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Obituaries for Wed., Jan. 25, 2017, edition

Alex Luker, Jr.

Brewton

Alex Luker, Jr. was the firstborn son of Reverends Alec and Annie Mae (Wasden) Luker, Sr.  He was born in Oak Grove, Fla., on Oct. 5, 1920.  Ninety-six years later, in the comfort of his home and surrounded by loved ones and close friends, his address was changed to Heaven on Jan.13, 2017.

The service to celebrate Alex Luker, Jr.’s life was held January 16, 2017, at Williams Memorial Chapel in Brewton, Alabama.   Junior’s son as well as his pastor, Bro. Larry Watts, delivered Junior’s eulogy.   A beloved nephew, Sgt. Clifton R. Mitchem, delivered the message to honor his uncle which included a final military salute to PFC Alex Luker, Jr. by all the attending active duty and veteran comrades-in-arms.

Luker Jr.

Luker Jr.

Pallbearers were Edwin Luker (brother), Daniel Mitchem (brother-in-Law), Lemond Simmons (Nephew) and Grandsons: Lt. Col. Jack Merchant Jr., Dr. Stephen Luker, Jr., Shon Luker, Ronnie Lassiter, and Luke Morris.  Honorary pallbearers were the Deacon Body and the Senior Men’s Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church East Brewton.

His nephew officiated at graveside, with an Army Honor Guard to play Taps and to present the U.S. flag to his widow.  Interment was in Oak Grove Cemetery, near his birthplace and where so many of his family members are buried.   Arrangements were handled with great care and dignity by Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Brewton.

Alex, aka Junior, married the love of his life, Jessie Cozette Mitchem, in Atmore, on Aug.1, 1940.  This loving union produced two children, Peggy Anne on Aug. 16, 1941, and Stephen Alex on Feb. 5, 1945.

Private First Class Luker served in the United States Army Alpha Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division. He fought in the European theatre In WWII, including the Battle of the Bulge, suffering frostbite and a back injury. He was honorably discharged on Feb. 8, 1946, allowing him to see his year-old son for the first time.

In 1957, he moved his family to Brewton to help start up the Container Corporation mill and worked there until his retirement on Oct. 10, 1982. The Lukers joined First Baptist Church of East Brewton in 1958.  Because of his dedication, he was ordained as a Deacon in the mid-1980s, serving faithfully until he was limited in recent years by declining health.  During retirement, he and Cozette were able to travel extensively with her sisters and a brother-in-law.  By 2010, the Lukers had visited every state in the United States and had enjoyed cruises to the Carribbean, the Panama Canal and Alaska.

He was a quiet and honorable man whose word and handshake was his bond.  He believed in the “Golden Rule”, and his life exemplified it. He loved his God, his family and his friends.  He also loved children, old western movies and music. He could burst out into “Old Dan Tucker” anytime, even up to the few weeks before he passed away. He will be lovingly remembered for his contagious smile, great sense of humor, and compassionate heart. In later years, when asked how he was doing, he always answered, “Doing pretty good for an old wore out man!”

He is survived by his loving and deeply devoted wife of 76 years, Cozette; daughter; Peggy Anne Luker (William Jack) Merchant, Sr.; son, Stephen Alex (Roxann) Luker, Sr.;  a beloved goddaughter, Tonya (Jerry) Calhoun; five grandchildren, Lt. Col. William Jack (Debby) Merchant, Jr.,  Dr. Stephen Alex (Claire Simon) Luker, Jr.,  Peggy Anne Merchant (Ronnie) Lassiter, Michael Shon Luker and Satyn Lee Luker (Luke) Morris; four great-grandchildren, Jolie Paris Thompson, Ola Thompson, Karolina Merchant and Nathaniel Merchant; sister, Janice Luker Shelton; brother, Edwin (Beverly) Luker; two brothers-in-law, Daniel (Willette) Mitchem , Jim Mitchem; three sisters-in-law, Patsy Mitchem (Thomas) Salusky, Ida Hayes Mitchem, and Patricia Whiddon Mitchem; numerous loved nieces and nephews; and a devoted family friend, Jimmie Lois Jackson.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, W. J. Luker and Carlton Luker;  sisters, Jewel  Luker Jones and Gladyne Luker Graham; and a granddaughter, Devra Denise Merchant.

Rosa Mae Benjamin

Brewton

Rosa Mae Benjamin, 89, passed away on Jan. 11, 2017, after a brief illness.

Funeral services were held Sat., Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. at First Marietta Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. Eddie Stallworth and Rev. George Garrison officiating. Burial followed at First Marietta Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery with Presley-Fluker Funeral Home directing.

Her grandsons and nephews served as pallbearers.

She was born Oct. 23, 1927 to the late Deacon Richard and Eunice Poindexter of the Mason community. The family states “though we may weep for a while, we rejoice and thank our Heavenly Father for the life she lived among us and for taking her to the land of no more pain and suffering, the land promised to the faithful.”

She accepted Christ at an early age and joined First Marietta Missionary Baptist Church, where she served faithfully until her death. She was educated in the Escambia County School System and was employed for 22 years before retiring from the Escambia County Board of Education in 1998. She worked as a bus driver and a cafeteria worker touching the lives of many youth in the surrounding communities.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Hersol Benjamin; her children, Walter D. Poindexter and Zelma Culliver and a brother, Everette Poindexter.

She is survived by six grandchildren, Walter (Lisa), Chrissey (Clifton), Willie Jr., Shelia and Dewayne (Diane); nine great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; one daughter-in-law, Annie P. Poindexter; one sister-in-law, Marie Poindexter; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Johnnie Joshua Smith

Century, Fla.

Johnnie Joshua Smith, 47, passed away on Sat., Jan. 21, 2017, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla.

Visitation will be held today, Jan. 25, at Flomaton Funeral Home Chapel from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

He was born in Flomaton, and had been a resident of the Century community since 2016 coming from Pensacola.  During his working years, he worked for BE&K as a heavy equipment operator.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Buck and Louise Smith.

He is survived by his wife, Kimberly Hughes Smith of Pensacola; son, Johnnie Smith of Pensacola; brother, Cleveland Rufus (Susan) Smith, Jr. of McCall; sisters, Sonja (Mike) Allen of Century, Fla., and Tammy (Tommy) Wilkerson of Pollard; nephews, Burton (Ryan) Smith of Pace, Fla., Brandon (Deadria) Smith of Century; nieces, Rachael Smith of Century, Brandy (Matt) Ray of Flomaton, and Jalynn Strebel of Pensacola,; numerous great-nieces and great-nephews; mother-in-law, Sue Davis of Opp; and sister-in-law, Cary  Carter of Pensacola.

Share your memories and condolences with the family at flomatonfh.com.

Flomaton Funeral Home Directing.

Natasha Nicole Dandridge

Prattville

Natasha Nicole Dandridge, 36, a resident of Prattville, passed away on Sun., Jan. 15, 2017. Funeral services were held on Sat., Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. from the Chapel of Prattville Memorial with Pastor Carl Reed officiating. followed in Prattville Memory Gardens with Prattville Memorial directing.

Pallbearers were Spencer Mooney, Steele Mooney, Roger Easterling “Snookum”, Chris Bryson, Scottie Bryson and Matthew Davis. Honorary pallbearer was

Josh Mooney

She was preceded in death by her grandparents , Edna Hill, Billy Armstrong, Margaret Mooney, Dorothy and Harold Hill and Sandra Bankston; and uncle, Paul Armstrong.

She is survived by her parents, Ronnie and Carol Mount and Scott Mooney; two daughters, Brooklyn and Brianna Pugh; one sister, Jessica McNeil! (Harold Webb); three brothers, Josh Mooney, Spencer Mooney and Steele Mooney; two aunts, Batrina Willmore (Scott) and Kimberly Jackson (Leon); two uncles, Douglas Armstrong and William Armstrong; and extended family and many friends.

John Stewart Neal

Brewton

John S. “Jack” Neal, a native of Brewton and resident of Century, went to be with the Lord after an extended illness.

A private family service was held Fri., Jan. 20, with Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home directing.

He enjoyed a long career in the timber and wood products business, serving as an officer and director of T. R. Miller Mill Company, a director of Cedar Creek Land and Timber Company, and a director of Neal Land and Timber Company.

He was co-founder of Big River Cypress and Hardwood. He was a past president of the Brewton Chamber of Commerce, served as a Brewton city councilman, and was a former member of the Brewton Rotary Club.

He was instrumental in establishing the Brewton YMCA. He was a former member of the First Presbyterian Church in Brewton, and he was a current member of Century United Methodist Church. He was full of life, had a big heart and a contagious laugh. He pursued his beliefs and interests with unbridled passion.

He is survived by his mother, Sara Olivia Beall Neal; sisters, Kate Neal (Joe) McNeel, and Lauren Neal Shepard; brothers, Terrill (Patti) Neal, and Jim (Ann) Neal; and nieces and nephews, Jessica Neal (David) Pickett, Matthew Neal, Rebekah Neal, Stephen Neal, Natalie Neal, Morgan McNeel, Alex McNeel, Taylor Shepard and Ben Shepard.

He was predeceased by his father, William Thomas Neal, Jr.; and grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William Thomas (Vivian Voltz) Neal, and Mr. and Mrs. John Angus (Adah McCaskill Davison) Beall.

Frank Joseph Redkey Jr.

Flomaton

Frank Joseph “Frankie” Redkey, Jr., 40, passed away Wed., Jan. 18, 2017.

Funeral services were held on Mon., Jan. 23, at 6 p.m. from the chapel of Craver’s Funeral Home with Pastor Joey Johnson officiating.

He was born in Pensacola, Fla., and had been a life-long resident of Flomaton. He was a member of the Northview High School Class of 1995, and worked as a laborer with Creamer Dozier.  He was of the Christian faith.

He is survived by his wife, Amy Melissa Redkey of Flomaton; one son, Kendall LaDon Redkey of Flomaton; two sisters, Lisa (Eric) Morris of Cantonment, Fla., and Nancy (Thomas) Adams of Century, Fla.; six nieces, Caitlyn Nelson, Destiny Fick, Anna Roberson, Somer Nelson, Ivey Morris, and Rosa Morris; Six nephews, Christopher Fick, Xander Nelson, Gabe Nelson, Austin Adams, Cody Adams and Dusty Carnley; special friends, Brandon Brake of Pollard, Claude Kent of Flomaton, Steve Creamer of Brewton; and his Creamer work family.

Share your memories and condolences with the family at craversfh.com.

Alton L. Odom

Brewton

Alton L. “Sonny” Odom, 72, passed away Thurs., Jan. 19, 2017, in the Brewton hospital.

Graveside services, with military honors, were held on Tues., Jan. 24, at 1 p.m. at Pleasant Home Cemetery with the Rev. Tony Winkler officiating.

He was born in Brewton, and had been a resident of Colorado before returning to live in Brewton three years ago. He was a U.S. Army veteran; was a member of the NRA, and was a Special Olympics coach. He was of the Protestant faith.

He is survived by two daughters, Tuesday (Barry) Westerman, and Tammy Weinzirl, both of Colorado; a brother, Johnie Odom of Brewton; two sisters, Dinkey (Russell) Johnson of Moss Point, Miss., and Wynette (Charles) Coleman of Pike Road; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Share your memories and condolences with the family at craversfh.com.

Dewey Harrison Morris

Brewton

Dewey Harrison Morris, 87, passed away Thurs., Jan. 19, 2017, at his Brewton residence.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 22, 2017, from the chapel of Craver’s Funeral Home with Bro Jerry Morris and Bro. Jimmy Long officiating.  Interment, with military honors, followed in Hall’s Creek Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Jerod Morris, Jeremy Morris, Dalton Morris, Doug Morris, Darryl Arrant and Brian Conway

He was a life-long resident of Brewton. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and was a technician at Monsanto for a number of years. He was a member of Hall’s Creek Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Johnny and Hattie Mae Morris; siblings, Richard, Frank, Edgar and Ida Mae; and two granddaughters, Melanie and Tina Marie Morris.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marie Knowles Morris of Brewton; one son, Jerry (Margaret) Morris of Brewton; two daughters, Donna Bell of Flomaton, and Debbie (Jeff) Wright of Brewton; one brother, Miles Morris of Pensacola, Fla.; two sisters, Eleanor Whittacre of Branson, Mo., and Amy Henry of Pensacola; six grandchildren, Jeanie, Jerod, John, Jeremy, Mandy, and Rachel; and nine great-grandchildren.

Share your memories and condolences with the family at craversfh.com.

Angelina Frances Hanks

Lenox

Angelina Frances Hanks, 84, passed away on Mon., Jan. 23, 2017, at her Lenox residence.

Graveside funeral services were held on Tues., Jan. 24, at 4 p.m. at Springhill Cemetery with the Rev. Doug Darby officiating. Her grandsons served as pallbearers.

She was born in Newburgh, N.Y. and had been a resident of Lenox since 1969, coming from Bay Minette. She worked as a teacher’s aide with the Conecuh County School System for a number of years. She was a member of Springhill United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Ernie Hanks.

She is survived by three sons, Butch (Linda) Hanks, Randy (Ree) Hanks, and Donnie Hanks, all of Lenox; one daughter, Marguerite (Gerry) Watson of Bermuda; grandchildren, Michael (Monica) Hanks, Marty (Charie) Hanks, Justina Bowen, Brittany Hanks, Dusty Hanks, Alex (Heath) Harrelson, Buchanan Watson and Hunter Hanks; and great-grandchildren, Tyler Hanks, Blair Hanks, Coleman Hanks, Reggan Hanks, and Sophia Escavaedo.

Share your memories and condolences with the family at craversfh.com.