Best Of The Best

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Obituaries Aug. 17 – 24

Bob Vandergrift 


Funeral service for Bob Vandergrift, 78, was Aug. 20 at 11 a.m. at the graveside at Hartselle City Cemetery with Bro. Michael Gunter officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Hartselle City Cemetery. No public visitation is scheduled. 

Mr. Vandergrift died Aug. 17 at Decatur Morgan Hospital. He was born Feb. 27, 1942, in Pennsylvania to Robert Francis Vandergrift Sr. and Catherine Crawley Vandergrift. He was employed as a materials handler for Hart and Cooley Company prior to his retirement.  

He was a wonderful husband, father, brother and grandfather.  

He was preceded in death by his parents. 

Survivors include his wife, Judy Murphree Vandergrift; two sons, Greg Vandergrift (Shannon) and
Scott Vandergrift; two stepdaughters, Kim Parris (Steve) and Kelly Wade (Michael); two brothers, Jerry Vandergrift (Mary) and Mark McKniff; two sisters, Billie Mitro and Kathy Iannusi (John); 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers were his grandsons. 


Anthony “Red” Larry Sheppard 


Funeral service for Anthony “Red” Larry Sheppard, 63, was Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Ralph Henderson officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Mr. Sheppard died Aug. 20 at Hospice Family Care. He was born July 20, 1957, in Cullman County to Talmadge Lee Sheppard and Sarah Edith Johnson Sheppard. He was self-employed as a mechanic.  

He was preceded in death by his son, Larry Sheppard; his parents; a brotherKenneth Sheppard; and a sister, Mary Wilbanks. 

Survivors include his wife, Dinah Sheppard; one son, David Sheppard (Brittany Summerford); two daughters, Dana Sheppard (Ben Crider) and Jennifer Newberger (Ty); two brothers, Calvin Sheppard (Jewel) and Lionel Sheppard; three sisters, Doris Hosmer, Alisha Tomlin (Dillard) and Wanda Williams; and seven grandchildren, Aaliyah Douglas, Jacob Crider, Gray Newberger, Morgan McMurray, Ashley Sheppard, Skylor Sheppard and Everly Newberger. 


“Dale” Roger Burchell Jr. 


Funeral service for “Dale” Roger Burchell Jr., 50, was Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Midway Memorial Gardens. 

Mr. Burchell died Aug. 18. He was born Dec. 1, 1969, in Indiana to Roger Dale Burchell Sr. and Voncelle Shadrix Burchell. He was a truck driver for Mid Central Carriers. He was a child of God and a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. 

Survivors include his wife, Marty Spicer Burchellhis parents, Roger and Voncelle Shadrix Burchell; three sons, Jonathon Burchell (Britany), Robert Jacob Key and Michael Douglas Spicer; four daughters, Alisha Nickole BurchellGloria Marie Key (Zack)Brittnee Michelle Spicer and BreeAnnah Belle Spicer Parker (Caleb); two sisters, Serena Burchell and Crystal Humphrey (Jim); and five grandchildren, Elijah, Wyatt, JoeJoe, Kole and Alexa. 

Pallbearers were Caleb Parker, David Frost, David Corbitt, Bree Spicer, Eddie Spicer, Timothy McCarthy, Jeremiah Connell and Zack Teague. 


Gina Ann Summerford 

Bensenville, Illinois 

Funeral service for Gina Ann Summerford, 51, of Bensenville, Illinois, and formerly of Hartselle, was Aug. 23 at 3 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Michael Gunter officiating. Burial was in Hartselle City Cemetery. Hartselle Heritage Funeral Home directed.  

She was born June 11, 1969 in Hartselle to Robert C. Summerford and Sherry R. Roberts Summerford. She passed away Aug. 18 at her residence.  

She was preceded in death by her father.  

Gina was a loving mother, daughter and sister. She was a very hard worker. Gina was a regional manager for Cargolux Airlines.  

Survivors include one sonKellen Stephen Nyikos; motherSherry R. Summerford; two sistersCherie Summerford and Robin S. Sharp (Mike); and nieceHolly Sharp. 


Ronna Gail Woods Halbrooks 


Graveside service and interment for Ronna Woods Halbrooks, 75, of Falkville, were held Aug. 24 at 11 a.m. at Falkville City Cemetery with Bro. Stephen Cannon officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. 

Mrs. Halbrooks died Aug. 21. She was born July 16, 1945 in Morgan County to Casper L. Woods and Margaret Mardis Woods.  

Mrs. Halbrooks retired from Sonoco-Metco, where she worked as an office manager.  

Mrs. Halbrooks was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Falkville. She faithfully served her Lord and her church as a children’s Sunday School teacher, AWANA leader, Vacation Bible School teacher, choir member and church clerk.  

Mrs. Halbrooks was a local business owner and civic leader. She also provided meals to the sick and elderly in the Falkville community with the help of her late brother, Donnie Woods. 

Mrs. Halbrooks was preceded in death by her husband, Jeral Halbrooks; her parents; and two brothers, Donnie Woods and David Woods. 

Survivors include three sons: Al Brown (Ann) of Perdido Key Beach, FloridaKenneth A. Brown (Debbie) of Falkville; and David Halbrooks of Falkville; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers were John Blackwood, Brett Blackwood, Collin Blackwood, Trevor Blackwood, Paxton Reeves and Kerry Reeves. 

Betty Lorraine Cross Allen 


Betty Lorraine Cross Allen, 91, of Hartselle, formerly from Selma, passed away Aug. 21.  

She was born May 5, 1929 in Birmingham. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, John Noil Cross and Margaret Lorraine Spencer Cross; by her husband, Joseph (Joe) Enoch Allen; and by her brother, Robert (Bobby) Noil Cross Sr, and sister-in-law Andrea Knowles Cross. 

Mrs. Allen is survived by her two daughters, Dana Allen (Mike) Haley of Lowell, N.C., and Kimberly Allen Gully of Hartselle; her five grandsons, Peter Allen (Ashley) Haley of Lexington, S.C., John Scott (Sarah) Haley of Charlotte, N.C., Joseph Clark (Macey) Gully of Birmingham, Samuel Clay Gully of Huntsville and Benjamin Conner Gully of Hartselle; her great-grandson, Patrick Henry Haley of Lexington, S.C.; her sisters-in-law, Daph Crew of Montgomery, Bet (Dean) Istre of Baton Rouge, La., and Kay McHugh of Orrville; and her brother-in-law, Tim Allen of Cedar Grove, Tenn., as well a host of cousins, nieces and nephews. 

She was a 1947 graduate of Albert G. Parrish High School in Selma and attended Massey Business College in Birmingham. She retired Jan. 1, 1992, from the Alabama State Employment Service in Selma after 32.5 years of service. After retiring, she enjoyed extended trips to Sorry Away in Orange Beach, watching sportsespecially Auburn Tiger football and Atlanta Braves baseball, reading and spending time with her family. 

A member of First United Methodist Church, Hartselle, and former member of Selmont Baptist Church and Elkdale Baptist Church in Selma, Mrs. Allen served the Lord in numerous capacities. Her Godgiven gift was encouragement, and her many notes, cards, gifts of Jesus Calling, phone calls and visits to the homebound touched the lives of many people. 

She loved the Lord, her family, her friends and her church. She was “Mom” to her daughters, “MeMe” to her grandsons and “Mama Bets” to her countless other children. 

Mrs. Allen’s graveside service will be held Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. at New Live Oak Cemetery, Selma, with the Revs. Daniel Martin and James Spicer officiating. Pallbearers will be her five grandsons and nephew, Robert N. Cross Jr. Honorary pallbearers will be Don Chamberlain, Trey Cross, Richard Dennis, Sam Gully, Galen Hammond, Jack Moseley, Craig Smith, Jamie Wallace, Quintus Williamson and Quinn Woods. 

The family wishes to express deepest appreciation to those who lovingly assisted in her care in recent months: Connie Nickelson, Shawnna Silas, Tammi Terry and Victoria Silas, as well as her extraordinary nurses and the support staff of Hospice of the Valley. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to Elkdale Baptist Church, 2221 Elkdale St., Selma, AL 36701; Hartselle FUMC – Good Sam Ministry, 210 Hickory St. SE, Hartselle, AL 35640; Hospice of the Valley, PO Box 2745, Decatur, AL 35602; or your favorite charity. 


Bobby Ray Dutton 


Graveside service and interment for Bobby Ray Dutton Jr., 60, of Hartselle will be Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. at Mt. Tabor Cemetery with Bro. Michael Gunter officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be Aug. 28 from 6p.m. at Peck Funeral Home. 

Mr. Dutton died Aug. 16 in California. He was born July 18, 1961 in New Jersey to Bobby Ray Dutton Sr., and Patricia Ann Leger Dutton. Mr. Dutton was a journeyman lineman with I.B.E.W. #1245.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and father-in-law, Edward Ganster. 

Survivors include his sisterDeborah Willerton (Gary); fiancée and love of his life Denise Boyer of Niagara Falls, New York, motherCarol GansterdaughterSarah Cardamone (Bob) of Gastonia, North CarolinasisterCarolyn Philips (Craig) of Texas; two grandchildrenEmily Peppard and Gracie Cardamone; nephews Scott Willerton, Matthew Willerton, Mark Geisel and Carl Geisel; niece Beth Geisel; great-nephew and niece Henry Willerton and Blakely Willerton, both of Hartselle; uncles Jack Dutton (JoAnn) and Grant Chandler, both of Hartselle; cousins Mary Jones, David Dutton, Christopher Dutton, Justin Parker, Bryan Parker, Grant Chandler II, Shannon Martin, Heather Hernandez, Bobbie Henke and Leonora Kelseyand brother at heart Steve Emery (Jackie). 

Pallbearers were Scott Willerton, Matthew Willerton, Jack Dutton, David Dutton, Grant Chandler II, and Anthony Wells.

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