We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Guardian Angels Funeral Home
Cleo Showers Fairley was born on September 16, 1936, to Walter and Alberta Showers in Repton, AL. She was the third of seven children born to the Showers. As she recalled, she was a petite, feisty girl who enjoyed playing with her brothers and sisters.
Cleo was raised in a household of faith, and she learned early on to trust in God and try each day to walk in His will. During her childhood, her faith was cultivated in regular attendance at Triumph Holiness Church, which would later change locations and become AOL Holiness Church. Her love of praising God was nurtured through the practice and performance of music. Throughout her life, she recalled with great fondness the experience of learning songs under the tutelage of her mother, who was a singer, and her father, who played guitar for the family’s group, The Raindrops. She was a reliable prayer warrior who never failed to counsel her children, grandchildren, or anyone else to pray when they faced challenges. Hers was the gift of guiding and listening patiently, even when she didn’t like what she was hearing, without judgment; then, she would often offer a gentle nudge, saying, “All right, then. But you know what you need to do, don’t you?” Just as often, she would just go straight to, “Just take it to Jesus Christ.” Later in her adult life, she joined in fellowship with Green Pastures Christian Ministries in Moss Point, MS, under the leadership of Bishop Houston Cunningham, where she served at the Buds of Promise Daycare. Up to her death, she fellowshipped and gave faithfully in tithes and offerings to New Covenant Community Ministries, International, of Moss Point, MS, under the pastorate of Apostle Jerry Thompson.
Her Education and Service
Cleo’s education was cut short for a time after she completed the 8th grade. However, she would go on, many years later, to attend night school and obtain a GED certificate at the Jackson County campus of what became the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gautier. During this time, she also began to work in the federally funded early childhood education program, Head Start. Both colleagues and children benefited from her work ethic and skills, as well as her commitment to the goals of the program.
In January of 1952, Cleo married Alec Fairley, whom she’d met as a young woman when he drove her family to church. The two spent the next 67 years together, until his passing in April of 2019. Together, they raised nine children with an unwavering commitment to providing a stable, loving home and the best possible opportunities to achieve as productive adults. To her children, “Mama” was a cook, role model, driver, disciplinarian, counselor, manager, and companion. To Alec, she was “Baby.”
Cleo leaves to cherish her memory: children, Muzeel (Denise) Fairley of Woodstock, GA, Gilbert (Vickie) Fairley of Duluth, GA, Billard (Cindy) Fairley of Copperas Cove, TX, Cathenual (Lincoln) Keeton of Moss Point, MS, Marzetta (Curtis) Alexander of Dallas, TX, Larvilous (James) McLean of Sherwood, AR, and Otilia (Reginald, Sr.) King of Duluth, GA; one brother, Walter Lee Showers of Buffalo, NY; one daughter-in-law, Melissa Crow Fairley (Darcel) of D’Iberville, MS; 21 grandchildren, Shaundale Fairley of Herndon, VA, Angel Fairley of Alpharetta, GA, Angela Tatum of Winder, GA, Jemila Vassell of Panama City Beach, FL, Kedra Fairley of Cincinnati, OH, Levert Fairley and Tiffany Fairley, both of Copperas Cove, TX; Tamiki Fairley, LaTosha Fairley, and Willard Fairley, Jr., all of Gulfport, MS, Cheloyn Keeton of St. Martin, MS, Jhai Obes Keeton of Jackson, MS, Sarah Alexander of Philadelphia, PA, James McLean III of Bentonville, AR, Christa McLean of Sherwood, AR; Michael Alford II of Atlanta, GA, Vincent Alford of Rockwall, TX, Paris Robinson and Russell Fairley, both of Arlington, TX, Audree Fairley and Avaree Fairley, both of D’Iberville, MS; 17 great-grandchildren; Numbered among many beloved nieces, nephews, and others who knew and loved her are Ethel Whittle Weathersby, Francis Fairley Grady, Betty Fairley Meeks, and Vivian Warren, all of Vancleave, MS; special friends in Christ, Reverend Harvey and Sister Beachel Collins, of Vancleave, MS.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by siblings, Escoe Arrington of Buffalo, NY; Melvin Showers of Biloxi, MS; Mary Lee Horne of Vancleave, MS; Joseph Showers of Gulfport, MS; Rosa Lee Myers of D’Iberville, MS; and Wardell Lee Showers of Biloxi, MS; sons, Willard Fairley, Sr., of Biloxi, MS, and Darcel Fairley of D’Iberville, MS; as well as grandsons, Marquette Darnell Fairley and LaTeaf Billard Fairley, both of Copperas Cove, TX.
To God be the glory for allowing dedicated, full-time caregivers, Cathenual and Lincoln Keeton, with support and assistance from Cleo’s other six children and their spouses, as well as granddaughters, Cheloyn Todd and Tamiki McGruder, to provide loving, unwavering care for her til the end.
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