TUPELO - Laudis Lorene Long McAlilly passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 13, 2020 at home in the Griffis Green House at Traceway Retirement Community in Tupelo, MS. She rejoined her late husband Rev. Dr. Roy D. McAlilly.
Lorene lived a joyous 90 years. Born June 6th, 1929, in Pontotoc County, MS, she was the last of five children born to Claude Lee Long and Esther Herndon Long. She grew up in the Etta, MS area of Union County. Tall and slender, Lorene and her best friend Frances Busby Stroud anchored the Macedonia girls’ basketball team in the mid-1940s. "Rapid Reenie", as her teammates called her, went on to play basketball at Holmes Junior College.
She met Roy when he was appointed as a student pastor at Salem-Friendship Methodist Churches in Etta. Their devoted marriage began on June 16, 1950 and lasted until Roy passed away in December, 2018. Lorene was a consummate preacher's wife and lived in Methodist parsonages all over North Mississippi. She made deep friendships and lasting memories at every community she lived in -- Etta, Tishomingo, Belden, Marietta, GA, Bruce, West Point, Fulton, New Albany, Grenada, Corinth, Batesville, and Kosciusko. Along the way, she always sang in the church choir. She also picked up some good recipes, even though she had the best recipes herself. She was especially known for her pecan pie. She could make the most splendid feast with the bounty of their garden, whether the crop was good or bad.
Lorene was a caring and loving mother to her three children. As with most pastors’ wives she provided the bulk of child-rearing duties. When she wasn’t raising children she served as a teacher’s assistant and also as a medical records transcriptionist. She later became "Granny" to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Being Granny was her favorite job. Whenever she met a new great-grandchild, the first thing she said was, "Hi! I'm your Granny!" She was funny, with a great smile.
She and Roy eventually retired in Fulton and then moved to the Traceway Retirement Community in Tupelo. Towards the end, she suffered from vascular dementia, but her spirit was always there. Her infectious smile and sense of humor never left.
Lorene leaves behind her three children and their spouses: Deborah McAlilly Brangenberg (Carl), Stephen L. McAlilly (Beverly), and William T. McAlilly (Lynn), and grandchildren, Caroline Turney (Brandon), Chris McAlilly (Millie), Laura Paulk (Nate), Lee McAlilly, Ben McAlilly (Belle), Sam McAlilly, and Beth, and ten great-grandchildren. She was proceeded in death by her husband Roy, parents Claude and Esther, four siblings, James Long, Olene Long Morrisson, Obine Long Morris, and Dalton Long, and her grandson Gale Stauffer, Jr.
Due to the current public health crisis, the family held a private Service of Death and Resurrection on March 15th at the Chapel in the Tupelo First United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Embra Jackson and Rev. Dr. Chris McAlilly officiating. They buried her in Itawamba County next to Roy. The family wants to thank the staff at the Griffis Green House at Traceway for the kind, loving care given to Lorene during her residence there. The family was honored to have Holland Funeral Directors be in charge of the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to Mississippi Methodist Senior Services, P.O. Box 1567, Tupelo, MS 38802.
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