Born Ruth Clarissa Ennis, on Saturday, January 28, 1928 to Arnestad Arnold “AMP” Ennis, her father and Nomia Take, her mother, better known as Naomi Tate “Fat Nanny” Cooper, in quaint Delaware City, DE. Having been born to a young mother, she was raised by her beloved grand parents, Clarence Harmon and Ida Harmon, whom she lovingly called Grand Mama.
At the young age of 16, Clarissa married John Holmes and together they moved to New York where he was stationed in the military. They had three children together, Marie, Ida and John Holmes. Following their divorce, she married Edward “Eddie” Griffith, they had two children together, Louisa and Edward Griffith. She enjoyed raising and loving her children and being a homemaker. After her husband Eddie passed away, Clarissa entered and made a career in the mental health field, where she made many life long friends. During this time, she met her third husband, Danny Wiggins.
An avid poker player, Clarissa enjoyed entertaining her friends with her favorite card game. Clarissa loved singing, dancing and being the life of the party, as many would call her. A remarkable event in her life was receiving a “call back” to sing in a Broadway Play. Her voice was remarkable! She was a true people person that would open her heart and home to others, in particular her foster daughter, Shanequa Polk, whom like all of her children, she was so proud of.
In addition to her parents, grand parents and husbands, Clarissa was preceded in death by her sons, Edward Griffith and John “Baba” Holmes, and brothers, Arthur “Doc” Miller and Asbury Miller. She is survived by her daughters, Naomi “Marie” Thomas, Ida Jackson and Denise “Louisa” Mayard; brothers, Albert A. “Butchie” Ennis and Alvin A. Ennis; sister, Nancy M. Ennis; grandchildren, Lance, LaHoma, Tameko, Natalie, Lisa, Jason, Brian, Frantz Marcel; great grandchildren, Desiree, Nile, Nia, Noelle, Sterling, Spencer, Sydney, Phoenix, Anaya, Zuri, Jason, Arielle, Monica and Naomi; two great great grandchildren, Malachi and Messiah and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 12 pm until 1 pm on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Mt. Salem UAME Church, 4 Bayard Street, Delaware City, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 1 pm. Interment will follow in Green Hill Cemetery, Madison Street, Delaware City, DE.