First black woman elected to SC Statehouse to be laid to rest (Audio)

Funeral services will be held in Rock Hill today for Juanita Goggins, the first black woman elected to the South Carolina Legislature, in 1974.
The 75-year-old froze to death living alone in a rented house just a few miles from the Statehouse where she made history. Her body wasn’t found for a week after her death and authorities believe she had dementia.
Orangeburg Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter, former House Minority Leader and a leading voice in the House Black Caucus since she began serving in the House in 1992, says Goggins helped with essential legislation that boosted public education and kindergarten programs.  Cobb-Hunter says the challenges are great enough for herself, and the two other black women who currently serve in the Statehouse, but she says when Goggins arrived in the Statehouse in 1974, it was a very different time politically, and the racial understanding present today was not present. Cobb-Hunter says the state of South Carolina owes Goggins a debt for her sacrifice that began 36 years ago.
(Cobb-Hunter on Rep. Goggins  MP3  4:47)
Cobb-Hunter on Rep Coggins

Neighbors say after being mugged in recent years Goggins changed the locks on her door and stopped taking regular walks. The Coroner’s report says she died of hypothermia even though her heat was working at the time. Coroner Gary Watts said he found signs of dementia.
Goggins was the daughter of an Anderson County sharecropper and attended South Carolina State College. She was also the first black woman to represent South Carolina as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and was also appointed to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
President of the House Black Caucus David Weeks of Sumter County says Goggins was a dynamic person with community service on her mind.
Caucus President-elect Bill Clyburn of Aiken says House members had not heard from Goggins in recent years as they had before and were concerned about her.