Best Of The Best

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Obituaries April 27 – May 4

Bettye Kramer Cannizzo 

Decatur 

Bettye Kramer Cannizzo passed peacefully April 26 in Huntsville. Predeceased by her husband Walter in 2010, she is survived by two daughters, three granddaughters and four great-grandchildren. 

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Feb. 28, 1924, she left the University of Southern Mississippi to work for the Illinois Central Railroad in Hattiesburg during WWII. 

She married Walter Cannizzo May 30, 1946, beginning a life-long partnership. With each of many moves, Bettye made friends easily, joined a local church, undertook volunteer work and established a garden. 

An award-winning poet, her poems were published in various journals. Her collection on Scotland, The Wind Remembers, was Alabama State Poetry Society’s 2004 Book of the Year. 

Bettye was grateful for the loving care she received while at Columbia Cottage, Hartselle and Brookshire Healthcare Center, Huntsville. 

A private ceremony was held at Roselawn Cemetery in Decatur with Pastor Gary Soop officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lutheran World Relief or Alacare Home Health Hospice. 

 

Chris Gilbert 

Hartselle 

Chris Gilbert, 49, received his wings April 27 at Decatur Morgan Hospital after a brief illness. 

The graveside service was held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Burningtree Memorial Gardens with Bro. Brian Bridges and Bro. Nathan Green officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. 

Pallbearers were Neal Pope, Michael Lyons, Joe Curtis, Darell Haley, Neil Wills, Jim Watts and David Brown. Honorary pallbearers were John, Paul, George and Ringo. 

He is survived by his father and best friend, Donnie Gilbert (Susie), Hartselle; sister, Wendy Gilbert Delinski (Bernie), Sheffield; niece, Katie Delinski, Nashville; and nephew, Michael Delinski, Sheffield. 

He was preceded in death by his mother, Patricia Ann Gilbert. 

He was a 1989 graduate of Hartselle High School and was employed at General Electric. He was an avid Atlanta Braves and Alabama Crimson Tide fan. He loved music, especially the Beatles. 

Chris was a loving son and brother, as well as “Big Brother” to his niece and nephew. He was highly thought of by all who knew him and will be dearly missed. Alabama football will never be the same. 

 The family would like to extend their gratitude to the ICU staff at Decatur Morgan Hospital for their extra special care of our beloved Chris. 

 Memorials may be made in the names of Chris Gilbert and/or Patricia Gilbert to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio Street, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611 or visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org. 

 

Patty Byrd 

Hartselle 

Graveside service and interment for Patty Byrd, 67, were held April 30 at 11 a.m. at Hartselle Memory Gardens with Bro. Danny Garrison officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Ms. Byrd died April 28 at Hospice Family Care. She was born Feb. 10, 1953, in Morgan County to Ruel Harvey Byrd and Geraldine Vinzant Byrd. She was preceded in death by her parents. She was a loving caregiver and a minister of the gospel. 

Survivors include two daughtersPatty Jo Smallwood (Tim) and Elizabeth Slaughter (Kevin); sister, Brenda Landers; four grandchildren, BethAnne Peters, Wade Garrison,
Connor Delgado and Olivia Delgado; five great-grandchildren; and one step-grandsonDakota Smallwood. 

 

Scotty E. Maples 

Decatur 

The family invited everyone to come and celebrate the life of Scotty E. Maples at his graveside service at New Center Baptist Church Cemetery May 2 at 1 p.m. with Bro. Ronald Manley and Bro. Bryan Blass officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Mr. Maples died April 29 at his residence. He was born Sept. 1, 1941, to Patrick Eugene Maples and Birdie Mary Lou Ferguson Maples.  

Mr. Maples was born in Hartselle and was a 1959 graduate of Morgan County High School, where he was a three-year letterman on the varsity basketball team. Upon graduation, he attended Clark College in Mississippi on a basketball scholarship.  

Mr. Maples served in the Army National Guard. He began his professional career working as a planner with NARCOG, went to be the director of Morgan County Parks and Recreation, served as a city councilman and later was elected mayor of the City of Hartselle. He retired as principal owner of Local Government Revenue Enhancement Company Inc.  

He often enjoyed playing golf, attending Alabama basketball games and supporting his grandchildren in numerous sporting events and activities. His love for music and singing led him to serve in the choir where he was a member at Central Baptist Church in Decatur. 

Survivors include his wife, Linda Blaxton Maples; three daughtersMarla Robinson (Darryl), Jennifer Chandler (Jeff) and Christy Williams (Shawn); and six grandchildren/ 

 Jason Blaxton, Mark Blaxton, Grant Chandler, Slater Robinson, Austin Chandler, Nickolas Williams and Garrett Robinson served as pallbearers.   

 

Tonya Barnett 

Hartselle 

A graveside service for Tonya Barnett, 36, of Hartselle was held May 5 at noon in Oak Ridge Cemetery with Bro. Michael Gunter officiating. 

Mrs. Barnett was born July 8, 1983, in Lawrence County to Tony Dwain Wallace and Bridget Lashane Terry Wallace. She passed away May 2 at her residence. She was a homemaker. 

She is survived by her parents; son Byron Norman Penn; daughters Autumn Makenzie Barnett and Elizabeth Pearl Wallace; and sister Tera Moon and husband Joey. 

 

Mildred L. Smith 

Hartselle 

Graveside service and interment for Mildred L. Smith, 85, were held May 3 at 3 p.m. at Edgil Grove Cemetery in Jasper with Bro. Greg Burcham officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Mrs. Smith died on April 30 at Decatur Morgan Hospital. She was born Feb. 8, 1935, in Walker County to Alonzo Lee and Ester Kilgore Lee. She worked in several different restaurants in the Hartselle area before she retired, as well as being a homemaker.  

Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George J. Smith Jr.; siblings, Barbara Patton and Roy Lee; and a grandchild, Stephanie Fasselin. 

Survivors include son George Randall Smith (Diane), son Kevin Lee Smith, son Brian Allen Smith (Susi), brother Clyde Allen Lee, brother Gene Lee (Loraine), sister Betty Dobbins, sister Sylvia Hancock, sister Freda McMahan, seven grandchildren Rebecca Smith, Tyler Smith, Justin Smith, Valerie Kirby, Craig Johnson, Kelly Alexander and Jayna Newsom and four great-grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers please donate to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society. 

 

Faye Lake Bankston  

Falkville 

Faye Lake Bankston, 90, of Trinity passed away peacefully at her son’s home in Huntsville April 30.  

 Graveside funeral will be held May 6 at 1 p.m. at Roselawn Funeral Home Mausoleum. Officiating at her funeral will be the Rev. Dr. Myron G. Mooney.  

 She was from Morgan County, growing up in the Falkville/Neel community.  

She was a member of Trinity Baptist Church, Trinity.  She was also an active member of Decatur’s Sunshine Club.    

 She is survived by her son, Charles T. Bankston of Huntsville; her daughter, Deborah F. Bankston of Smyrna, Ga.; and a brother, Floyd Lake of Birmingham.  

She is preceded in death by her husband, Charles E. Bankston of Trinity; her brother, John D. Lake of Pleasant Groveher sister, Betty Lake Gassaway of Boazand her parents, Connie F. and Zelma Parker Lake of Wylam.  

 In lieu of flowers please show remembrance by contributing to your favorite charity.  

 

James William “Jim” Pryor 

Hillsboro 

graveside funeral service and interment for James William “Jim” Pryor, 79, were held May 4 at 4 p.m. at Gilliam Springs Baptist Cemetery in Arab, with Suzanne Pryor officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Mr. Pryor died May 2 at his residence. He was born April 14, 1941, in Kentucky to Willie Dee Pryor Sr. and Bella Owens Pryor. He was employed as a truck driver for Hutting Building Supply prior to his retirement.  

Preceding him in death were his parents; a sonJonathan William Pryor; and a sister, Sue Huckabee Knoe. 

Survivors include wife Stella Singleton Pryor; three sonsJames Wendell Pryor (Tracey)Jason Wesley Pryor (Suzanne) and Jeffery Wayne Pryor; two daughtersJennifer Lynn Pryor (Darren) and Joanie Lynn Pryor (Michael); brotherWillie D. Pryor Jr.; two sistersMary Frances Alley and Ann Smith; 18 grandchildren; and 10 grandchildren. 

Pallbearers were Wesley Pryor, Jeffery Pryor, William Page, James Pryor, Joseph Pryor, Jeffery Dwayne Jones, Steve McCormick and Michael McCormick. 

 

Berta Bell Hall Crowell 

Falkville 

Berta Bell Crowell, 53, passed away April 26 at Decatur Morgan hospital. Berta was born July 9, 1966, to Lemond Hall and Mary Hall. 

She was preceded in death by her father, Lemond Hall. 

Berta is survived by her loving husband of nearly 38 years, Virgil Crowell; daughters Bandy Lee (Chris) and April Leverett (Jon); mother Mary Hall; brothers Raymond Hall and Jimmie Hall; sisters Ruth Crowell and Joann Brannon; and seven precious grandchildren, Valerie, Nick, Wyatt, Auston, Jordan, Ava and Adalyn. 

No funeral service will be held at this time. There will be a Celebration of Life held at a later date for Berta. 

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