American Veteran 01

Emanuel Raiford Sr.

April 7, 1930 ~ December 20, 2021 (age 91)


Emanuel Julius Raiford was born on April 7, 1930, to Roy Samuel Raiford and Alberta Chambers Raiford in Atlanta, GA. He departed this life on December 20, 2021.

Emanuel attended Atlanta Public Schools and graduated from Washington High School.  He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 until 1954.  During his service, he received a Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, a National Defense Service Medal, a United Nations Service Medal, and a Meritorious Unit Citation. 

After leaving the Army, Emanuel returned to his hometown and worked a variety of jobs.  One day at the Trailways bus station in downtown Atlanta, he met the love of his life, Pauline Melissa Florence Williams.  They were united in marriage in 1955.  Their union welcomed two daughters, Melba and Cheryl (Pat).  Although Emanuel and Pauline were divorced in 1973, they remained friends and his love for her never faded. 

Emanuel moved throughout the United States over the course of his adult life, settling first in the Washington, DC/Maryland area and later in New Jersey.  He was an excellent cook and chef, skills he passed on to his daughters. He owned several restaurants that specialized in fast food, barbeque, and smoked meats. He was famous for his barbeque ribs.   Emanuel’s final home before moving back to Georgia in 2002 was Des Moines, Iowa.  After suffering a severe stroke, his daughters moved him to Powder Springs, Georgia, where he lived the rest of his life.

In addition to his parents, Emanuel’s siblings preceded in death: Geneva Raiford Hodges, John Henry Raiford, Louie Raiford, David Raiford, and Essie Raiford.

Emanuel is survived by his daughters and their families:  Melba Raiford Rachel (Willie Jr.), Dallas, GA and their children: Rodney White (Ansley) and their children Bria Ware and Rodney Rashad White (Deuce), Douglasville, GA; Willie Allen (Trey) Rachel, III, Dallas, GA; daughter, Kelley Kathleen Rachel and her daughter Victoria Alexis (Lexi) Payne, Villa Rica, GA; Cheryl Raiford Clemons (Tommie), Powder Springs, GA, sons:  Nicholas Alexander Clemons, Philadelphia, PA; Christian Albert Clemons and his daughter Kaliyah, Norwalk, CT; Justin Cole Clemons, Atlanta, GA and Robert Julian Clemons, Powder Springs, GA.

In addition, his only surviving sibling, Dorothy Mae Raiford, Chicago, IL, her children; daughter, Adrienne Raiford, Atlanta, GA and son, Andre Raiford (Gina), Chicago, IL, share in the loss of their beloved brother and uncle.

Also left to cherish his memories are several other nieces and nephews. 

The family is comforted by Emanuel’s confession of Christ as Lord and Savior of his life.  His final words were a prayer, followed by the statement, “I Believe; God is here.”  Thanks be to God for his salvation.



To the Raiford Family, we at Greener Pastures Funeral Home, extend to you our deepest sympathy & condolences. Our prayers remain that your abiding faith in God will continue to comfort, to strengthen and sustain you during your time of bereavement.

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