Gladys Josephine Maude Robertson Clipper was born in Washington, DC, Wednesday, September 13,1922 to the proud parents of Joseph Edward Valentine Robertson, who moved to the United States from British Guiana (now Guiana), and Sarah Banks, who moved to Washington, DC from Wilmington, North Carolina. Joseph and Sarah were married in 1913 and Gladys was the fourth of five children, along with Joseph, David, Thelma and Winston. She attended Cardozo High School. She had a passion for reading, a talent for math and an eye for fashion.
As a young girl Gladys accompanied her parents during their Sunday drive to Seneca, Maryland when her father left the Miles Memorial C.M.E. Church to become the minister of the Seneca Methodist Community Church. Gladys was a long standing member of the church’s Flower Club.
Over time she made friends with a young and devoted member of the church, Milton Clipper, known to many as Dick. Over the years their friendship turned into a courtship that was interrupted only by his enlistment into the army during World War II. When he returned from the war and began his career with Hoffman Upholstery, they were married September 12,1946.
Before moving to Seneca, they lived with Glady’s parents in NW Washington, DC and in 1948 gave birth to their first son, Milton, Jr. As a family, they enjoyed exploring restaurants and traveling. It would take very little for them to jump in their car and drive to New York City to see a play or visit cousin Cecil and his wife in Sag Harbor, NY. In 1956 Gladys gave up the city life she loved and moved to their new home in Seneca, Maryland, and welcomed the birth of their second son, Edward.
Gladys was selected as one of the first African American women to work as a statistical clerk at the General Accounting Office for the federal government in Washington, DC.
Everyday Gladys worked tirelessly to build a career and help open the federal doors for other women of color. She went on to have a distinguished career with GAO for 35 years and received several outstanding service accommodations. Like every good partner, Gladys also provided the support, comfort and inspiration that helped Milton build a successful furniture upholstery business.
Gladys always enjoyed family get togethers. Whether it was with her extended Clipper family, her brothers and sister, she valued family. Her nieces and nephews always seemed to bring an extra smile to her face. Seeing her son, Edward, become the minister of the same church her father ministered in Seneca filled her heart with pride.
Gladys had a blessed and loving marriage that lasted for fifty years until the passing of Milton in 1996. With the support and love of friends, family and her cocker spaniel “Onyx”, Gladys continued her life in Seneca until she moved into assisted living in Hyattsville, Md. in 2012, where she lived until her passing with loving and supportive care.
Gladys is survived by her son, Milton, Jr. and his wife, Paulette, two granddaughters Faith and Jaime Clipper, a step-granddaughter, Antoinette Meyers, and four great grandchildren, Brandon Clipper, Brandace and Candace Printers and Mathew Smith, and a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Milton, and her son, Edward.
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