She was my Grand Aunt, sister to my Grandmother, Juanita Eugenia Clanton. I received an email with a copy of Aunt Virginia's obit dated today. It was published about 9 hours ago in the paper:
Published in Long Beach Press-Telegram on November 21, 2009:
Virginia Clanton Boggs
Virginia Clanton Boggs Virginia, the beloved widow of R.D. Boggs, was born in Miami, FL, moved to California before WW II, and moved to Bellflower in the early 1950s. She sold classified ads for the Herald American in the early 1950s, and by 1951 she was making a good living but not as good as she needed to raise three children and to invest f or her future. In 1953, future California Real Estate Commissioner Burt Smith convinced Virginia that real estate was the future-her future. She never looked back. Virginia and R.D. fell in love and married in 1956. R.D. had begun his real estate career in Bellflower in 1936. R.D. and Virginia were a stunning team, working together to raise a family, to build their business, and to contribute to their community. By the time they married, R.D. had tired of the working life so R.D. urged Virginia to accept a series of leadership positions and to become the public face of the family and the business. Virginia was the third woman president of the Realty Board and chairman of the California Real Estate Association Women's Division; honorary chairman of the state chapter of the Women's Council of the National Association of Real Estate Boards; and director of the Bellflower District Board of Realtors. She was president of the Women's Republican Club Federated, president of the Business and Professional Women Foundation, member of Soroptimist Club, Residential chairman of the United Way Drive, sponsor of a Little League baseball team and Bobby Sox Softball team, member of the Bellflower Boulevard Association, and served two terms as chairwoman of the Bellflower Civic Improvement Committee. Virginia was a member of the Bellflower Chamber of Commerce. She had been a member of the Bellflower Women's Club, the Bellflower Coordinating Council, the Bellflower High School PTA, Rainbow Mother's Club of Bellflower, and Bellflower Presbyterian and Calvary Baptist Churches. Virginia Boggs was the first woman ever appointed to the Los Angeles County Tax Appeals Board. Virginia was a principal supporter of Bellflower's Little House, a rehabilitation center for abused women and women suffering from addiction. It was she who purchased the property on which Little House is located. Virginia's contributions to Little House continued long after her direct involvement, although some of her employees were former residents. When Virginia turned 60, she was dismayed with the lack of decent, affordable housing for senior citizens of modest means. She set out to right that problem. She purchased property on Bellflower's Ramona Street from Los Angeles County, then began meeting with the Bellflower planners to construct the first affordable senior apartment complex in Bellflower. Virginia did not want the government as a business partner, but she knew that to make housing affordable, she would need to work creatively with many different agencies. She secured federal loans to fund construction (later repaying them all on time). Then with her partners she committed to participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Department Section 8 Rental Housing program. Many landlords don't take Section 8 because of the HUD red tape, but even now over half the residents at the 250 senior units Virginia owned and managed rely on Section 8 to help pay their rent. For more than twenty years, Virginia led the way to provide attractive, affordable housing for lower-income seniors. But Virginia would have been the first to tell you she was a business woman not a social worker. She did well by doing good. Having continued R.D. Boggs' business, Virginia and her family, friends and associates celebrated the 70th anniversary of Boggs Realty Company three years ago in 2006. For all of her professional success and civic leadership, family came first for Virginia Boggs. Nearly her entire family work in real estate in the area. She remains close to Nina St rain, R.D.'s daughter by his first marriage. Grandchildren and great grandchildren were her favorites. They and her business remained the center of her life to the very end. Her surviving family includes her daughter Carol Wait; daughter Cheryl Harris; son George Atkinson and his wife Daye; daughter Ferne Avila and her husband Charlie; granddaughter Nicole Smith and her husband Larry; granddaughter Gwennie Alexandra Edwards; grandson Robert Harris and his wife Kimberley; granddaughter Melanie Negrete and her husband Antonio; grandson Chip Atkinson and his wife Melissa; granddaughter Crystal Cuellar and her husband Mario; granddaughter Kaylie Montgomery and her husband Jesse; grandson Robert Avila; and granddaughter Shaylen Avila; great-grandson Trey Smith; great-grandson Preston Harris; great-grandson Mario, Jr., great-granddaughters Ashley and Serena Cuellar; and great-granddaughter Samantha Atkinson. Grandma Boggs was the center of a loving family who miss her greatly, but cherish her reunion in heaven with R.D. The funeral will be private, but a memorial service will be held at noon on December 16, 2009 at Calvary Baptist Church, 14722 Clark Ave., Bellflower, CA 90706. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Celebrating Recovery care of Calvary Baptist Church or Little House at Little House, 9718 Harvard St., Bellflower, CA 90706, care of executive director Deborah Neese.