American Elegance Pageant
Ms. Elegance International 2022-2023
Della Rae Garris born and raised in the Southeast Missouri bootheel, along with her 3
brothers and 4 sisters. She married her high school sweetheart and love of her life in 1987. After graduating high school, she and her husband moved to California “thanks to the United States Navy”. This started her 22-year tenure as a proud Navy wife. She and her husband have two beautiful children, one son and one daughter.
In the mist of raising two children and having to move every 2 to 3 years because of the
Navy. She was able to obtain her certificate from Three Rivers College in Small Business
Marketing and Management; after finishing college she went to St. Louis School of Real Estate and became a Missouri Realtor. She sold real estate for a few years then got the calling to become a nurse. While stationed in Whidbey Island, Washington she started Skagit Valley College to work towards her nursing license, but the US Navy had different plans and relocated her family to Moore, Oklahoma. While stationed in Moore, OK she attended Demarge College and did receive her license to be a Licensed Practical Nurse. She worked as an LPN for 9 years then decided to pursue her dream of becoming a registered nurse. She attended Three Rivers College and received her associates degree in Nursing. She has worn many hats throughout her 20-year nursing career from being a Director of Nursing for many years to being a Corporate Quality Assurance Nurse. During the height of the pandemic, she studied to become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator. Then went on to obtain qualifications as a CNA/CMT and BLS
instructor. She has dedicated her life to helping others and to the elderly.
Her platform is Harvest for Hunger which she is deeply passionate about because she
believes no child should ever feel the pain of hunger. She and her husband build little pantries and place them in communities that need them. She organizes Can Food Drives several times a year as well as Back to School supply drives every year. She is a dedicated Steward in her church and is heavily involved with the ladies group. She is President of the Clarkton High School Alumni Committee. The Committee works to raise money in order to give out scholarships to graduating seniors at Clarkton High School.
Della enjoys event planning, going to car shows with her husband of 35 years. She is the
proud mom of Roger the Second who has served the past 14 years in the United States Airforce, and mother to Amber who graduated this year from SEMO with her bachelor’s degree in Biology and now works as a pharmacy tech. She has 4 fur babies, 1 dog Kimiko, and 3 cats: Kleopatra, Stormi, and Marcy.
Family, Faith, Football and Pageantry is her life.