Gloria Toney Pitre was born the second of three children to Dr. and Mrs. Ellis Edwin Toney in Sanford, North Carolina on Feb. 12, 1921 and raised in Oxford, North Carolina with her older brother, Ellis Edwin Toney, Jr., M.D. and sister Mariel Toney Williams.
Pitre graduated at 16 years old from Mary Potter High School and then attended Barber-Scotia Junior College due to her age. At the age of 18, she was admitted to Dillard University in New Orleans, LA and received a degree in French and Spanish and a minor in Chemistry. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Teachers Education from Columbia University in New York, New York. During her graduate education, she studied abroad attending the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, Laval University in Quebec, Canada, and University of Mexico, in Mexico City to strengthen her knowledge of French and Spanish.
Pitre decided not to follow her father and brother in becoming a physician. She had a natural affinity for foreign languages, so instead, she pursued teaching as a career. She began her teaching career at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, then she went on to teach at Langston University in Oklahoma and prepared to return to Columbia University in New York to pursue her doctorate degree.
On June 21, 1958, Gloria Toney married Clayton Alphonse Pitre in Oxford, North Carolina. They later moved to Seattle where they had three boys so she dedicated her life to her family, while successfully contributing in positive ways to her community. She also helped raise her seven grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
While raising her boys in Seattle, Pitre started teaching school at Ballard High School then moved to McClure Middle School. After a few years, she transferred to Rainer Beach High School where she spent most of her 38 years as a teacher. At Rainier Beach, she was a fixture at the school serving as the foreign language department chair while educating and helping countless students graduate from high school.
Pitre was a member of Delta Sigma Theta, a charter member of the Seattle Chapter Knights of Peter Claver, Ladies Auxiliary, Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild and an ardent fundraiser for the American Heart Association. She would go door-to-door requesting donations as a tribute to her mother and father.
During her retirement years, Pitre relaxed and traveled throughout the United States with her husband, Clayton, visiting her children, grandchildren, and extended family members. They also traveled throughout Europe, including France on numerous occasions, and cruised the Mediterranean Seas.
Pitre is survived by her husband Clayton, and three sons, Clayton Jr. and wife Felicia, Michael and wife Erika, Paul and wife Cherise, her grandchildren Michaelia, Aaron, Daniel, Cameron, Brycen, Gabrielle, and Chase, and great grandchildren Nathaniel and Theodore. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Winifred Toney, brother-in-law Edgar, nieces Sheryl Toney Lorenzo, Michelle Williams, Carolyn, Shelia, Ramona, Marilyn, Sharon, Garnett, and Teresa. Nephews Hannigan, Robert Williams, Steven Williams, Wilfred, Jr., Robert, Dwayne, Edgar Jr., Lawrence and Keith.
Funeral Services for Gloria Toney Pitre will be held this Sat., Feb. 8 at St Mary’s Church – 611 20th Ave S. in Seattle. 10:00 a.m. Rosery Prayer, 11:00 a.m. Funeral, 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. burial site, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Repast.