Mary Milton “Millie” Rainey Kirksey, age 98, died peacefully at home on Thursday, September 8, 2022. A private family burial service was held at Oak Grove Franconia Cemetery on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 with Rev. Thomas G. Kay, Jr. and Rev. Derrick Brite officiating and Skelton Funeral Home of Reform directing.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Robert Hugh Kirksey; her parents; her sister, Mrs. Lester M. “Tiny” Chancellor, and her son-in-law, Sam Richard Heard, Jr.
Survivors include her daughters, Mary Bess Paluzzi (John), Lou Heard, Libby Shaw (Bob) and Ann Kirksey Wetzel; her grandchildren, Libby Abrams (Neel), Dr. Richard Heard (Katie), Robby Shaw (Leah), George Shaw (Leila), Billy Shaw (Maurie) and Rainey Armstrong (Chris); great-grandchildren, Neely Abrams, Kirksey Heard, Sam Heard, Emma Shaw, William Shaw, Max Shaw, Graves Shaw, Robby Shaw, and Brady Armstrong; her brother, William Murphey Rainey; her beloved nieces and nephews and her devoted caregivers, Felicia Sommerville, Mary Lou Johnson, Breyanna McMullen, Gloria Williams, Jennifer Kirkland, O’Dell Ruffin and Bobby Billups.
Millie was born on June 4, 1924 to William Rufus Rainey and Mary Murphey Rainey. She grew up in Macon, Mississippi. During World War II, she ventured off to Washington, D.C. to work for the Department of Defense. After her marriage to Robert Hugh “Bob” Kirksey, they moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama while he attended the University of Alabama School of Law and then returned to Washington, D.C. where both she and her husband Bob worked for Congressman Hugo Sims of South Carolina. They returned to Aliceville, Alabama in the 1950’s to rear their four daughters.
Millie was an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Aliceville, where she was a faithful member of the Park-Somerville Sunday School class, a past president of the Women of the Church and active in the choir, her church circle club, and the Warrior Presbytery Women of the Church. She was a charter member and past president of the New Era Arts Club, a member of the Pickens County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Pickens County Historical Society, the Aliceville Gardeners, the Browsers Book Club and a supporter of the Aliceville Museum and Friends of the Aliceville Public Library. Millie loved playing bridge with her Thursday Bridge Club and traveling with her husband Bob during his years as Director of Alumni Affairs at the University of Alabama.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Aliceville, 324 Broad Street NE, Aliceville, Alabama 35442 or Oak Grove-Franconia Cemetery, P.O. Box 344, Aliceville, Alabama 35442 or Hospice of West Alabama, 3851 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35404.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.