of Little Rock, AR
May 8, 2022
Gloria Laverne Cates Redman of Little Rock passed away peacefully on May 8, 2022 following a valiant battle with cancer. She died as she lived, a true Southern lady surrounded by family and friends, her faith never wavering. Born in Kaufman, Texas to cotton farmer H.R. and Floreine Livengood Cates, Gloria had an idyllic childhood with her parents and two sisters. She was Homecoming Queen of her high school and pledged Chi Omega at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, graduating with a degree in home economics. After college, she moved to Arkansas for a job, got married and made her home in Little Rock, where she raised her two children and greatest joys: Rachel and Jake.Gloria had an uncanny ability to successfully re-invent herself and master new skills throughout her careers in sales, marketing, fundraising and public relations. She started a TV cooking show while with the Arkansas Poultry Federation. She served as Sales and Advertising Director for Home Entertainment Publishing Group, selling ads for Take One video magazine to movie studios in New York and Los Angeles. She became Executive Director of the Arkansas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was named the Nonprofit Executive of the Year in 2001 at the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards. She was also the Director of Community Affairs at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). As if raising a family and working full-time were not enough, Gloria always made time to give back to her community. This tiny woman had an incredibly big heart! A true servant leader and philanthropist, she served on countless boards of directors and committees over the years to support causes in which she believed. Most recently, she got involved in AR Kids Read and personally tutored 2nd and 3rd grade students so she would better understand the mission of the organization as a front line worker. AR Kids Read honored Gloria in April 2022 with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Other clubs, events and organizations that benefitted from her generosity include: Women and Children First, Fine Arts Club, Cancer Institute Cook's Tour, CARTI, Ronald McDonald House, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Woman of Inspiration, Little Rock Aesthetic Club and Little Rock Chi Omega Alums. In addition, two Arkansas Governors-Mike Beebe and Asa Hutchinson-appointed Gloria to the Governor's Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Often mistaken for her beautiful celebrity look-alike Dixie Carter, Gloria shared more than just a physical resemblance to the strong Southern character of Julia Sugarbaker. She was equal parts "Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Steel Magnolia"- and perhaps this was never more evident than during her three-year illness. Gloria never lost hope or complained. Instead, she tackled cancer with her signature grace and fierce determination. And she continued to count her blessings, invest time in family and friends, trust in God and serve others. She loved and lived life to the fullest.Gloria had such a profound impact on so many people. She was an extraordinary mother and grandmother, thoughtful and caring friend, tireless volunteer, accomplished professional, fabulous cook, gracious hostess and resilient woman of faith. She was so much fun, too-whether she was lunching at Trio's, calling the Hogs in Razorback Stadium or working on the next charitable event. Preceded in death by her parents and brother-in-law George Cooper, Gloria is survived by her loving children; Rachel Redman Brittain (Justin) of Scottsdale, Arizona and Jake Redman of Little Rock. Known as Gigi to her four grandchildren, Gloria was immensely proud of Lillian Cates Brittain, Jonathan Riley Brittain, Jackson Fletcher Redman and Sophia Grace Redman. Other survivors include; siblings, Peggy Cates Cooper of Frisco, Texas and Norma Cates and Dr. William Fortner of Kaufman; several nieces and nephews and a host of friends in Arkansas, Texas and beyond. Gloria's friends and family are heartbroken and yet do not grieve as others do who have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). The family would like to thank Dr. Bill Tranum, Dr. Jamie Burton, Elder Independence Home Care (particularly Belva and Jackie) and the many friends-especially Diana Smithson-who helped care for Gloria during her illness. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. in the chapel of Fellowship Bible Church, 1401 Kirk Road, Little Rock with a celebration of life immediately following the service. Gloria will be laid to rest in Kaufman, Texas next to her beloved parents. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to one of the many organizations Gloria so passionately supported.
So sorry for your loss . Thank you for sharing your Mom with a community she was dedicated to.
Gloria was the most beautiful, kindest, gracious woman I have ever met. I did a closing for her at American Abstract and we ran into each other at different events. She always remembered me and spoke such kind words about how comfortable I made her feel at closing. A true Southern Lady that touched the hearts of so many. Peace and prayers for her amazing family. No doubt she will be missed fiercely 🙏🙏🙏
You were my best friend and became my kids closest friend. We will all miss you dearly. Our weekly lunches to all the galas and long talks and laughs. You taught me a lot of life lessons that I will cherish forever. Definitely going to be hard not taking to you every other day. I know you are the social butterfly in heaven. Go shine and brighten others lives. We love you and miss you already. Your friends, The Richardson Family. Mike, Sherry, Taylor, Dane, & Brittney
I was lucky enough to get to meet Gloria while I was working at the Peabody Hotel and volunteering for a few organizations that Gloria was involved with. She took me under her wing and was always so loving, warm and encouraging. I always aspire to be more like her. What a beautiful, brave and accomplished woman that I’m lucky to have called a friend. She will be greatly missed, never forgotten and always admired.
I had the distinct honor of meeting Gloria in 1982. I was a Dietitian with the Kentucky Egg Council in Lexington. We worked on several projects and attended many meetings. Grace and faith was her base to her core. RIP my dear friend🌹
My family has lost a dear friend, but we share in the great hope that she had in Jesus Christ to carry her to eternity in heaven! We will see you again GIgi and we thank you for the wonderful memories that you gave us over the past 35 years...laughter, love, tears and friendship at it’s very best here❤️ I know you are smiling right now. We love you always🥰Miriam, Randy, Luke & Isaac
Rachel & Justin,Your mom did leave a legacy!What an amazing woman.My prayers are with your family.
We will miss you and we love you.
A beautiful soul I met and highly respect.To family and friends; please accept my sincere heartfelt respects and condolences.A true warrior in heaven - rest well, rest in eternal peace dear Gloria - you have done your best.Maha Hafez Witherington
Jake and Family,I am deeply sorry for your loss and may you find comfort during this difficult time. Gloria was an amazing person whom I got to know in the Philanthropy circle and the many events we attended. Little Rock community benefited so much from her volunteering and charitable work. May she Rest In Peace.Hatim
One of the bravest women I know. You fight your battle with diginity and faith You never wavered from your beliefs. I know you are walking with Jesus now. You will always be remembered for your kind spirit and your smile. Fly high friend, Fly high
Gloria was a fine southern lady and a good mother to her kids. We shall miss her. David C. Jacks, MD
Gloria my darling. I knew you for 20 yrs being the head server and manager at the Peabody of Little Fock and Marriott Hotel. I don’t know how we first met but I’ll never forget your presence each and every time you walked through the front of the hotel. I believe Kathy Brown introduced us to be in fact. You and I fell in love like nobody I have ever known. Your southern charm was such a delight. I always took exceptional care of you and your friends throughout the years at the hotel. Shared so much in common with our faith in Christ, food, politics, social events, U of A, TCU, family, friends, fundraisers, and everyday life. You spoke in to my life. You believed in me. You loved me. Always concerned about how I was doing when I was the one to always stop you and ask how you were doing. Always thinking of others Gloria and giving your love to anyone that needed it. You will forever be one of my true best friends that I’ve ever known. I’m sorry I had to move away but always kept in touch with you. Gloria you are a true southern bell. You are my inspiration. You are my dearest friend. And you are a child of God. I know I will see you again. May your family find peace knowing where you are and may God bless your walk inside those golden gates. I love you. I will always love you. And I mean it.
Sending all our love from family in Australia
I will never forget the first lunch I ever had with Gloria 7 years ago at the Capitol Hotel and it became quite clear to me that I was in the presence of a true and wonderful southern lady.