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The Voice of the Black Community


Longtime educator Daisy Stroud dies
Teacher was active in social, history circles
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014 9:20 am
by Herbert L. White

Daisy Spears Stroud, a retired educator and social activist, died on Wednesday. She was 92.

The funeral is Aug. 1 at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, 1600 Norris Ave. Visitation is at 11 a.m.; the service is at 12:15 p.m.

Mrs. Stroud, a Charlotte native, was raised in a family of professionals during a time of rigid segregation in the South. Her mother, Daisy Ancrum Spears, was a nurse and graduate of Barber-Scotia College in Concord. Her father, Arthur Eugene Spears, was an insurance salesman.

Daisy Spears Stroud, a longtime Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher, philanthropist and historian, died Wednesday at age 92.

“I had a wonderful childhood,” Stroud told The Post in a 2011 interview. “Being raised by a black woman who graduated from Barber-Scotia College and was trained in nursing was a privilege.”

A graduate of Second Ward High School and Fayetteville State University, Mrs. Stroud taught at Billingsville and Oaklawn elementary schools and J.T. Williams Middle School. She retired after 25 years.

Mrs. Stroud and her husband Gerson, whom she married in 1942, were one of the best-known couples in Charlotte’s black community due to their ties to education, especially during the transition to school desegregation in the 1960s and ‘70s. Gerson Stroud, a Johnson C. Smith University graduate, was principal at York Road and West Charlotte high schools. The couple had three children. Gerson Stroud died in 2006.

In retirement, Mrs. Stroud remained active, working with her husband on history projects, donating their papers to the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte and establishing a scholarship foundation to provide scholarships for students at their college alma maters.

“When my husband got sick (with Alzheimer’s) that’s when I started this foundation,” she said. “We helped students graduate. We alternate between giving it to students at JCSU and Fayetteville State.”

Mrs. Stroud, who earned the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, in 1991, was also heavily involved in community activism as a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and an unofficial member of the Swank Social Club, a men’s social group co-founded in 1934 by seven Second Ward students that included her brother, John Merrick Spears. The club suspended operations at the start of World War II when most of its members joined the military, but resumed in 1946 and donates to organizations like the McCrorey YMCA, United Negro College Fund, Loaves and Fishes, Second Harvest and JCSU.

“It’s been an interesting life and I plan on continuing to live,” Mrs. Stroud said in 2011. “My sister died when she was 100 years old last year, so I can’t let her beat me.”


I must apologize to the Charlotte Observer. I had written here that I felt Ms. Daisy had been short changed and not given the proper laudatory comments upon her passing. But I since found out from an Observer employee that she had indeed been written up last week in the Charlotte Observer and also today in a long editorial by Fanny Fluno, and editor of the Observer. Thank you one and all for giving this outstanding woman her due. God bless her and bless all who loved and admired her.
Posted on August 1, 2014
I met Ms Daisy on a trip to South Africa. She was beautiful, lively, wise, funny and a total joy. She loved her husband and her family. I knew I had been in the presence of a rare person. I am blessed to have met her acquaintance.
Posted on August 1, 2014
Well thank God someone praised Ms. Daisy giving her the kind of sendoff she so well deserved. I was very disappointed to see such a skimpy obituary in the Observer. Ms. Daisy deserved a tribute from the entire Mecklenburg population for all she has contributed over her long life. God bless her family and the many strong mothers and fathers she helped mentor to greatness.
Posted on August 1, 2014
Soror Daisy Stroud represented strength, grace, poise, eloquence and genuine love for her all. A tree has fallen? yet our world is all the more better because [she] existed.
Posted on July 25, 2014
Miss Daisy was a jewel in Charlotte's Crown and will be deeply missed. But, her legacy will continue to live on.
Posted on July 24, 2014

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