Alice Marie Brister McClendon, affectionately known as "Big Cheese," was welcomed into the world on Oct. 11, 1953, by parents Tyree and Julie Brister in Tylertown, Miss.
She is the eldest of 13 brothers and sisters. Her school-age years were spent in the Tylertown school system. She graduated from Lakeshore Senior High School in Stephenville, Mich. From there she went on to further her education with a bachelor's degree from Bay Ridge Christian College in Kendleton. She met the then, and still, love of her life, Verlin R. McClendon Sr., in the summer of 1979. The two vowed their eternal commitment to each other on Jan. 8, 1983, in Rosenberg before God, their families and friends. They took their young family and moved to their current residence in Ben Wheeler in 1986.
She began a career in child care with the Head Start program in Canton. There she was able to really embrace the role of "Mama." Through the Andrews Center she transitioned into aiding in the development of both children and adults with special needs. SHE LOVED CHILDREN! Mrs. Alice had a gift with children; it showed in her boys, and she shared it with the world.
In addition to enjoying gardening and sports, she was a member of the Heroines of Jericho Beautiful Flower Courts No. 159 and an active member of the Prairie Creek C.M.E. Church.
Alice passed away on Jan. 23, 2013, at the age of 59 years young.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Julie Ann Brister; father, Tyree Brister Sr.; and brother, Tyree Brister Jr.
The matriarch leaves behind husband, Verlin R. McClendon Sr., Ben Wheeler; sons, Verlin R. McClendon Jr., Tyler, Michael C. McClendon, Tyler; sisters, Edwina Morgan, Benton Harbor, Mich., Ida Brister, Benton Harbor, Brenda Cooper, Milwaukee, Wis., Brookie Hawkins, Austin, Nellie Jean Dillon, Tylertown, Catherine Brister, Austin, Angela Haynes, Milwaukee, Wis.; brother, Odell Brister, Benton Harbor, Billy Brister, Rosenberg, Bobby Brister, Kendleton; granddaughter, Charlie Rose McClendon, Tyler; and a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws and beloved ones.
Public viewing is set for Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wake service is set for 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Both viewing and wake services will be held at Brooks-Sterling & Garrett Funeral Directors, Tyler.
Memorial services are scheduled for Monday Jan. 28, 2013, at the Prairie Creek CME Church at 11 a.m., 200 County Road 4909, Ben Wheeler, 75754.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Jan. 26, 2013