Merle Grace Corley

Published 9:54 am Thursday, September 8, 2022

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June 16, 1933 – Sept. 1, 2022

“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”

Psalm 73:24

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On Sept. 1, 2022, Merle Grace Corley of Natchez passed away at age 89. A celebration of life service was held for her on Sept. 2 at Laird Funeral Home in Natchez from 5 until 8 p.m.

Graveside services and burial followed on Sept. 3 at Pine Grove Cemetery in Magee at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Bo Swilley officiating.

Merle was born on June 16, 1933, in Simpson County, MS. The daughter of Lee Odis and Etoil Gibbons, she was a woman of incredible strength, easily loved and quick to return love, who placed value in her family and her faith in God. For many years, she oversaw the nursery at Calvary Baptist Church, and she joined American Greetings at a time when women were often still expected to remain homemakers. Though she suffered from dementia for nearly two decades, Merle never lost her smile and ability to find joy in small moments.

Merle was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Sam Corley, Sr.; her son, Benny Corley; her brother, James Gibbons, and her great-grandson, Henry Jack Daniel Floyd.

She is survived by two sons, Sammy Corley, Jr. and Terry Corley; two daughters, Delilah Longmire and husband, Kevin, and Romona Fenn and husband, Paul; eight grandchildren, Jamie Corley, Derek Corley and wife, Jazmine, Lee Corley and wife, Tiffany, Brandy Thompson and husband, Jason, Paula Fenn, Chance Fenn, Haley Gault and husband, Jason, and Corley Longmire; fourteen great-grandchildren, Jessica Salmon and husband, Tareq, Leeah Corley, Drake Corley, Jaxson Corley, Kaden Thompson, Karsen Thompson, Leeland Floyd, Taylor Grace Floyd, Baylee Floyd, Dallas Floyd, Benny Corley, Jimmy Corley, Abigail Gault, and expected baby Nora Gault; three great-great-grandchildren, Dillon Kelley, Tristan Kelley, and Adam Salmon; and a host of nieces, nephews, friends, and church members from Calvary Baptist Church.

Special appreciation to Cindy Corley Weaver and Deborah Green, who held a dear place in Merle’s heart; to Hilda Davis, for her kindness as Merle’s friend and roommate over the last three-and-a-half years; to Enhabit Hospice; and to the staff at Wilkinson County Senior Care and at Field Health System in Centreville, MS.

Pallbearers for the funeral were Lee Corley, Johnny Corley, Paul Fenn, Cory Gibbons, Marty Hardy, and Kevin Longmire.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you” 1 Peter 1:4

Online condolences may be sent to the family at