Mary B. Clanton, age 89 years, mother, grandmother, neighbor, and prayer warrior, died peacefully at 2:03 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 with family gathered around at the Hospice House in Roseland, Indiana following an extended illness.
She was born on June 9, 1930 in Decatur, Alabama to Irving W. and Ruby I. (Moore) Russell, and attended school in Decatur. She came to Niles in 1952, and was employed at the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company, and later worked for Niles Community Schools food service at Ballard School. But she spent most of her time raising nine children and caring for her Regent Street neighborhood.
Mary’s membership at Michiana Christian Embassy in Niles was just one evidence of her devotion to Jesus Christ. She rose every day before the sun – and her children - for personal Bible Study and Prayer, but nine children in the house afforded no literal “Prayer Closet” space, so she turned the solitude of the bathroom into a private chapel. Having prayed for her family, she proceeded to shelter, clothe, and nourish them, perfecting her homemaking skills, reserving for special events her Chocolate Gravy. She also found time to share those caring blessings with her neighbors, quietly tidying-up a home where illness had taken over, or providing some unexpected fresh and warm baked good.
On September 3, 1950 in Iuka, Mississippi she married Albert Clanton with whom she celebrated the remarkable fifty-third anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on June 6, 2004. They were sadly preceded in death by a stillborn daughter, Rachael Renee Clanton on September 1, 1974; and Mary was also preceded in death by siblings Tennis Russell, Clovis Sandlin, and Malcolm Russell.
Surviving family includes her children, Bonnie “Diane” (& Dan) Jacobs, Brenda Clanton, Randy (& Vicki) Clanton, Stephen (& Ruth) Clanton, Becky (& Dennis) Carpenter, Tim (& Parny) Clanton, and Michael (& Ruth) Clanton, all of Niles, Kelly (& Jerry) Withers of Berrien Center, Michigan, and Jeremy (& Kim) Clanton of Niles; twenty grandchildren, thirty-one great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren; and Mary’s siblings, Margaret Newsom, Autry Russell, and Greg Russell, all of Decatur, Alabama; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Mary Clanton will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 11, 2019 at the Michiana Christian Embassy, 1922 East Main Street in Niles with Senior Pastor, the Rev. Jeffrey Whittaker of the church officiating. Committal Services will be private on Tuesday at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday at the church, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., and on Monday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Contributions in memory of Mary may be made to the Michiana Christian Embassy; https://www.michianachristianembassy.com/ . Online condolences may be left at:
The kindness, generosity, and love that Mary shared with her neighbors and friends, and her devotion to her family was all a testimony to her love for Jesus Christ, because He first loved her.