Vera Carolyn Riley Snell, 81, of Clinton, MS, formerly of Hattiesburg, MS, died peacefully at home on August 11, 2013.
She was the daughter of the late Edward Monroe Riley, Sr. and Vera Burkett Riley, born on September 10, 1931 in Hattiesburg, MS, at the old Methodist Hospital.
Carolyn graduated from New Hebron High School in 1949 and received a B. S. from The University of Southern Mississippi in 1953.
Her first teaching job was at Culkin Academy in Vicksburg, MS. She moved to Mount Olive where she taught home economics and adult education classes in the community. It was there that she met the late Reese Snell and they married on July 1, 1954. They moved to Denham Springs, LA, where she worked as a substitute teacher and created the cafeteria menu for the high school. Reese was the football coach there and Carolyn served as the unofficial laundress for the team.
They moved to Hattiesburg in 1955 and started their family. Carolyn stayed at home with her children when they were young, returning to teaching in 1965. She taught at Hawkins Junior High School, Thames Junior High School, and Rowan Junior High School. In 1990 she retired after 25 years of teaching. Carolyn loved teaching and was a life-long learner. She was particularly passionate about American history, and during her retirement she served as a guide for The Roberts One Room School House on the USM campus.
Carolyn was a Girl Scout Leader, swimming teacher (Snell Swim School), concessionaire/entrepreneur, and an extraordinary caregiver to her husband and family. Her Christian faith was a source of guidance and comfort. She loved sewing, cooking, beachcombing, volunteering, gardening, button-collecting and being with friends. Most of all, she loved her family. Her eight grandchildren gave her much joy and she was extremely proud of them.
Carolyn was a member of University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, The Eastern Star, Alpha Delta Kappa, the Hattiesburg Historical Society, the New Hebron Historical Society, and a Daughter of the American Revolution.
Carolyn is survived by her daughter, Sandra Snell Booth (Lawrenceville, GA), daughter, Linda Snell McComb and her husband, Mark McComb (Clinton, MS), and her son, Bob Jackson Snell II and his wife, Edith Snell (Jonesboro, AR). She is also survived by her grandchildren: Haley Alexandra Booth, Abigail Robin Booth, Meredith Carolyn Thomason, Morgan Leigh McComb, Riley Emmons Snell, Reese Harris Snell II, Raegan Buckley Snell, and Ryder Jackson Snell.
Carolyn is preceded in death by three sisters, Lora Della Riley Thompson, Betty Ruth Riley Weathersby, and Margaret Jean Riley Simonette. She is survived by two brothers, Edward Monroe "Ned" Riley, Jr. (Orange, TX) and Benjamin Burkett Riley (Union City, TN) and a host of nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00am on August 31st with a visitation preceding the memorial from 10:00am until 11:00am at University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Memorials can be made to: The Mind Center, 2500 N. State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, or to a
On line guest book available at www.chancellorfuneralhome.com.
Published in the Hattiesburg American on Aug. 16, 2013