Lovelace puts his all into his work
By By LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
Yancey Edwin Lovelace, better known as "Yank," is this week's profile subject. He comes from a long line of Brewton area residents. In fact, his ancestor, Aaron Lovelace, was one of the earliest settlers, coming here in the early 1800s. He tells the story of the origination of First Baptist Church and North Brewton Baptist Church.
Indeed Lovelace comes from sturdy roots. The family was one of several big land owners that secured their futures through the timber business. They were early developers, and that gene has been passed down to Lovelace.
In fact, he is spearheading one of the latest projects in the area.
Out of that came the idea of checking into the feasibility of locating, what he refers to as a mega site for industry, a place that would not only benefit the people in our area but the surrounding areas as well. That idea is growing day by day and has become the Tri-County Interstate Industrial Park Project.
The site would be developed with the belief that it would make an excellent site to attract new companies to the area. Not only could it be an excellent site for an industry, but it would offer room for supportive industries along Interstate 65.
There is a long range plan to purchase the property needed, form a committee to search out prospective industries and many other things that have to be done before the project can be done, but there seems to be excitement in all three counties about the idea. The committee has taken options on the land needed and are raising the funds to purchase the property.
A large part of the committee's work will go to developing industrial sites in each of the particpating counties and municipalities with the idea that if they work together, everyone will benefit.
Lovelace was born in 1951 in Pensacola, Fla. to Barnes Flournoy "Ick" Lovelace and Barbara Blount. He attended school in the Brewton city schools and graduated from high school in 1969 from Marion Military Institute where he was active in basketball and football. He also attended Marion Institute for a year in college. He then went to the University of the South and the University of Alabama. At that time his father owned People's Insurance in Brewton and he came back work in the insurance business. He later changed the name to Escambia Insurance Agency and branched out to other areas opening offices in other places under different corporate names.
Not only has he become one of the leading businessmen of the area, but he devotes much of his time to community activities.
He has been involved with civic and social organizations and has taken part in many charitable organizations. He is past president of Rotary Club, the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way.
He is now working on a committee with Tom McMillan, Chuck Johns, East Brewton Mayor Terry Clark and several others to sponsor a dig at Fort Crawford with the intent to find it and promote it as a tourist site. There might even be the possibility of building a facsimile of the fort. He is working on the F.A.S.T. Committee to make the road between Milton and Brewton into a four-lane highway. He meets each week with a committee that is trying to rejuvenate downtown Brewton. He is president of the Brewton Country Club and is on the vestry at St. Stephens Episcopal Church.
He married his first wife, Connie Amerson from Anniston, in 1974 and they had two children, Yancey Edwin Lovelace Jr. and Cynthia Marie Lovelace. After the death of his first wife from a brain tumor he remarried in 1999 to Sally Salter. She brought with her two children Hayes Martin and Mallory Martin.
He runs his insurance agency in Brewton with the help of 11 employees, most of whom have been with him a long time.
Terece Shehan has been there for 20 years and she agrees. "He is the best boss to work for," she said. "We really have a close knit relationship in the office."
It hasn't all been easy for Lovelace. There was a time when he was very ill and it took a liver transplant to make him well again about eight years ago.
He collects antique books, old postcards of Brewton, books on Alabama history and has worked extensively on his genealogy for years. He loves to hunt, travel, go sailing, play tennis and walks every morning.
There is no doubt that he is one of Brewton's citizens who wants the best for his community. He gets involved with those projects that interest him and puts his whole into them.