Obituary of Claudette Cyrus
Claudette Cyrus was born on December 24, 1944, to the late Claude and Shirley Taylor in New York City, NY. Claudette went home to be with the Lord on May 20, 2023, at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold.
Claudette accepted Christ at a young age and was baptized on December 25, 1958, at Shiloh Baptist Church in New York City. She sang in the choir and went on the road with the Donald Register Project, an extension of the choir. Claudette graduated from George Washington High School in 1962, and married Clarence, the love of her life, on October 30, 1965; their love produced one daughter, Tracy. The family moved to New Jersey in 1972. Claudette worked at Amerada Hess for 5 years and then moved on to Foodarama Supermarkets in 1977, where she worked in the accounting department until she retired in 2000.
The family joined Old Ship of Zion Missionary Baptist Church in 1972. There, Claudette sang in the choir. The family then joined Second Baptist Church in February 1991. Claudette’s support and service at Second Baptist Church, now New Beginnings Agape Christian Center, has been both invaluable and unmeasurable over the years. It started with her support of Pastor Paul McGuire, First lady Dorothy McGuire and their young family some 40+ years ago who were also their friends and neighbors in Manalapan, NJ. She opened her home every year as a gracious hostess to the presiders of the annual Seacoast choir workshop & concert. In her home church, she was a faithful choir member, best known for her patented solo rendition of “Called on the Lord”. Claudette was still an active member of New Beginnings serving as a Deaconess, Church Clerk, and head of the Intercessory Ministry.
As an intercessor, Claudette was that faithful friend, like the four in the book of Mark, who is willing to expend her time and energy to “raise the roof” and lay those she cares for at the feet of the Master. Over the past 23 years, she ignited the Women’s Ministry and inspired the hearts and souls of many women in the Seacoast area by introducing, planning and organizing the annual participation at the Greater Allen Cathedral Women’s Conference. Claudette was an avid reader of Christian books and would give books to many people to address specific matters of the heart and spirit.
Like Naomi’s love for Ruth’s first child, Claudette loved, nurtured, and protected Pastor Andre McGuire (and all attached to him) as though God Himself had placed him in her bosom; she understood him for who he was as a man but saw him for who he is in God’s plan. Throughout his ministry she sought to provide for him a place of nourishment, laughter, and quiet rest. She covered him in prayer, continually, as well as applied discernment and love to ensure that those in his presence did not harm him or his ministry assignment. Nonetheless, she was just as quick to chide him for his foolishness as she was to chide anyone else for talking about ‘her Pastor’.
Since 1965, a joy in Claudette’s life has been inextricably bound to her loving soulmate Elder Clarence Cyrus. There is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other and were seldom apart. Together they have demonstrated to many how to love and live through life’s trials maintaining faith and a strong marital relationship. Another joy in her life was as a loving, caring, protective mother to Tracy. Claudette saw her in a way no other person could, viewing Tracy with a loving grace that only her eyes and heart could possess.
Claudette trademarked her own unique style and demeanor which was a mix of southern charm and New York class. She was known to dress in bold, striking colorful outfits with a contoured cut, matching heels or classy flats and prominent coordinating jewelry. Her signature low cut hair styles ranged from classic “snatch-back” to the sassy pineapple curls. Her look was always complemented by freshly manicured nails with color-coordinated polish.
Claudette is predeceased by her parents, and a sister, Helene.
Claudette leaves to cherish her memory her husband of 57 years, Clarence, Manalapan, NJ, her devoted daughter, Tracy, Manalapan, NJ, her adopted son, Akien Johnson (Stacy), Monticello, NY, her loving family from Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, California, Louisiana and Florida, her godchildren, her extended families, the McGuires and Barrons and a host of relatives and friends.
Claudette, affectionately also known as “Ma Cyrus”, loved her family and friends dearly. She touched many lives through her life and ministry. We treasure in our hearts the life, love and commitment of Claudette Cyrus; a beloved Daughter of the King, a virtuous wife and helpmeet, a proud and loving parent, caring and giving aunt, cousin, Godmother, a sincere friend/sister-in-Christ, a mother to many and an intercessor to all.
Friends and family are invited to gather on Tuesday, May 30, from 6:00PM to 8:00PM and Wednesday, May 31 from 10:00AM to 11:00AM at New Beginnings Agape Christian Center, 133 Throckmorton Street, Freehold. The funeral service will be held 11:00AM on Wednesday May 31 at the Center. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold.