Audrey Theresa Laird, 70, of Gloversville, New York, passed away Saturday, June 8, 2013, while visiting her son and family in the San Francisco Bay, California. Audrey was a loving and dedicated wife, mother and teacher, and for all who knew her understood and admired her determined spirit, warm heart and courageous battle to fight multiple myeloma cancer for nearly eight (8) years.
Audrey was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, on October 4, 1942; predeceased by her mother, Florence A. McWalker and brother, Edward A. McWalker. Audrey is survived by her loving husband of 49 years, Harold F. Laird Sr.; a sister, Marilyn E. McWalker; her aunt, Geneive Ellis (99); a daughter, Michele R. Laird-Williams (Terry) of Stony Point, N.Y.; a son, Harold F. Laird Jr. (Halemah) of Mountain House, California; three grandchildren, Alexander Williams (11); twins, Maya and Xavier Laird (2); and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Audrey grew up in Gloversville, N.Y., and attended school in the Gloversville School District. She attended the State University of New York Cobleskill and Oneonta, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, K-6 grades. Audrey was passionate about the importance of a good education and saw great qualities in the students she was honored to have the opportunity to teach at Park Terrace Elementary School. She was so proud to see her students grow and prosper over her 33 years of teaching. Audrey impacted many young lives, leaving a lasting legacy and cherished memories.
In addition to teaching, Audrey was very involved in the community. She provided educational programs about the African American history including school and public programs about Martin Luther King Jr. In February 1990, Audrey co-authored and published a booklet entitled "Black Heritage" in Fulton County, which was made possible by a grant from New York State in honor of the Bicentennial celebration of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. The booklet emphasis was on the 15th Amendment, allowing the right to vote regardless of race, color or previous servitude during the 1800s to 1925 in Fulton County. New York State, the community and Superintendent of Schools recognized her efforts for her informative work. Audrey also volunteered at the Gloversville Library, assisting children to read, volunteering to read books to groups of young children and in later years assisted with decorating and creating educational notice boards for the library foyer.
Audrey was very active in various Organizations and Associations over the years including 4-H Club, Girl Scouts, New York State Teachers Association, American Association of University Women and Retired Teachers Association to name a few. She was a spiritual soul and a member of AME Zion Baptist Church during her childhood and a longtime member of Fremont Methodist Church, where she was wed to her beloved husband, now named Foothills United Methodist Church.
The family invites friends and relatives to attend calling hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2013, at Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home, 51 Fremont Street, Gloversville, N.Y. On Saturday, June 22, 2013, funeral service will take place at Foothills United Methodist Church, 17 Fremont Street, Gloversville, NY at 11 a.m. and immediately following the service, interment will take place at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Gloversville, N.Y. A repass gathering for family and friends will follow at Eccentric Club, 109 North Main Street, Gloversville, NY.
In memory of Audrey Laird, flowers can be sent to the Walrath & Stewart funeral home or a memorial donation can be made to the American Cancer Society (ACS) by calling 1-800-227-2345; visiting their website www.cancer.org/involved/donate/donateonlinenow/index, or by mail in memory of Audrey Laird to ACS, 1 Penny Lane, Latham, NY 12110.
Please visit and sign the family guest book online at obit.brbsfuneral.com/obitdisplay.html?id=1217269&listing=Current