|Mrs. Mary Pauline “Polly” Corley was born of Roman Catholic parentage, Dec. 24th, 1883, in the DeVille, La. community, the child of Cad Chevallier and his wife Virginia O’Neal. In that same community she attended all the school available.
At nineteen years of age she was married to Elmus W. Corley who was engaged in the logging business. A protracted meeting in the Bethel Methodist Protestant Church in DeVille stirred this young lady to make her own decision for Christ and join the host church. She earnestly prayed and fasted to win her husband to Christ; and her efforts were rewarded with his conversion.
After a second son was barn, and her husband had felt the call to the preaching ministry, Mrs. Corley gave fullest support to her husband in his new vocation, leaving familiar surroundings and faces, to go where he was appointed as a Methodist preacher, and to make there a home for her family out of whatever was available. Those beginning times in 1916 were difficult. The preacher was moved every year or two. The family increased in size. But with the virtues of the wife and mother described in Proverbs 31, Mrs. Corley, believing the Lord would provide, managed to make ends meet.
Her indomitable faith in God, her love for her family and her church, and her interest in people characterized her long, prayer-filled life. Even after she and her husband were forced into retirement because of the infirmities of age, this saintly, humble, optimistic lady was sought out by neighbors, and former members of churches served, for advice.
It seemed that all the incidents of her life was incidental to her one consuming purpose in life: knowing Gad and living continuously with Him. She accepted life with its privileges and its joys, its deprivations and its tragedies in the faith that even though there was much she couldn’t understand — even that — had to be working for some greater weight of eternal glory.
After a lengthy confinement, and “feeling quite tired,” she peaceably died on the morning of October 20, 1972. Her body was laid to rest two days later in the cemetery adjacent to that church which had meant so much to her and her husband. The pastor of that church, Richard Hoffpauir, and the District Superintendent of the Monroe District, Clyde C. Frazier, Jr., assisted the writer with the funeral.
Her husband of 68 years, Brother E. W. Corley, Sr., West Monroe and six sons and two daughters survived Mrs. Corley: Guy and Alvin Corley, Denham Springs; Marvin Corley, New Orleans; E. W., Jr. and James P. Corley; Mrs. Oscar (Ruby) Cloyd, and Mrs. Clyde (Ruth) Medaries, of West Monroe, La. Additional survivors included one sister, Mrs. Eula Corley, 19 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1973; p. 134 By Don Wineinger|