In Memoriam: Fletcher led on behalf of community, children

Gloria Fletcher (JD 85) was renowned in the state of Florida thanks to her tireless efforts to assist children and her continued work with police officers. Fletcher passed away on Feb. 26. She was 65.

Photo of Gloria Fletcher

Fletcher

Hundreds in the community including police officers, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott paid their respects to Fletcher at her Gainesville funeral.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and raised in Gainesville, Fletcher began her working career at the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services in 1977 as a Mental Health Program Specialist. She was quickly promoted to Program Supervisor and developed a passion for children’s rights and advocacy.

In order to enact real, substantial change, Fletcher went back to school and attended UF Law. Upon graduation, she was appointed as an assistant state attorney by then State Attorney Gene Whitworth. She began by dealing with misdemeanor and traffic cases but rapidly worked her way to a felony caseload.

Fletcher left the State Attorney’s Office in 1990 and began working in private practice. She opened her own firm, Gloria W. Fletcher, P.A., in 2004. Her firm specialized in children’s rights, criminal defense and personal injury.

Photo of Rick Scott at Gloria Fletcher's funeral

Gov. Rick Scott speaks during the funeral of Gloria Fletcher in Gainesville. (Photo by The Gainesville Sun)

She served the Gainesville community and the state of Florida in numerous ways. Her most recent position saw her sit as vice-chair of Florida’s Children First, a statewide advocacy group focused on the welfare of disadvantaged youth. In 2014, she led the effort that resulted in the passage of legislation requiring the appointment of an attorney to represent children with special needs in court proceedings. She was an active member of the Florida and Alachua County Republican Parties, and in addition to her legal interests she participated in many community and statewide business ventures, including as a founding board member of the Alarion Bank and a board member of Citizens Insurance Florida.

In addition to her work with children, Fletcher was continually involved with the Police Benevolent Association. The organization represents police officers across Florida in wage, benefit and other employment negotiations.

Fletcher is survived by her husband of 37 years, George ‘Cotton’ Fletcher, her daughters Cheryl, Cindy, and Deborah, and her son, Blake.

For alumni deaths reported since Nov. 15, 2014, go to Web Extras.