Gloria Jean (McGee Holmes,) Riggs was born on May 18, 1955, to the late Berdie Austin and the late Eddis McGee. Her siblings Eddis McGee Jr., Victor McGee, Alecia McGee, Angela McGee,
Lester Holmes, and Mary Holmes Johnson preceded her in death. William Holmes (Dad) who raised her also preceded her in death.
Her love of learning and traveling developed at an early age. She traveled to Washington DC with the 4-H Club, while attending Lonoke High School graduating in 1973. She studied Journalism at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock earning a degree in English. During her career, she worked for Veterans Administration Hospital, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, and later retired with the Little Rock School District teaching English. She was a trailblazer serving the community as member of the NAACP, Martin Luther King Commission, State Representative for the Jessie Jackson campaign and other community service works. She was extremely intelligent securing a grant for a non-profit organization she was highly involved in.
Her passion for ancestry resulted in her locating her brother Eddis McGee Jr. (known as Eddie) from Bakersfield, CA. Bringing Eddie home to meet her children exemplified her love of family. She located more McGee relatives in California and Mitchell relatives in New York. Holding a special place in her heart, she adopted friends Caleb and Shanna Beyah of Palmdale, CA. Traveling was her passion, vacationing in more than fifteen states from the east coast to the west coast including Hawaii. Later she became an International Traveler exploring-Paris, Italy, Germany, Bahamas, Jamaica and many more.
Gloria accepted Christ at an early age as her personal Lord and Savior attending Zion Chapel Baptist Church and St. Matthew Baptist Church in Scott, AR. In 1978, she joined Metropolitan Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Earnest L. Norman, Sr. Several months later, she returned to St. Matthew Baptist Church led by Rev. George White. There she served as Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible Study Teacher, Choir Director, and several committees to help her church grow. In 1990, she became an active member of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. She was a 2001 Graduate of the Agape School of World Evangelism for Laymen Mission in Little Rock and later relocated to Memphis, TN in pursuit of her master's degree from the Memphis Theological Seminary School. After attending First Assembly in North Little Rock, AR for several months, she became a member in 2019.
In 1972, she entered into Holy Matrimony with her High School Sweetheart, Charles Albert Riggs who proceeded her in death. To this union, three beautiful daughters were born. Her love of family was ever-present by allowing her to help raise her niece like a daughter. The family continued to prosper with the help of the Lord while enjoying many years of love, peace and happiness. Gloria's Christian life and family life provided the motivation, strength and encouragement to all who knew her.
Gloria Riggs left her temporary home on earth and departed this world on March 2, 2023, and leaves to mourn her passing: her daughters Katina (Reginald) DeGraftenreed of North Little Rock, AR; Lt. Colonel Vernita (Dewayne) Corbett of Fayetteville, NC; Charlene (Bobby) Rogers of Little Rock, AR; Pamela (James) Lewis of Little Rock. Seven grandchildren; Terrence, Reginald Jr., Jaymez, Lana, Dewayne Jr. David, and Denita; her sisters Linda (Arthur) Scarborough, Carolyn (Michael) Laster, Dorothy (Bornes) Nelson, and bonus sisters (Cousins) Anita Davidson and Stella Austin; brothers Anthony (Carlene) Holmes, Rev. Joseph Holmes, Rev. Herles Holmes of Los Angeles, CA and a host of family and friends who love and will miss her.
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