Gloria Maude Garner, age 82, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. She was born March 17, 1937 in Bean Station, Tennessee to Steve and Maude Burton Brown.
Gloria began her career at the Knoxville Area Urban League in February 1969 as a Community Organizer. Her responsibilities were organizing community groups to address social problems and issues in targeted areas and to provide case management to families. In 1971, she assumed the position of Community Service Director where she supervised all phases of community organizations and activities.
In 1976, Gloria became a Housing and Employment Counselor. She investigated housing and employment complaints and often acted as a mediator in finding a resolution or “happy medium.” In this position, she also worked very closely with realtors and business owners to provide a healthy and safe living environment and desirable employment opportunities for KAUL clients.
In 1978, she was promoted to Employment Director where she worked alongside the President/CEO. Years later, Gloria would accept the position Employment and Business Development Manager and shortly thereafter another promotion of Vice President of Internal/External Affairs would be hers. With all her zeal and quest for community servitude, Gloria served as Interim Director of KAUL on three separate occasions.
Gloria had a gentle yet passionate heart for community involvement which reflected in her life’s journey. Her activism was on full display with the Lonsdale Community Development Board of Directors, Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Commission, NAACP, Private Industry Council, Senior Employment Task Force and the United Negro College Fund to name a few.
Preceded in death by her husband, James Edward Garner Sr.; daughter, Nekita “Skeeter” Wells; grandchildren, Don “DJ” Bowman & Misty Garner; parents; siblings, twin brother, Sam (Helen) Brown, Mary (Hugh) Thompson, Ruby (Joe) Treece, June (Evelyn) Brown, Gene Brown, Claude Brown and Melvin Brown.
Gloria is survived by her children, James (Geraldine) Garner Jr., Aletha (Michael) Debrell, Alan Garner and Alisha G. (Steve) Williams; son-in-law, Eddie Wells; grandchildren, India (Edward) McDowell, Candice Garner, and James Garner III; great grandchildren, KoJak Wells, Jamon Wells, C’Tarria McDowell and Chase Wells, Elijah Garner; great great grandchildren, Kai Wells, Angelina Wells, Arria Wells, Alonni Wells and Koi Wells; siblings, Johnny (Marva) Brown, Steve Brown and Charles (Willie Mae) Brown; a host of other family to include devoted nieces, Katie Gray and JoAnn (John) Taylor and the Knox County community.
Saturday, December 21, 2019, the family will receive friends 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with a Celebration of Life and Legacy to follow at Overcoming Believers Church, 211 Harriet Tubman Street, Knoxville, TN. Reverend Daryl W. Arnold, Pastor and Reverend Dr. Benjamin E. Lewis, Jr. is the Eulogist. Interment will immediately follow at New Gray Cemetery where a white dove release will conclude the service. Flowers may be delivered to the church the morning of the celebration. Professional arrangements entrusted to Patton Funeral Home, Brian L. Buckmon, LFD 1-800-824-8283 or www.pattonfuneralhome1962.com
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