by Torrey D. McClinton
Beneva Coggs McClinton is my mother. She was born a twin to her sister Geneva on April 30th, 1934. They left Tallula, LA in 1953 and moved to Cleveland, Ohio. They moved in with family friends, the McDuffys. Beneva and Geneva soon started working in a candy factory. The next year they moved to Chicago, IL and moved in with their older brother John Coggs. In 1955 they along with their sister Bertha and Gladys rented a house together on the south side of Chicago. Beneva started working for Cook County Hospital in 1956, where she met her husband to be, Veloris (Pete) McClinton in 1961. They dated and married in 1963. A year later they had a son (that's me!), Torrey Dion on January 23rd, 1964. Soon after they bought their new home in Markham, IL in 1966, and then they had a second child, Thyris Lynette on June 9th, 1967.
Beneva wanted to retire in Tallulah, LA, so she built her home right next to her parents' home which her father built in 1927. After her husband, Pete, retired from Pace Bus Company, they moved there in 1988. They opened Mac's Mini Mart convenience store there and ran for a few years. After Pete passed away, Beneva moved to Marietta, GA and has lived in the in-law-suite in Torrey's beautiful lake home since 2004.
I participated sports such as track and field at Thornridge High School. I did very well in the high jump and I set a record in 1982 at 7 feet. After I graduated High School, I did Michael Jackson's impersonation doing shows and appeared on TV such as Oprah Winfrey's shows. Also I performed as a mime and did Puttin on the Ritz shows and more.
In 1985 I moved to New York where I met Noriko, while searching for my acting opportunities. I appeared in Another World Soap and The Cosby Show. I also worked for Arista Records and Columbia Records as an executive assistant. I got married with Noriko in 1989 and had our first daughter, Michika Skyy in 1990. Soon after we moved to Los Angeles, lived there about a year, and then moved to Tokyo, Japan where I did many fashion model jobs and appeared in Tokyo Collections for different designers and TV commercials.
When Michika turned 4 years old we decided to move back to the US, and we choose Atlanta, GA because it was not too far from my parents (Tallulah, LA) and at the time the Olympics was coming to Atlanta! We bought our second house in Marietta, GA and I still really love this home! I joined DeKalb County Sheriff's Office as a Deputy Sheriff.
In 2002 our second daughter Tori Nayumi was born. In 2014 I took the early retirement from the Sheriff's Office.
Now we have both of our mothers living with us and both of our daughters moved back from Los Angeles because of the pandemic.
I would like to share my DNA result (updated December 2020). It is likely our roots are from the Nigeria area in Africa.
Torrey's DNA Test Result
Thyris Lynette McClinton: born Friday June 9, 1967 @ 8:58 a.m. Few know that I was a breech baby. Yes, I came into this world feet first.
There’s no way in the world I’ll complain about my childhood, I wouldn’t trade too many things about my life from birth to age 18. I’ve always enjoyed family vacations every year, grateful for homemade birthday cakes, grateful for home cooked meals everyday. Grateful for clothes on my back. I was not given the weight of the world or burdens adults carried growing up. Thank you mom and daddy (R.I.P.), parenting is a selfless act to carry for a child and its never ending.
From age 18-current I’ve made a host of bad decisions, mistakes and regrets that I can not change but I am strong and I will continue to move forward with God’s will and wisdom.
Now I live in Dubuque, Iowa and I am the proud mother of 5 children and grandmother of 4.