Rufus D. Gladney

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.


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36 Messages to “Rufus D. Gladney

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Donna Tabb
September 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

To Joshua

Our hearts are heavy knowing that you are going through this life process. Please know you are in our prayers, thoughts and minds. May God give you the strength to bear your pain. We love you!

The Tabb Family

Melissa Callison
September 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm

My heart goes out to your family – you will be missed. Prayers and best wishes to you all.

Jan Shepard
September 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Dear Evelyn and Family:
Just heard from Connie Gibson about Rufus and my heart is heavy…even though it had been a while since we spoke, I thought of him often. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Wish I could be there. Love, Jan

Karen Harrison and Mike Woizeschke
September 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Dear Evelyn and Family,

We are saddened and shocked to learn of Rufus’ death. We admired and respected him a great deal. Please know that he loved and was very proud of each of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Jean Yohe
September 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Dear family members,
Rufus was a highly respected colleague at Consumers Energy who touched many lives during his tenure. There was always a smile, a readiness to help and mentor, and a real love for the company and the employees. He will be missed.

Bassam Shamoon
September 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Dear Evelyn, Joshua, and Jamila:

Rufus was a mentor to me early in my career and I will miss him. Joshua, your dad used to tell me stories about how strong of a reader you were as a kid and how he rewarded you after reading all those books. May God bless your family and keep your father’s memories with you forever.

September 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Our hearts go out to the family. You will be missed.

We will keep you in our prayers,

Joe Eckert
September 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Dear Gladney Family,
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Rufus. I respected him very much and always admired the way he treated everyone around him. He will be missed. My prayers go out to your entire Family during this difficult time.

September 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

My Deepest Sympathy to the Gladney Family. May you find peace in knowing God is by your side. Consumers Energy Saginaw Credit Dept.

Randall Smoyer and Family
September 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Rufus was a great man. Our hearts are heavy at this time. Rufus was not only a supervisor but a dear friend. He was a great support for our family during many hard times, yet he shared happy times also. He will be missed greatly. May God bless you and guide you during this difficult time.

Laura Harvey-Bow
September 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Rufus had an infectious smile and warm spirit that will truly be missed at Consumers. My thoughts and prayer go out to the family. May your memories and GOD’s love bring you comfort during this difficult time.

judy and bill johnson
September 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Our community has lost a truly good man. Rufus was kind, funny,and the consummate gentleman. Our world is a richer place for having had him with us and for his quiet demand that we all strive to be better.

Fay Ingram
September 1, 2011 at 10:59 pm

My heart goes out to the Gladney family in the passing of a wonderful husband and father. Rufus will be missed by many, but we will treasure the memories that we have of him through out the years at CE.
Rufus always made you feel that you can always accomplish what you set out to do, know matter how challenging it was (nothing is impossible if you try, you can do it), with a smile of course. Rufus was an inspiration to many as a janitor to a Vice President he was very humble and kind. As I say my good-byes, I’m very proud of the accomplishments Rufus made here at Consumers Energy.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

Florence Washington
September 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Anyone that crossed Rufus Gladney’s path could only respect and admire him. Rufus had a mentoring spirit of leadership and compassion for people and our society. Rufus loved and spoke of his family often. As a DTE employee, I met Rufus through AABE. I have not seen Rufus in several years and am shocked at his passing. My Prayers go out to the Gladney Family. May God bless you and strengthen you.

Sherry Sinko
September 2, 2011 at 8:04 am

Dearest Evelyn, Jamila & Joshua – Rufus had a special place in my heart and as I struggle, as well as others with his death, please know that he was someone to be proud of. I cherished the feeling of family and friendship from our days at Consumers Energy. He was one of my past supervisors and made a significant impact on my life – there are many things I will miss about him. May God bless you all during your time of need.

Derrick Heard
September 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

My thoughts and prayers are with the Gladney family after hearing of the passing of one of the CE family members. My path crossed often with Rufus and I always thought of him as a very dedicated individual who carried himself with the utmost respect. He always had a kind word and smile that would put you at ease no matter what his position here at Consumers Energy. He will be truly missed. May God keep you all strong and give comfort at this very difficult time.

Dana Gomez
September 2, 2011 at 8:34 am

Gladney Family-
I met Rufus two years ago so did not know him as well as most. I do know that he embodied the mind-body-spirit philosophy and was a staunch supporter of the safety and injury prevention of the Consumers Energy employees. Although no words can really help to ease the loss you bear, just know that you are very close in my families thoughts and prayers. He was a great man.

Beth Fields
September 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

Rufus was a good boss who always had a kind word. He cared not only about his employees at work but also cared about their families. He is already missed. My prayers are with you.

Bruce Axon
September 2, 2011 at 9:09 am

Dear Gladney Family,
The Consumers Energy family is very saddened to learn of the passing of Rufus. We will miss his leadership, his laugh, his friendly smile. He had a special talent for remembering your name and making so many of us feel special and a part of the team.

Rufus was highly respected and a friend to so many. He will be sorely missed!

Praying for your family for God’s strength and comfort during this very difficult time. God Bless!

John Kolewski
September 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

Rufus was a good man, my hearfelt sympathy to all his family. You are in our prayers God bless.

Scott McPhail
September 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

Rufus is an inspiration to all. His work ethic and dedication should be emulated. I thank God for creating such a wonderful person and sharing him with us. My deepest sympathies go out to Rufus’s family.

Mrs. Joyce Evans & Elijah ,family
September 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

Our thoughts is with you ,prayers going out for you and the family I thank God for Rufus leadership and for the family sharing with him us here at c.e,yes he will be missed — may God keep you in his arms–Psalms 23 with love the Evans family

We Energies
September 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

We Energies Transportation and Equipment Services will miss the sharing of information as we each worked through the challenges of the work place. We valued you as a mentor, industry expert and friend. You will be missed tremendously.

Jeff Wells
September 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Rufus was an incredible person and leader and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to both work for and to know him. He has very supportive of me during my career at Consumers and I would not be where I am today without his support. Whenever our paths would cross, he would always greet me with a warm smile and enthusiastically ask, “How’s Smiley today.” He will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathies go out to Rufus’s family.

God bless Rufus Gladney.

Cecelia M Harris
September 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Dear Gladney Family,
You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time. Rufus was a man of integrity, he loved his family and his job. He was my first supervisor, he hired me in 1982 as a mail clerk. Rufus always had great words of wisdom and encouragement, like stated in a earlier post he made you feel like you could accomplish anything you put your mind to. He will be greatly missed….. May God continue to comfort you and give you the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Kip Sauer
September 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I consider it a privledge to have worked with Rufus at Consumers Energy for many years. He leaves behind a legacy of leadership and friendship. My deepest sympathies to his family.

Stevie & Melissa Halmon
September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Evelyn, and Gladney Family,

Melissa and I are shocked, and deeply saddened at the passing of Rufus. He became a friend, and so much more! His advice, and direction, were always clear and to the point. As a leader, he was also an enabler for so many to recognize their ability to excel, not only at Consumers Energy, but in life! We have much admiration for him, and will miss him dearly! As he would always say, “Say it ain’t so!” May God comfort you in your time of need!

September 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm


Shirley McGhee
September 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm

My sincere and deepest sympathy to the Gladney Family. Rufus will truly be missed by us at Consumer Energy as well as the Lansing community.

Alan Hawkins
September 3, 2011 at 5:01 am


I was a teammate of Rufus, you probably do not remember me. My sophomore year Rufus was a next door neighbor in the dorm. He was always a first class man. He was a leader even then. I was not surprised to read the obituary and see that his leadership skills were so manifest in his life. Gail and I were shocked to hear of his death.

It was without doubt hard to be among the first black students at Mississippi College. We were way behind in that way but Rufus and yourself were people who did that with such grace and character that it made the transition appear easy even if it were otherwise. I write simply to say that I admired Rufus and always thought highly of him. And I am so sorry for your loss.

We will be praying for you today as you face this. Time with our loved ones is so precious and now the memories will surely fill your heart. We hope you find comfort in this time of sorrow and loss in the grace of our Lord Jesus. God bless you and your family.

Alan & Gail Hawkins
September 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Rufus. Our college memories of you are fresh. May the grace of Christ strengthen you today and always.

Robert Hill
September 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm

My condolences to the Gladney family. I played football with Rufus at Miss. College. I know that Rufus is on the mountain top trying to figure out how to stop me (smile). I hope to give him that chance again. Rufus, keep on inspiring!!!!!!!

Mike Williams
September 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

My condolences to you Evelyn and the entire Gladney family. It was a privilege to work for Rufus, and with Rufus, for so many years of my career. He provided excellent counsel and truely cared about those that worked with him and for him. His memory and legacy are strong reminders to each of us that we can make a difference. May God bless your family as He has blessed Rufus upon his arrival in Heaven.

Willie (Floyd) George, Jr
September 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

To the Gladney Family
I am sorry for to hear about your loss
Rufus was a great man and will be sadly missed by all who knew him
I was heartbroken to hear the news, and I want you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you.
I remember the gentle spirit and helpful nature of Rufus, and will always remember him as an exceptionally special and giving person.
I remember his leadership skills on Kosciusko High School Football team and how Rufus encouraged us to not give up and always have hope.
May God bless and comfort you and your family,

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13

Bettye and Shyann Gilkey
September 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

My condolences to the Gladney family. Brotha Gladney’s death came as a complete shock. He was a great and sweet man. He was always kind to our family and we have known you all for many many years. He will always be remembered and in our hearts. Josh and Jamila keep your heads up and stay strong, you had a great father and he will continue to look over you just from a better place. If there is anything that we can do for your family please let us know. We are praying for you.

Booger Bayles
September 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I miss you Rufus but I will see you again


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