Diana Marie Biggs was born June 12, 1929 to Paul and Mildred Hoagland in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was the oldest of six children and the family later moved to Billings, Montana. She married Paul Sadler and to their union four children were born. She worked in the head-start program in the early 1960’s. She also worked to help start a women’s mission in Billings.
When she divorced Paul, she met a group of African American women whom she felt became her true sisters. It was then she became a Christian and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. While knowing these women she met Rev. Rufus Biggs Sr., a native of Arkansas. They married in January 1971 and to their union a daughter, Rebekah was born. In 1975, they moved to Arkadelphia, Arkansas and became members of Clayborn Chapel AME Church, his home church. Alternating Sunday’s she taught Sunday school at Richmond Hill AME. Rev. Biggs and Diana Biggs worked in numerous churches and looked after the elderly in the community; taking food and driving their elders places they needed to go.
They became friends and extended family of the House family of Smithton. Diana joined Roosevelt Houses choir, the Angelic’s in the 1970’s and sang proudly into the 1980’s. It was one of the proudest times of her life. She later moved and returned out west when Rev. Biggs health failed, but came home to Arkansas to be with her youngest daughter and grandson for the last twenty years. She passed peacefully after a long illness on September 10, 2020.
Her parents, and sister Marilyn Garcia, preceded her in death. She leaves to cherish her funny humor, jokes and memories five daughters, Ellen Siekawitch, Nora Wells, Connie Sadler, Maryann Godfrey, and Rebekah Biggs Allen. She also leaves her step children, Rosetta Williams, Ruth Curtis, Mary Biggs, and Floyd Biggs; sisters, Patricia Hughes, Katherine Ducett (David); a brother, David Hoagland (Susie); a large host of nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and her youngest grandchild, whom she helped raise, Johnathon Allen. She leaves more friends and family than anyone can count. We will miss her jokes and stories. She always had a joke and found humor in everything.
Submitted by the Family
Public visitation will be from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Williams Funeral Home. Home going services will be held on the campus of Eastern Star Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2020 with Rev. Rufus Hatley, eulogist. Interment will be at Springhill Cemetery-Clayborn Chapel in Arkadelphia.