Lilla McCarley

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Lilla Knight McCarley


Lilla Knight McCarley, precious loving mother and grandmother, passed on to her heavenly home and to an eternity with her Lord and Savior, on December 21, 2013. Formerly having lived in Lee, Itawamba, Monroe, Harrison counties she had presently resided with her daughter, Opal Parham in Brandon, Ms. She recently had a huge birthday celebration of 98 years on Thanksgiving. Ms. McCarley was born in Itawamba County on November 28, 1915, to Lincoln Knight and Effie Green Knight, both deceased. She attended Tremont High School and played varsity basketball, track team, high jump, and relay team. In 1937, she married Obie McCarley and had four children, two daughters and two sons, raising her children as a single mom. She worked hard all her life various jobs, from a welder at the shipyard in Mobile, Al. during World War II, as a manufacturing worker at Blue Bell in Tupelo, Ms. for 10 years, Itawamba Mfg. in Fulton, Ms. for 26 years, Western Store in Columbus, Ms., the Cajun Restaurant at Tremont, Ms., a Mary Kay consultant, before retiring.

She believed in hard work and living her life for Christ, and was very active in church her entire life, and dearly loved Meadowood Church, the members, and especially her Sunday School Class. She took trips all over with her Senior Citizen's church groups and enjoyed an active life. She enjoyed the time she spent at the Health Club, faithful for a workout five days a week, and the social time with everyone was the highlight of the day. She had many friends all over the state and beyond, which she cherished dearly. Besides traveling, she enjoyed playing dominoes, attending family reunions, exercising, sports, cooking, flowers, gospel music and quartets. She learned to love gospel music as a child when her dad would take her to gospel singings and concerts. She believed in helping others, always putting them before herself. For years she visited patients in the nursing homes, who maybe did not have many visitors, to take them gifts, such as Marti Gras beads, makeup, food, etc. to bring smiles to their faces and show them they were not forgotten. A cup of coffee shared, to listen to them, meant the world to her and them. She volunteered to help serve Meals on Wheels to the disabled. She loved unconditionally, and was a true Christian example of her faith, serving her Lord faithfully, even in the wake of adversary. She walked each day with her Lord, knowing that it all would be a better place when God called her home to be with him in heaven. Promises of eternal life: John 3:16, 26; Titus 1:2; 1 John 2:25, 5:11.

Ms. McCarley is survived by two children, her daughter and caregiver, Opal Parham, Brandon, Ms., and Jeannie Hood Miles [Clay] of Gulfport, Ms., deceased son in laws, James Hood and Phillip David Parham, two sons deceased J.L. McCarley, and John David McCarley, both served in the military. She leaves grandchildren, Tammy Parham, Jeffrey Hood, Bradley Hood, April Parsons, Nathan McCarley, Michael McCarley, and great grandchildren, Dakota Medina, Nolan & Carla Hood, Jake & Shelby Hood, and Summer & Maverick Parsons. She had seven brothers & sisters, Audra Johnson [deceased], James Knight [deceased], Leola Cowart, Meridian, Ms., Bernice Nail, Oklahoma City, Ok., Alvin Knight [deceased], Lee Arthur Knight [Velma] Fulton, Ms., Betty Hale [Gene] Golden, Ms., and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of dear friends. Ms. McCarley's unselfish wish for anatomical donation, "so others may learn or be helped in some way", was the greatest gift of all, has been fulfilled by the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Ms.

The family's request to honor her, ask donations be made to "St. Jude Cancer Kids". She kept on giving even after death, just as she had lived her life, "always giving to others". She will be so missed in this life for years to come.

Published in Clarion Ledger on Dec. 25, 2013
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