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Remembering Corley Shaw Rahn
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Corley Shaw Rahn - photo by Photo provided

The following biography was written by his daughters, Joan Kessler and Carleen Fillingim.  On the cover was one of his favorite quotes: “The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms.  The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real estate, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith.”  B. R. V. DeLong

On August 19, 1915, Corley Shaw Rahn was born in Effingham County to George Q. Rahn and Cora Exley Rahn.  The youngest of eight children, Corley was loved and spoiled by his siblings and parents.  In 1931, when he was sixteen, his dad died of a stroke.  In the early 1940’s his mother was killed in an automobile accident.

While attending high school in Springfield, Corley rode his Spanish pony, Jack, to school.  It was here that he met, fell in love and on June 23, 1937 married Elizabeth Enecks.  

For the next few years, Corley and Elizabeth (Lib) shared a home with his mother, brother Artis and sister Gracie.  Corley and Elizabeth became the parents of two daughters, Joan and Carleen.  When Joan married Charles Kessler, Charles became the “son” Corley never had.  A dedicated and loving family man, Corley could always be relied upon.  Small in stature, but big in heart, he worked hard yet found time to enjoy life.  

An avid sports fan, Corley especially liked baseball and on many summer nights took his family to watch the Savannah Indians at Grayson Stadium.  Among the many other activities he enjoyed were deer, duck and quail hunting, fishing, caring for his hound dogs, attending church functions, movies at the Mars Theater, shopping and church.  

A man of high morals and values, Corley and his family were members of the Springfield Methodist Church where he served as an usher and on the Administrative Board of Trustees.  His Christian beliefs and faith were a testimony to those who knew him.  He believed in honesty and fairness and his life exemplified these beliefs.

Shopping with family was an enjoyable part of Corley’s life.  Broughton Street was busy with shoppers and he took great pleasure being among the crowds.  Christmas, Easter and back to school shopping were exciting times, and he had fun buying for his “Lib” and the children.

The home of Lib and Corley was shared by many.  Nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends loved spending time in the country.  His brothers and sister were daily visitors.  The pantry, smokehouse, refrigerator and freezer were well stocked.  The family was known and loved for its hospitality and good eating.  He especially enjoyed Sunday dinners and relaxing afternoons, rocking on the front porch, visiting and having a bowl of Lib’s homemade ice cream.

A dedicated farmer, Corley gained much satisfaction growing tobacco and driving a tractor.  He took pride in taking his product to the Statesboro warehouses for their sales.  Walking the aisles with auctioneers and buyers was a special time for him and his family.  

Not only did Corley farm, but he also raised cattle, hogs, goats, sheep and chickens.  During his life, he worked in the turpentine industry with his brother Roy, sawmill business with Roy and brother Harris, and later became co-owner and operator of Rahn’s Feed and Seed Store with Harris.  

On the morning of January 5, 1976, the body of Corley was removed from the creek of the Savannah River.  He had failed to return from duck hunting the afternoon before.  It was determined that he had died of a heart attack and stroke.

The family of Corley, friends and community were shocked and grieved by his death.  Those who knew him will be forever blessed with the memory of an unselfish man with high expectations, outstanding work ethics and a love and appreciation for those who knew him.  He left behind his devoted spouse, two daughters and five grandchildren.  His memory can never be taken away.  

You can be sure that on the first Sunday in May for as long as he lived, Mr. Corley Rahn and his family attended Sunday School Convention at the Methodist Campground in Springfield.  They spread a bountiful dinner shared by friends and family in the Rahn Tent after services concluded.
Join the traditional gathering at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday as the Sunday School Convention celebrates 130 years. — Susan Exley

This was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society.  If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: