Thelma Elois McClain Daniels Pirkle

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 18, 2017

March 6, 1920 – April 12, 2017

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
NATCHEZ — A graveside service for Thelma Elois McClain Daniels Pirkle, 97, who died Wednesday, April 12, 2017, will be 10 a.m. Thursday for family members, members of her church family and her caretakers.
Burial will follow under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.
Mrs. Pirkle was born March 6, 1920, in Tutwiler, the daughter of John McClain and Fannie LaPearl George McClain. Due to an administration error, for the first 80 years of her life, she celebrated her birthday on April 6.
One of eight children, she learned not only to love God, but the value of family, hard work and generosity. After graduating valedictorian of her high school class, she applied these values every day in her roles of mother, grandmother, wife, entrepreneur and community member.
As a resident of Natchez for 75 years, she answered to many names — Mrs. Pirkle, Miss Thelma, Thelma, Aunt Thelma, Momma and (perhaps best of all) Nana.
In faithful service to her community and God, she taught Sunday school in the pre-school department of First Baptist Church for more than 30 years. A countless number of children learned to sing “Yes! Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” under her watchful and caring eyes.
Dauntless and persistent, breaking through the barriers that confined many women of her generation, she lifted up all who crossed her path, inspiring friends, family and strangers to excel and to be the best they could be. Her generous and caring spirit infused her life, and she always tried to help the less fortunate.
Mrs. Pirkle was preceded in death by her husband, Lee Taylor Pirkle; one son, Orel Mason “Sonny” Daniels II; her parents; five siblings, JW, Fannie, Louise, Edith and Sarah; and a number of friends who have been patiently shining the pearly gates and preparing heaven for her arrival. They will certainly have a pound cake and fresh coffee waiting to welcome her as she welcomed all who entered her home, friends and strangers alike.
Survivors include one daughter, Patricia Daniels Wilson Wise; one son, Charles ”Chuck” Daniels and wife, Linda; one daughter-in-law, Glenda Daniels; seven grandchildren, Ashley Eghtedari and husband, Bijan, Mimi Glemot and husband, Pierre, Shannon Daniels and wife, Ashley, Kelly Garrett and husband, Randall, Jackie Huber, Helen Shapely and husband, Jake, and Orel “Sonny” Daniels III; 15 great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Mable Campbell; one brother, George McClain and wife, Nett; and her nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family would like to thank the staff and administration of Adams County Nursing Center and Hospice Compassus. A special thank you to the ladies of First Baptist Church, the Rev. Doug Broome and John Grady Burns.
To perpetuate Mrs. Pirkle’s spirit of generosity, donations may be made in lieu of flowers to The Stewpot, 69 E. Franklin St., Natchez, MS 39120.
Online condolences may be sent to

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