Louise (Riley) McClairen’s Life Journey
Louise was born to William Alexander Riley and Lena Mae Stanley Riley, on March 9, 1931. She was the sixth child born of nine children to this union. She attended Telfair County Public Schools, and completed high school at Gillespie Boarding School in Cordele, Georgia. Early on, Louise joined the Harpers’ Chapel Baptist Church, which was the family church in Chauncey, Georgia. There she played the piano and sang with the choir. Her family traveled to various churches that her father had been asked to teach Sunday School. He was well known throughout Dodge, Telfair and Peach Counties for his fine teaching.
Later she met, dated and married the love of her life, Willie C. McClairen, Sr. on October 18, 1952. She furthered her education by attending Beauty Culture School in Dublin, Georgia before leaving in 1953. She and her husband migrated to Chester, Pennsylvania. Born to this union were Shiron, Bettie, Willie, and Randy. Upon their arrival to Chester, Pennsylvania, she searched for a church home and eventually joined Shiloh Baptist Church where she served as a member for more than fifty years. Louise was very active in many organizations. She took special pride in serving as a Deaconess, singing in the No. 2 Choir and later the Senior Choir. As a member of the Senior Choir, she was well known for her lead in “One Day at a Time.” The spirit would move throughout the entire church. Mom, also sang, “Reading God’s Letter,” during the devotions and at afternoon services. She also was a Sunday School member, served on the Kitchen Committee, making many delicious breakfasts, luncheons and dinner banquets that were held at the church. She was appointed by Pastor E. Ervin Millsaps to lead the Intercessory Prayer Ministry for the entire church body. Mrs. McClairen also attended and graduated from the First Pentecostal School of Ministry in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Louise, in recent years had attended the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church with her daughter, Bettie. It became her home away from home. In 2019, Louise joined Mount Pleasant where she continued to enjoy Sunday Morning Worship Service, Noon-day Bible Study, special concerts, prayer breakfasts and fellowshipping with the members. She had special relationships with many who affectionately called her “Mother.”
Louise loved to read her Bible, cook, crossword puzzles, and word searches, sew; gardening (both food and flowers), shop and she especially enjoyed spending time with her family. At the Stanley-Riley Family Reunions, Mom was always expected to sing, “One Day at a Time” and “Reading God’s Letter.” Being the loving person that she was, she would make time to spend with each of her four children, including taking time to travel to Des Moines, Iowa, to spend time with Willie and his family. She loved us unconditionally and we knew it, and loved her all the more.
Louise was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, William Alexander Riley Jr., Willie Mae Riley, Alonzo (Pete) Riley, Dr. Walter Riley and Frank Riley, and her sisters; Pearlina Harris and Lizzie Riley; also, her husband, Willie C. McClairen Sr. She leaves to cherish her memories; two daughters; Shiron B. Horsey, Bettie J. McClairen; and two sons Dr. Willie (Lubertha) McClairen, and Randy (Wanda) McClairen. Grandchildren: Michael, Michelle (Katie) Horsey, Jason, Jacqueline, Jameel, Kristie, Lauren, Ashton (Ben) Duea, Christian, CaRell, Randy Jr., thirteen great grandchildren, two great great grandchildren, one sister, Eva Riley (Council) Wilcox, two sister-in-laws, Carolyn Riley and Nancy (McClairen) Fowler and a host of nephews, nieces, friends. She will be lovingly remembered by all.
Grateful for the time we had,
Submitted by the Family
March 4, 2021
Harpers’ Chapel Baptist Church
Grave Side Service
Rock Hill CME Church Cemetery
March 4, 2021
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