Mary Ida Vandross, the mother of late R&B legend Luther Vandross, died last week of natural causes. She was 82.
Mrs. Vandross outlived her husband, all four of her children, as well as her only grandson. All died as a result of stroke or diabetes.
Per a bio posted on the American Stroke Association website, Mary Ida Vandross was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, as the second child of three.
The bio goes on to say …
She attended high school in Cheraw but spent most of her young life in Marion, South Carolina. While in high school, she spent her summers in Brooklyn, New York with her aunt. She worked as a mother’s helper. She always liked nice clothes and shoes so she saved her money and bought her own school clothes.
At the age of 17, she married her best friend and childhood sweetheart, Luther Vandross. In 1946 Mary Ida and Luther moved to New York City. Two of their children were born in New York, one of whom was the famous singer Luther Ronzoni Vandross. The elder Vandross was also a singer and two of the other children were musically inclined.
Mrs. Vandross was always a woman who had great faith in God and did not hesitate to share her faith with others. She attended New York Theological Seminary and in 1986 became an Evangelist. She traveled to Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island sharing God’s Word.
She has traveled extensively overseas to Paris, London, South Africa, China, Mexico, Egypt and Israel. Two of the most significant experiences she likes to share are the fact that she was baptized in the Jordan River and she was able to visit the Upper Room where Jesus and the Disciples had the Last Supper.