Rachel Briley, the sixth daughter of the late Jasper and Dora Staton Briley was born Feb. 19, 1936 in Greenville, N.C. She was predeceased by her sisters Minnie Briley and Allie G. Butler.
Following the death of her father, the family relocated to Baltimore, Md. Rachel was educated in the public schools of Baltimore. She excelled academically, was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in June 1955.
Rachel began her spiritual journey when she joined Enon Baptist Church in 1955. She was a member of the Chancellor, Sanctuary and Women’s choirs. She also served as secretary for the A.J. Payne Ministry. Rachel maintained an active Christian life at Enon Baptist Church, diligently serving until her health prevented her from doing so.
Rachel’s career in the federal government, with the Social Security Administration, began immediately after high school graduation. She was initially employed as an entry level clerk. Rachel’s performance and work ethic was recognized and rewarded early. During a time when African Americans’ advancement was limited, Rachel excelled and was promoted to increasingly responsible positions. She progressed from clerk to claims examiner, supervisor trainee, data entry supervisor and claims authorizer technician in the Office of Disability Operations.
In addition, Rachel applied and was selected for participation in the government’s Upward Mobility program. This allowed her to pursue her goal of higher education while working, and she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in August 1977.
Rachel was a proud and active member of Government Girls on the Go, a community service organization that participated in and financially supported various civic works and community projects. Throughout her career she received numerous awards and recognitions. Rachel retired after forty years of dedicated service.
Rachel loved and lived life to the fullest. She was generous by nature, and especially so to her nieces and nephews. Rachel was knowledgeable concerning financial matters and she shared that information with those she could help. She had a beautiful smile and a warm and bubbly personality. Rachel loved to cook, socialize, travel, attend the theatre and dance. She cherished family gatherings and was known for her Christmas cheesecake and beautifully set dining table.
Rachel was always fashionably attired and very particular about where she shopped. She only wanted the best, which she deserved.
Rachel shared her love freely and had a special bond with her god-daughter, Annette Jenkins and with Tony Worthington and his family.
Rachel’s strength and faith in God never wavered and she was of great encouragement and inspiration to the family during her illness. She quietly slipped into eternal peace and rest on Dec. 13, 2012.
Rachel leaves to celebrate her life and legacy; sisters, Bernie Knox, Mary Briley Keller, Lurthia Edwards and Essie D. Booker; brother-in-law, Reloyed Edwards, and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.