Brenda Ethel Clifton Corbett, 69, of Lyons entered into eternal rest Thursday, September 5th at her home after an extended illness. She was the 4th child and first daughter of Roderick Lee Clifton, Sr. and Nina Towns Clifton. She was named in honor of her paternal grandmother, Ethel Clifton. She was a lifelong resident of Toombs County where she grew up on the Roderick Clifton Farm in the Marvin Yancey Community. She lived the life of a typical farmer’s daughter and spent her childhood helping in the fields, putting up vegetables, fishing in the Altamaha River, playing in Cobb Creek, and keeping her family filled with laughter with her endless funny stories and her witty sense of humor. Baptist by faith, she was a member of Providence Missionary Baptist Church and was baptized in the waters of Cobb Creek.
Brenda was a 1967 graduate of Toombs Central High School where she excelled in academics, was a member of the Beta Club, and was an accomplished member of the talented Girls Basketball Team where she received honors. During her Senior Year of High School, she was voted Homecoming Queen. After high school, Brenda attended Georgia Southern College where she obtained her degree in Education. She then completed her Masters of Education from Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Ga. She took her first teaching job in Sylvania, Ga, where she taught Special Education. She eventually moved back to Lyons and taught first grade at Toombs Central Elementary School. She completed her career teaching math at Lyons Jr. High/Toombs County Middle School where she was honored as Teacher of the Year. After teaching for 37 years, Brenda retired in 2007.
During her retirement, Brenda enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. Her infectious sense of humor was one of her strengths, and everyone always loved when she told her famous stories from her childhood and humorous stories about her teaching career. Brenda was known for her country cooking and famous pecan pies she shared with everyone. She was a caregiver for her brother Roderick Lee Clifton, Jr and her mother Nina Towns Clifton. She also oversaw the care and maintence of the Clifton Family Cemetery until her health declined. The beautification project of the Clifton Family Cemetery was started by her late brothers, Roderick Lee Clifton, Jr and William “Billy” Clifton. It was something that Brenda took great pride in maintaining. Her love for animals was evident by her taking in stray cats.
Mrs. Corbett was preceded in death by her father- Roderick Lee Clifton, Sr, mother- Nina Towns Clifton, nephew- Brad Clifton, brothers- William “Billy” Clifton and Roderick Lee Clifton, Jr, brother-in-law- Wayne Moody, and her beloved pets, Chip and Dale.
She is survived by her husband of forty years, Burke Corbett of Lyons; brother, Kenneth Clifton of Greenville, South Carolina, sisters; Glenda Clifton Smith and husband Ben of Statesboro, and Penny Clifton Moody of Lyons; two special nieces, Candi Clifton Barnett and husband Tim of Lyons and Nina Thompson Townsend and husband Charles of Statesboro; special nephews Jess Clifton and wife Teresa and Matthew Moody; special great nephews, Bo and Zeke Barnett of Lyons and special great nephew and niece Charlie and Emma-Charles Townsend of Statesboro, and Jessica Nicole Clifton of Lyons; lifelong childhood best friend, Gail Lockley Leith, and several other nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
A graveside funeral service will be held Sunday, September 8th, at 4:00 p.m. in the Clifton Cemetery with Pastor Buck Benton and Reverend Richard Barnard officiating.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon from 1:30 until 3:00.
Flowers will be accepted, or memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by visiting their website at stjude.org, or to the Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society, P.O. Box 210, Vidalia, GA 30475.
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