Obituaries for Wed., Aug. 30, 2017, edition

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Donald Eugene Ellis Sr.


Donald “Don” Eugene Ellis Sr., 81, of Brewton, passed away on Sat., Aug. 26, 2017, surrounded by family.

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Funeral service will be held today, Aug. 30, at 10 a.m. at Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home with the Rev. Larry Watts officiating. Interment with military honors followed at the May Creek Methodist Church Cemetery in Brewton.


He was born in Seminole County, Okla., on Oct.7, 1935, to the late Fred and Catherine Ellis. He began his military service in the Navy, and while stationed in Pensacola, Fla. in 1956, he met and married the love of his life, Laura Catherine Power (Burnham). After leaving the Navy, he continued his service in the Air Force, and joined the Army in 1967. While serving, he graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1969, majoring in political science.

During his service, he was awarded numerous medals and awards, including two Bronze Stars. He retired from the Army in 1976, as a Chief Warrant Officer III. After retiring, he and his family returned to his wife’s hometown of Brewton, where they built their “forever home.” He began a second career working in various positions for the State of Alabama, and retired in 1995.

A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, hunting and fishing. A member of the First Baptist Church of East Brewton, he loved the Lord, and served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher for many years. He never met a stranger, and was a master storyteller, whose laughter could fill a room. He was a special man who made a difference in every life he touched. He will be missed.

He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Laura Catherine Ellis; four children, Carolyn (Larry) Wilson of Denton, Texas; Glenda (Bill) Klinsky of Mebane, N.C.; Donald (Doris) Ellis Jr. of Brewton; and Jan (David) Reeves of Green Cove Springs, Fla.; a brother, Fred (Theda) Ellis Jr. of Oklahoma City, Okla.; and four sisters, Patricia (Wayne) Bullard, Margaret (Rodney) Bailey, Freda Harry, and Carolyn Cook, all of Allen, Okla.; and six grandchildren, Deann (Pat) Cline, Dixie (Brian) Wiggins, Melissa (Ben) Keiser, Lauren (Nathan) Gillen, Zachary (Baron) Klinsky and Natalie Klinsky.

He is also survived by six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Catherine Ellis.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Donald Gene Crispin

Flint, Mich.

Donald “Don” Gene Crispin, 85, of Flint, Mich., passed away Sat., Aug. 26, 2017, after an extended illness.

Visitation will be held Sat., Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. until the memorial service time of 11 a.m., at the East Brewton First United Methodist Church, located at 616 Forrest Avenue in East Brewton.

He was a resident of East Brewton for many years.

He served his country in the U.S. Army and was a Korean War Veteran. He then retired in his later years from the USPS in Brewton. He was of the Methodist faith and a member of the East Brewton First United Methodist Church.

He was preceded in death by his wife; Ruth Crispin; and sister; Wanda Spear.

He is survived by six children; John (Shea) Crispin, Cheryl (Steve) Henderson, Michael (Henadi) Crispin, Candy (Stacey) Crispin Steel, Doug Aking and Ed Aking. He is also survived by a brother, Richard (Mildred) Crispin; and sister, Marcha Crispin.

Thomas Gordon Lowrey Jr.

East Brewton

Thomas Gordon Lowrey, Jr., 87, of Florida Street in East Brewton, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Wed., Aug. 23, 2017, following a lengthy illness.

Funeral services were held Fri., Aug. 25, at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Brewton with the Rev. Parker Johnson officiating. Interment followed in Green Acres Cemetery in Brewton with Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home directing.

As a young man, he joined the United States Navy serving his country for 20 years of active duty and retiring with the rank of senior chief. Following retirement in the summer of 1969, he and his family moved back to his wife’s hometown of East Brewton and resided there until his death.

After completing an HVAC and electrical degree from Reid State Technical College, he founded Lowrey’s Refrigeration, Heating, and Air Conditioning serving surrounding areas until his retirement in December 1991.

Faithfully serving his community and church with a servant’s heart, he had a genuine love for others and missions. He served his Lord and Savior at the First Presbyterian Church of Brewton for many years as a deacon and elder. Since January 2010, he served as Elder Emeritus.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 59 years, Betty Fountain Lowrey; three daughters, Donna Lowrey (Kenny) Revel of East Brewton, Tammy Lowrey Griffin, and Lesli Lowrey (Ron) Hudson, both of Brewton; son, Thomas Gordon (Amanda) Lowrey, III of Notasulga; and 12 grandchildren, Ethan Lowrey, Evan Lowrey, Gordon Lowrey, Ava Lowrey, Douglas Revel, Brittany Revel, Hunter Revel, Garett Griffin, Paige Griffin, Emily Griffin, Gabe Hudson and Jake Hudson.

He was preceded in death by parents, Thomas Gordon Lowrey Sr. and Ellen Amelia Peterson Lowrey; brother, George Lowrey; sister, Edith Graver; grandchildren, Kenneth Lamar Revel, Jr., and Mae Elizabeth Revel; and great nephew, Kyle Lowrey.

Condolences may be sent and obituaries can be read at

Ray Levon Strength


Ray Levon Strength, 81, of Flomaton, passed away on Sun., Aug. 20, 2017, at his home.

Funeral services were held on Sat., Aug. 26, at Flomaton Funeral Home Chapel at 11 a.m. with the Rev. James Johnson officiating and Flomaton Funeral Home directing and interment following in Beulah Cemetery in Brewton.

He was a resident of the Flomaton Community since 1987. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force and the Merchant Marines. He enjoyed making donations to the Flomaton Historical Society. He was a member of Osaka Free Will Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Radford and Lillie Mae Strength, and brothers, Bernard Strength and Fredrick Strength.

He is survived by his son, Michael Strength of Navarre, Fla.; daughter, Sheryl (Ronnie) Kirkland of Jay, Fla.; brother, James Harold (Judy) Strength of Flomaton; and two grandchildren.

Share your memories and condolences with the family at

Joe Macks Pettis


Joe Macks Pettis, 60, of Hwy. 41 in Brewton, passed away Thurs., Aug. 24, 2017, at his residence after a brief illness.

Funeral services were held Tues., Aug. 29, at 10 a.m. at Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home with the Rev. Donnis Bowman and the Rev. Stevie Cooper officiating. Interment followed in Weaver Cemetery in Brewton with Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home directing.

He was a native and life long resident of Brewton. He was a member of the Edendale Holiness Church and a 1975 graduate of W.S. Neal High School. He was employed at Medline Industries in Monroeville for a number of years and Billy Barnes Trucking where he earned several safety awards. After leaving the trucking industry, he opened his own business, 41 Ways, LLC, of which he was very proud.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Ruby Maria Pugh Pettis of Brewton; two sons, Richard Joseph Pettis of Portland, Maine; Paul Anthony Pettis of Brewton; brother, Allen (Ruth) Pettis of Castleberry; three sisters-in-law, Dollie Pettis of Montgomery, Linda Kay (Lamar) Butts of Brewton, and Rachel Pugh (Homand) of Muncie, India; mother-in-law, Jewel Lee Nowling Pugh; two brothers-in-law, Randall (Debi) Pugh, and Stephen (Camille) Pug, all of Brewton; and a number of nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by parents, Leroy and Rosa Lee Blair Pettis; brother, David Pettis; and father-in-law, J.D. Pugh.

Condolences may be sent and obituaries can be read at

Sarah Gleaton Wilkinson


Sarah Gleaton Wilkinson, 72, of the Tellico Village Community, Loudon, formerly of Montgomery, went home to be with the Lord Saturday morning, Aug. 26, 2017.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

She was born in Brewton to Henry and Doris Gleaton. She was retired from Montgomery Public Schools. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister.

She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Joseph E. Wilkinson Jr.; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Shannon Sapp of Knoxville; son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Lori Wilkinson of Eufaula; grandchildren, Sydney (Josiah) Yance, Kendall Wilkinson, Collin and Parker Sapp; sister and brother-in-law, Elaine and Tommy Price of Montgomery; brother and sister-in-law, John and Nora Gleaton of Brewton; nephew, Johnny (Amy) Gleaton of Foley, Jason (Teresa) Gleaton of Brewton; Kimberly Price of Washington D.C, Jenny and Rob Ochotnicky of Atlanta.

Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel is serving the Wilkinson family.

Thomas E. Shipp


Thomas E. Shipp, 71, of Castleberry, passed away Thurs., Aug. 24, 2017, in the Mobile Infirmary.

Funeral services were held Mon., Aug. 28, at London Baptist Church with the Rev. Buddy Williams officiating. Interment followed in the London Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 pm., Sun., Aug. 27, 2017 at Cope-Keahey Funeral Home. Cope-Keahey Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Shipp of Castleberry; sons, Tommy (Tracy) Shipp of Opelika, and Jamie Shipp of Castleberry; step son, Tony Baggett of Fairhope; daughter, Leslie Shipp of Birmingham; step-daughters, Wendy (Lamar) Stokes of Lenox, and Diane (Ray) Stacey of Repton; brother, Elvis Shipp of Wisc.; sisters, Iva (Bill) Thrope of Spanish Fort, Evangeline Stacey, Elsie (Joey) Pate, and Edna (Michael) Sims, all of Castleberry; and numerous step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren.

Beverly Cooper Foster


Beverly Cooper Foster, 39, of Northport, passed away on Sun., Aug. 27, 2017, at her residence.

Visitation will be held Thurs., Aug. 31, from 9:30 a.m. to the 11 a.m. memorial service time at Sunset Funeral Home with John Verciglio officiating and Sunset Funeral Home directing.


She grew up in Brewton, attended Brewton City Schools and transferred from T.R. Miller High School to the Alabama School of Math and Science as a junior. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church. She was active in and served as president of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Explorer post.

When she graduated from high school, she attended Jefferson Davis Community College and worked as a dispatcher and corrections officer with ECSD.

From JDCC, she attended the University of Alabama where she was also employed with the UA Police Department as a dispatcher.

While in Tuscaloosa, she met the love of her life, best friend and confidant, Matt. They have two beautiful children, Jordan (11) and Marisol (nine), who thought their mother hung the moon.

She also worked for Hale County DHR where she investigated cases of child abuse and neglect.

After leaving the job, she took on the hardest job ever, being a full-time wife and mother. She was a bright purple smile that will be missed by many.

She is survived by her husband, Matt Foster; daughters, Jordan and Marisol; mother, Claire Cooper Sanborn half-sister, Nora Tate; step-sisters, Dee Ward and Kylisha Mallard; half-brother, Tracey Sanborn; father and mother-in-law, Tommy and Melissa Foster; and sister-in-law, Haley Melancon.

She is preceded in death by her father, James Sanborn; and grandparents, Louis and Pat Cooper, James and Hesta Bonner, and Lucille and Clifton Foster.