Della G. Wright, a former city public schools food service manager and teacher’s aide, died March 30 at Sinai Hospital from cancer. The Northwest Baltimore resident was 83.
The former Della Mae Gilliam was born and raised in East Baltimore, the daughter of Plummer Gilliam and his wife, Mary Lou Bartee Gilliam.
She was a graduate of Dunbar High School and for 40 years before retiring in the early 2000s was a food service manager and a teacher’s aide at Mount Royal Elementary-Middle School in Bolton Hill. Earlier, she held similar positions at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and Bethlehem Steel Corp. in Sparrows Point.
“Della was a beacon of light to all of the students and staff at Mount Royal. She started and managed the school store and stocked up on clean uniforms, underwear, and personal hygiene supplies to serve students in need, free of charge,” Cinnamon Green, a granddaughter, of Owings Mills, wrote in a biographical profile of Mrs. Wright.
“She even organized the purchase of a washer and dryer for the students to be able to clean their uniforms onsite. She also fed teachers and staff a special lunch on a weekly basis,” wrote Ms. Green.
Joan S. Griffith, a longtime St. Timothy's School English teacher and Smith College Book Sale volunteer, died April 8 at Keswick Muilti-Care Center from complications suffered in a December fall. The Roland Park resident was 79.
In addition to her granddaughter, she is survived by a son, Vincent Gilliam Sr. of Hagerstown; two daughters, Diane Thompson and Sheila Brown, both of Baltimore; a brother, Thomas “Joe” Gilliam of Baltimore; 10 other grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Pamela Wade, died in 2015.