On Thursday, March 25 2021 at Mt. Sinai St. Luke's Morningside Hospital at 4:15am, Virginia "GiGi" Maddox Griffith was called home.
GiGi was born on July 18,1950 in the Bronx, New York to the late proud parents, Melanie Willis-Maddox and Clarence Maddox. She was one of six children. Two preceded her in death, Rebecca "Becky" and Clarence Jr. GiGi attended NYC public school and while at Walton HS she was the Baton twirl division winner and instrumental in having the Walton HS Color Guard march in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. GiGi graduated from Walton high school in 1968. GiGi was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist later joining the Garden of Gethsemane Ministries. Inc. Harlem. GiGi married Arnold Paul Griffith in 1968 to that union, two children were born, Pharein and Arnold Paul Griffith Jr.
GiGi was employed at Bell Telephone for two years. GiGi was a contestant in the Miss Black America Pageant in 1969. This caused controversy because the audience felt she wasn't "black enough" to represent. However, the judges found GiGi to be articulate and graceful. In 1971, GiGi was a runway model for Ebony Fashion Fair and won 1st place trophy for best model. GiGi hosted many fashion events at the world-famous Studio 54 nightclub. GiGi and Arnold decided to separate, and subsequently divorced.
GiGi became a human rights advocate, with a focus on women's rights particularly. GiGi marched and distributed fliers to get women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community elected and appointed to NYC public office. GiGi taught yoga at Elaine Powers Figure salon, the 1st exercise gym exclusively for women. GiGi's love of fashion led her to work at the exclusive Wallachs' high end retail store for many years.
In 1979, GiGi birthed her 3rd child, Felicia, moved to New Jersey and went back to school to study data processing. GiGi's quest for human rights and equality led her to focus on positions at predominantly black owned businesses. Her reputation and perseverance paved the way for her younger sisters who followed in her footsteps.
GiGi's career took a different path, she became a title researcher at First American Title Insurance company. She received accolades and bonuses. GiGi went on to get her real estate license and sold her 1st home within six months. In her later years, GiGi worked at New York University and Chase Bank as a project manager. Once GiGi retired, she focused solely on her two grandsons, Tony and Aaron.
GiGi is survived by her loving and devoted children, Pharein, Arnold Jr. and Felicia. Her grandsons, Antonio "Tony" and Aaron. Daughter in law, Eloise and a bonus granddaughter, Daphne and husband, great-grandchildren, Laneisha & Davion, three sisters, Sylvia, Pamela and Viola "Muffie" and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins & friends.
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