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Obituary for Alma Jean Gilley

Alma Jean Gilley

Alma Jean Gilley, 79, died peacefully in her home on July 12, 2012 surrounded by those she loved and leaving for them countless lessons on the importance of family. Mrs. Gilley was born in Safford, Alabama on April 27, 1933, the daughter of Raymond Lee and Thelma Irene (Fitts) West. She attended schools in the Safford area and graduated from Orrville High School in 1950.

Jean married the love of her life, Henry Melvin Gilley, on December 14, 1952. Together, they served their country as Henry rose to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. Following her husband around the world and throughout the country on his various tours of duty, she made a home for them and their four daughters. Following his retirement from the Air Force, Jean and Henry made their final home in Selma, where they had lived since 1970. Henry died on August 18, 2011.

Jean was a licensed beautician, and owned and operated the “Salon of Beauty” in Selma throughout the 70s. She loved sewing, gardening, ceramics and painting. Her life was a testimony to her love of people. She was generous with her time and liberal with her kindness. While she tried to be a good neighbor to everyone, she reserved the last and best measure of her devotion for her family. Her husband was the axis of her universe and her children were her greatest source of joy. She made a home for them that was the center for their celebrations and their tears, and it was her greatest joy to have seen her daughters make their way in life and love families of their own.

Jean is survived by her daughters Grace Joy (Donald) Gray of Adams, Massachusetts; Linda Sue Sheilz of Prattville, Alabama; Audrene Ruth (Anthony) Bjelke; and Tina Marie (Donald) Yelverton, both of Selma. She is also survived by her brothers, Raymond West of Equality, Alabama, Bobbie West of Meridian, Mississippi, and Richard West of Atlanta, Georgia, and her sisters, Thelma Raye Pitts of Dadeville, Alabama, Peggy Farris of Livingston, Texas, and Judy Bell of Jacksonville, Alabama. She leaves seven grandchildren, Alena Schoulin, Kristina Brady, Nicole Scheilz, Emilee Ozment, Chris Gray, Brandon Sumlin, and Gilley Yelverton, five great grandchildren, six great great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and dear friends Monica Bjelke and Hattie Vasser.

In addition to her parents and her husband, preceding her in death are her siblings Roy Porter West, Louise Rudd, Mary Jane McClough, Audrey Allbert, and Carolyn Wilson; a son in law, Jack Scheilz; and a great grandson, John Preston Scheilz.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, July15, 2012 from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the chapel in the Lawrence Brown Service Funeral Home of Selma. A funeral service for Mrs. Gilley will be held Monday, July 16, 2012 at 10:00 A.M. Rev. Donald Gray, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Adams, Massachusetts will be officiating. Burial will be at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery in Stanton, Alabama. A celebration of her life will be held at the Hampton Inn in Selma at 1:00 P.M.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in memory of Mrs. Gilley.

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