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Educator left her mark
1022 Obit Gaulden
Deloris Pray Gaulden - photo by Photo provided.
Deloris Pray Gaulden was an old-school teacher who did not mince words with her students. But students knew her bark was larger than her bite. They knew she had an undeniable love for them and their well-being.
And she was not only a teacher at school, she also taught in the community. She set positive examples for others to follow.
Her busy life came to a sudden end on Friday, Oct. 17. However, the impact she left on Liberty County and the surrounding communities will continue. She was well known for helping people, especially those in needs.
She had a love for her students that went far beyond being a teacher. Many of them became her children. She had such an intense desire to see them better themselves and succeed. Gaulden saw the potential in them and did everything she could to push them that extra mile.
In her church, Baconton Missionary Baptist Church, she worked tirelessly as an usher, clerk and president of the Pastoral Care Committee. The list of community organizations she was involved with included: past president Hinesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, board president of Department of Family and Children Services and a member of the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission, NAACP, Liberty-Long Retired Educators and Liberty County High School Alumni Association.
She was not a member of these organizations just to be recognized. She was an unsung hero who did so many things behind the scene. It was not important for her name to be called.
At her funeral on Oct. 25, speaker after speaker talked about her contributions to the community and how she touched lives. To accommodate the many family and friends, her funeral was moved from her church to the Liberty County High School gymnasium. In addition to the many family members and friends, ushers from across the First District of Georgia came to pay their respect to a fellow usher.
Joan Hollingsworth, Gaulden’s former principal, told of how Gaulden served as a positive example for students.
“She was always helping. I recalled the time I was ill and she came over and cooked dinner. She also bought the food to prepare the meal,” Hollingsworth said.
“I am a teacher today because of Ms. Gaulden,” former student Valerie Frasier said. “I visited her about three weeks ago. She instilled so much it me and encouraged me to be the best and how to carry myself as a young lady.”
Gaulden’s daughter, Crystal, said her mother taught her values and many valuable lessons. She challenged those attending the funeral to do volunteer work.
“Go and be a blessing to someone else,” she said.
The Rev. Hermon Scott, pastor of Baconton, said Deloris Pray Gaulden was a mother, co-laborer in the ministry and cook.
“She was very protective of me,” he said.
“Students will remember her for teaching social studies and (Vocational Opportunity Clubs of America). Co-workers will remember her as professional lady who did not mind telling you she was ‘right’
“The community will remember her as an advocate for those whose voice could not be heard. Not just children but adults also. Her very last conversation with me was about the Consolidated Planning Commission and the need for advocacy in that area,” the pastor said.
“She was also a co-laborer in ministry. On more then one occasion, she helped me do ministry. In most cases no one knew her involvement but me and the ones being helped. I have often seen her use her own money and influence to help some of our young members out of situations. She helped me do ministry.”
Scott further said Gaulden’s biological family will remember her strength.
“It seems she always knew how to fix it. And she was always right... For the unloving Tinman in the family, she was the heart that loved. For the fearful Lion in family, she was courage For the unwise Scarecrow in the family, she was the brain.”
“Baconton Church Family will remember her standing and saying ‘welcome to Baconton.’ She said it and meant it with all of her might. We remember her service on the usher board.  We remember her service as Church clerk. But she will be remembered the most for her current role as president of pastoral care ministry,” Scott said.
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