Transcript of an interview with Gertrude Toston by Claytee D. White on July 21, 2006


Digital ID
Transcript of an interview with Gertrude Toston by Claytee D. White on July 21, 2006
Material Set
White, Claytee D.
Gertrude Toston moved to Las Vegas in 1960. She worked for Western Airlines for 27 years, then earned Masters in Education.
Gertrude Toston was born in Galveston, Texas, and grew up in Austin, Texas. Her parents moved to Seattle, Washington, to provide more opportunities for their children but ended up separating. Trudy's mother brought the children to Las Vegas in 1960 to have the support of her sister while she divorced. Her sister's husband, Reverend Coleman, was pastor of Second Baptist Church, and the family became very involved in church activities. The family settled in Highland Square near Owens and J Streets, and Gertrude's mother supported the family by working at A1 Phillips Cleaners, taking in foster children, and selling clothing lines from home. Many of Trudy's relatives had at least some college, and some were teachers or administrators. To Gertrude, it was a given that she would go on to higher education after graduation from Western High School. In 1964 Gertrude entered UNLV and began working at the Boulevard store and Head Start to support herself through school. She had several friends who also went to UNLV at that time, and she and Mosella Scott moved in together to share rent and develop their independence. Trudy was introduced to her future husband during this time. They married in 1973 and eventually had two children: a son, Roshawn, born in 1975, and a daughter, Kaneeka, in 1980. Around 1967, when Trudy was active in the Human Relations Committee, Dr. Barbara, a professor of zoology and advisor for the HRC, suggested that she apply at Western Airlines since they were hiring. She was hired and trained as a customer service agent, and she ended up working for the airlines for 27 years. When she retired from that job in 1994, she went right back to UNLV for her master's degree. Her mother also enrolled at UNLV and graduated some time after Gertrude. Back in school once again, but with a greater maturity and sense of purpose, Gertrude worked as a graduate assistant and student teacher advisor. She finished with a degree in special education and was hired at Brinley Jr. High, where she still works today. Mrs. Toston is convinced that UNLV will continue to grow toward bigger and better things, and she intends to continue her education throughout her life.
Identified Corporate Bodies
Identified Neighborhood
Highland Square
Neighborhood City / Town
LD 3745 T67 2007
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
Alternative Date
July 21, 2006
Subject (FAST)
DC Type
Genre (TGM)
Specific Genre (LCSH)
This material may be protected by copyright. Personal, including educational and academic, use of this material is without restriction but acknowledgement of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries is requested whether the use is oral, web or in print. Commercial use of any portion of this material requires permission from the University Libraries. For further information please contact Digital Collections:
Digital Publisher
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Digital Collection
Master Extent
2440 x 3302 pixels; 8.1 x 11 inches; 32,922,150 bytes; 32 images
Master File Format
Master File Quality
24 bit color; 300 ppi

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