On Wednesday, August 31, 2011 the Lord called Rufus D. Gladney to his Heavenly Home. Rufus was born to the late George Edward and Annie Bell Gladney on December 12, 1955 in Kosciusko, MS.
Rufus was the Vice President of Energy Operations for Consumers Energy, named to the position in May 2010. He held overall responsibility for the construction, operation and maintenance of the company’s electric and gas distribution systems, network services, gas transmission and storage, meeting operations and the Appliance Service Plan.
Previously, Rufus was executive manager of Energy Services-West and oversaw the construction, operation and maintenance of the region’s electric and gas distribution systems. From 2003-2006, he served as Executive Manager of Electric Services and was responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the electric distribution system.
Before 2003, Rufus was the Executive Manager of Business Services and led the corporate facilities, fleet, and real estate services areas. He also held increasing responsible management positions in meter technology services, electric operations, materials distribution, facilities and mail services. Rufus joined Consumers Energy in 1978 as a janitor.
Rufus served two terms as the chairman of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) National Board of Directors. He served as AABE’s Assistant Treasurer and chaired the Nominations Committee. He also served on the North American Energy Standard Board Executive Committee for the wholesale electric quadrant. Rufus served on the National Petroleum Council after being appointed by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham.
Rufus was very active in the community having served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Uplift Our Youth Foundation. He has been a member of Friendship Baptist Church for 24 years and has served three terms as Chairman of the Deacon Board. He was an active member of Sunday School and coached youth church sports and Lansing Area community sports for several years.
Rufus met his wife Evelyn at Mississippi College in 1973. They were among the first group of 40 African Americans to integrate this private, southern Baptist college. Even then, Rufus’ leadership and forward thinking abilities helped to establish an official charter for the Black Students Association of Mississippi College; an organization which still exists today.
Married June 2, 1979, Rufus and Evelyn celebrated 32 years in union and have two children, Joshua and Jamila.
Rufus is survived by his wife, Dr. Evelyn Gladney; his children, Joshua and Jamila; his siblings, Donnie Gladney (Kosciusko, MS), Barbara Copeland (Sierra Vista, AZ); and a host of relatives and friends.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 3, 2011, at Friendship Baptist Church , 2912 Pleasant Grove, Lansing, MI, with the Rev. Dr. Clyde D. Carnegie officiating. The family will receive visitors from 10:30-11:00 a.m. on Saturday at the church. Mr. Gladney will also lie in state from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Friday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Burial will take place in Mississippi at a later time.