Mrs. Gloria Huggin Darden, 94, passed away peacefully at her home in West Point on September 5, 2020.
Born on February 9, 1926, in Westminster, SC, Mrs. Darden spent the first twelve years of her life in Williamston, SC, where her father, Charles Bennett Huggin, was superintendent of Anderson County Schools, and her mother, Iona Johnson Huggin, taught 5th and 6th grade. After her father’s untimely death in 1938, Mrs. Darden, the eldest of five children, moved with her family to Hogansville, GA to live with her maternal grandparents.
After her graduation from Hogansville High School, Mrs. Darden attended the University of Alabama during World War II. She graduated in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. During her college years, she was a member of ZTA sorority. Her college years later served as history lessons for her children to understand the depth of patriotism that Mrs. Darden’s generation, the Greatest Generation, had for the United States. After graduation, Mrs. Darden moved to West Point where she taught 6th grade at West Point Elementary School. While boarding at Ruth Barrow’s home, she was introduced to the love of her life, Morris A. Darden, Jr. Their first date was to a Sunday School Social at West Point First United Methodist Church.
Mr. and Mrs. Darden were happily married for 57 years until Morris’s death in 2006. In the home they built in 1949, they raised three sons, Gus, Shep, Tom, and one daughter, Margie. Being a loving wife and devoted mother was the greatest calling of Mrs. Darden’s life. She was always there for her husband, children, and grandchildren. Perhaps, the most special memories of her family were those memories of long summer days spent at their camp at the Backwater which Morris and Gloria built in the early 60’s. There they taught their children to swim, ski, fish, and enjoy boating. Mrs. Darden loved swimming and helping her husband pull her children and their friends on skis. Her grandchildren, Skip, Hayley, Frazer, Jack and Caroline, remember playing fun card games of Go Fish and Kings in the Corner with their Granny on the screen porch, and eating barbecue and Brunswick stew from their favorite local barbecue restaurants. The greatest legacy Morris and Gloria left to their children was their love for one another and their love for their children and grandchildren. She was a member of various garden clubs, bridge clubs, and the United Methodist Women. She had a talent for arranging flowers and enjoyed helping with the UMC Altar Guild. She was also very active in the UMC Circle groups.
Mrs. Darden was preceded in death by her son, Charles Shepherd Darden, her grandson, Alex Darden, and her husband, Morris A. Darden, Jr. She was also preceded in death by her siblings, Charles Bennett Huggin, James Huggin, Jane Huggin Kennedy, and John Huggin. She is survived by her children: Gus (Jane) Darden of Lanett, Al; Tom (Terri) Darden of West Point, GA; Margie(John) Ritchie of Duluth, GA; her grandchildren, Skip Darden, Hayley and Frazer Darden, Jack and Caroline Ritchie, many special nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A graveside service will be held on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM in the Marseilles Cemetery in West Point, Georgia. Social distancing will be in place and masks are required by the City of West Point Ordinance.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: First United Methodist Church, 306 E 7th Street, West Point, Georgia 31833; Chattahoochee Hospice, 6 Medical Park North, Valley, Al 36854; or Allen Lee Cemetery Fund, c/o Nancy Gray, 6885 Forest Road, Grantville, Georgia 30220.
Bluffton Funeral Services of Lanett, AL is entrusted with the arrangements.