anderson Harbin. She was raised by Louella Barge and John Barge in West Philadelphia on Farson Street with her stepsister. Her siblings grew to include Rita, Johnny and Donna.
She grew up at the center of a rich community and was well-loved and taken care of by the entire neighborhood. She attended West Philadelphia High School, where she was an excellent student. During her senior year, she met Richard Massey later known as Khalil Abdul-Hadi whom she married after graduation.
She briefly attended the University of Pennsylvania and majored in Real Estate. She decided to start her family rather than continue to pursue further education. She went on to have five children. Although she birthed 5 children of her own, she also cared for and nurtured countless more.
She began her career at the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Community Services. Later she became a City of Philadelphia Correctional Officer. She then transitioned to the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office as a deputy but eventually returned to the prison system where she retired. “After retirement, she relocated to Dover, Delaware where she could not sit still. She joined the Delaware Department of Corrections where she worked for 4 years.
“Jean was the most kind, caring and loving person you could ever meet,” said her family in a tribute. “Her vulnerability, humility and quick and witty sense of humor made everyone feel as though they were longtime friends.
She was also a tastemaker with her style and love for fashion. In her later years, she was lovingly cared for by her daughter Nairobi and her partner Eva.
She was preceded in death by her stepsister, Catherine B. Harris.
In addition to her mother, sister and daughter, Nairobi, she is survived by: her children, Hakim, Nicole, Kenya and Wadiya; grandchildren, Curran, Marki, Adam, Zoey, Zachary, Hawaa and Arya; great-grandchild, Yaasr and countless cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.
Services will be held on Jan. 18, at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 W. Lehigh Ave. Services start at 1 p.m.
Beall Funeral Home handled the arrangements.