Mary Ida Shields Vandross

Cheraw, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, USA
Death 9 Apr 2008 (aged 84)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
Plot Block X, Lot 123, Section A, Grave 3.
Memorial ID 25925007 View Source

Evangelist. Mother of the late, great soul balladeer Luther Vandross. Founder, Interfaith Center. Born in Cheraw, South Carolina, she was raised in Marion, South Carolina. She married her childhood sweetheart, Luther Vandross Sr., at the age of 17, and moved to New York in 1946. She was 85 and the last surviving member of her immediate Vandross family when she died. Evangelist Vandross traveled all over the world sharing her message of faith, love and speaking out on the health dangers of diabetes and stroke. As a result of her health awareness campaigns, she was named the 2007 American Stroke Association Power Award National Honoree, and she was recognized by the New York Theological Seminary as one of their "urban angels". The Seminary honored her as a notable community leader who made a significant contribution to the world in her efforts to make others aware of the debilitating effects of diabetes and strokes, and the effect she made by sharing her faith with others. Mother Vandross, as she was affectionately known, had high blood pressure and received dialysis several times each week because of kidney failure. She had been hospitalized after suffering several seizures, and was placed in a medically-induced coma in an effort to stop the seizures. However, after being in a coma for seven weeks, Mother Vandross died as a result of complications from encephalitis.

Her famous Grammy-winning, singing-sensation son, Luther Vandross, died of complications from stroke on July 1, 2005 at the age of 54.

Heartfelt thanks to Alisohn - Highly Favored and Blessed for sponsoring Mother Vandross's memorial.


Beloved Wife And Mother
Gone But Never Forgotten

Family Members


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