Gladreca Marie (Mosley) Quarles-Adkins, affectionately known to many as “Reca” was born July 10, 1955 in Boston, MA, to the late Walter and Gladys Mosley; Gladys, from South Carolina, and Walter, known to many as “Mo,” from West Virginia. Though originally living on Tremont Street, the family eventually moved to the Orchard Park Housing Projects where they were the second black family to move in to the front of the housing development during the early integration period of the 1960s, when she was just six years old. She was a proud resident of Boston, particularly Roxbury and lived in different neighborhoods until her final stop in Roslindale. She was an official member of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury where she was christened, grew up, sang in the youth choir, and where the late Reverend Michael E. Haynes, married her and helped her bury both of her parents.
Gladreca attended the Ace of Grade School, Lewis Jr. High School, and Hamilton-Wenham High School as an inaugural student of what was then an early version of Massachusetts busing and integration called CONCERN (also known around that time as ABC—A Better Chance). Through this program Gladreca was part of an inaugural class of students who integrated the suburban high-school in Hamilton-Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts, and lived with local families during the week. She was privileged to have received two wonderful families with whom she stayed in touch with throughout the years: the Youngers and the Languedocs. Reca went on to make great strides including becoming the schools first Black majorette, co-founder of the African American Society, and later graduating with the honor of Who’s Who Among America’s High School Students. Reca went on to attend Boston State College where she pledged—alongside her mother, who was in school for social work at the time—and became a member of the Delta Omicron Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, and graduated with a degree in English. She married Gregory Quarles in 1975, and together they had her oldest daughter Janelle Marie.
Boston State became a significant part of Reca’s life: she began her career there as a work-study student, and eventually went on to retire from a 40 year administrative career of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s College of Advancement and Professional Studies, known at that time as Continuing Education (after the University’s merge with what was Boston State College). In her role, she was coordinator of the Alcohol and Addictions certificate program as well as a vital member of the CAPS marketing team; she adopted and trained a number of her work-study students as family, and developed life-long friendships with several colleagues, including Vivian Moss (deceased), Clarice Jones, and Sarah Cummings-Grant, who is the godmother to her oldest daughter Janelle.
In addition to working for the University throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, Reca continued to pursue her creative passion as a singer, and sang locally with several different bands. She even started a management company, ACA Management, with one of her best friends and business partner Avis Brooks. It was during this season in 1985 when she met her current husband, Adrian Adkins, where they were both members of an R&B band called Silver Streak. The two would go on to have a second child, Janine Maria, on Reca’s birthday, July 10, 1987; they became life partners for 35 years. Excitedly, she and Adrian were newly-wed November 16, 2019.
Toward the end of her career, Reca decided that she would invest her extra time and energy into building out what would be her legacy, Reca’s Supper Club. The goal of Reca’s supper club was to gather different people from the different paths and spaces in her life together once a month over a meal. As the daughter of a chef and an amazing southern-style cook, food was not only a joy but a passion, and a way that family always came together. She wanted to extend that experience to her friends and loved ones, as well as introduce people to various cuisine and restaurant choices in the city that she loved. She was able to do this for nearly two years, with nearly 20 members, visiting restaurants across New England, and was excited to make it her retirement plan.
Though born an only child, she was gifted “siblings” throughout her life; a very special one being her sister Patricia F. White, a first cousin who came to live with her family in Boston during her teenage years. Reca was very proud of the pact they made as children to always be sisters, and she honored that relationship until the end. She was also gifted siblings through the kinship of first cousins: The Floyds (of Boston): Joyce, Walter, William (Billy), and Aloah, Cheryl (Makeda) Baker (Chester, SC), Jones/Banks family (Baltimore, MD), the Smith and Stinson families; the Deloatch family; bandmates; and best friends (Avis, Sarah, Clarice, Steve, Vivian, Trenace).
During the early morning hours of August 26, 2020, after long and hard battle with breast cancer Reca transitioned on to her next journey, and joined her parents in heaven who she missed so much.
She leaves to cherish her memory her husband, Adrian Adkins, two daughters, Janelle Quarles (Boston, MA), Janine Quarles-Adkins (Washington, DC); a mother-in-law, Inez Adkins (Perth Amboy) NJ; one brother-in-law, Alex Adkins (Keisha, Perth Amboy, NJ); one sister-in law, Anita Adkins (Perth Amboy, NJ); and a host of nieces, nephews, adopted children, extended family, colleagues, students, friends, and loved ones.
She was the light of our world; the rock of our family. She will be deeply and sorely missed, yet celebrated for the brilliant legacy she left behind. Now we toast; to Reca! Thank you for an exemplary life. Until we see you again...
We love you.
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