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Obituaries Oct. 5 – 12

Chase Keel
Hartselle
Funeral service for Chase Keel, 34, was held Oct. 8 at p.m. at Fairview “The Grace Place” Church with Dr. Milan Dekich, Bro. Walter Blackman and Bro. Clay Tankersley officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was held in New Center Cemetery. 
Mr. Keel passed away Oct. 4. He was born Sept. 5, 1986, in Morgan County to Sherman Douglas Keel and Phyllis Ann Collins Keel. Chase was a member and deacon of the Fairview “The Grace Place” Church and was a wonderful husband, father and son. He loved his family and his Jesus with all his heart. He enjoyed hunting and woodworking.  

Chase was employed with Southern Company as a mechanical engineer.  

Survivors include his wifeLaura Keel; one son, Bryce Keel; father and stepmother, Doug Keel (Denise); motherPhyllis Keel; and one sisterCatie Keel.
Pallbearers were Tyler Laymon, Jeremy Wallace, Brandon Hitt, Clay Tankersley, Steven Pope and Patrick Jones.  

Chase was very passionate about financial freedom! He taught classes and was willing to help anyone who desired a biblical approach to spending. He longed for us to be without the constraint of debt so we all could better serve and love others just as Christ did. He was currently leading the charge to see his church debt free. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Fairview “The Grace Place. https://fairviewthegraceplace.churchcenter.com/giving/to/chase-keel-memorial-fund or 4154 Huckaby Bridge Road, Falkville, AL 35622. 

 

Ramon Therrel Wallace 

Hartselle 

Mr. Wallace passed away Oct. 7 at his residence.  

He was born Dec. 16, 1931, in Morgan County to John Therell Wallace and Julia Anne Speakman Wallace.  

He was a very active member of Forest Chapel Church and served with Meals on Wheels. He was employed with Monsanto and retired after 30 years of service. He was a member of the American Legion and was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He loved his family dearly.  

Preceding him in death were his parents; a sister, Bettie Jones; and two brothers, Pat Wallace and Andy Wallace.  

His family wishes to express a special thanks to Kindred at Home of Moulton and Kindred Hospice of Cullman for the kind and compassionate care.
Survivors include his wife, Rachel Williams Wallace; one son, Scotty Ray Wallace (Denise);
one daughter, Amy Wallace Coleman (Mark)one brother, Dwain Wallaceseven grandchildrenPatrick Wallace, Kathryn Wallace, Natalie Wallace, Mary Carol Coleman, Will Coleman, Weston Coleman and
Malia Coleman; and  great-grandchild Zayden Wallace.  

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to the American Cancer Society or Meals on Wheels of Morgan County. 

 

Jimmy O. Tilley 

Hartselle 

Jimmy Ophir Tilley entered into the earthly world July 4, 1933, and passed into the heavenly one Oct. 8. A memorial service was scheduled for Oct. 10 at First Baptist Church, Hartselle, at 2 p.mCaleb Lewis did the officiating, and Peck Funeral Home assisted the family.  

Born at the absolute depth of the Depression in Jones Chapel, Mr. Tilley had a childhood filled with the adventures of growing up on a farm surrounded by plenty of close cousins. He soon displayed inherent math and mechanical abilities that were hallmarks of his father and grandfather. 

After finishing at West Point High School, he hitchhiked his way to Florence State Teachers College to prepare to be a teacher. However, before finishing, and without telling his parents, he enlisted in the U.S. Army because he figured he was going to be drafted.  

In 1953 he was stationed at The Presidio in San Francisco, where he was a corporal in the Engineer
Corps and where he was valued because he was one of the few men who could type – a skill he learned by studying a chart that happened to be on a wall of his high school anatomy class.  

He volunteered for a special assignment in Anchorage, Alaska, where he spent several months before returning to San Francisco.
After being saved and baptized at Jones Chapel Methodist Church as a teenager and being involved in the Baptist Student Union at Florence State, he started attending Hamilton Square Baptist Church in San Francisco, where he met and fell in love with Claire DeKoninck in 1954. They were married Jan. 15, 1955. Instead of honeymooning in Lake Tahoe as scheduled, they drove all the way across the country to Jones Chapel, where he introduced his family to his new bride!  

He and Claire had many adventures driving around California in their 1956 VW beetle, and he was an affirmed VW man for all time after.
After finishing his time in the service and working for a couple of years in California, he decided to go to Embry Riddle Aeronautical School in Miami, Florida. He started an individual lawn business to earn money as he went to school, where he excelled.  

Upon graduation in 1960, he went to work for Pratt and Whitney in West Palm Beach, working as a design draftsman on the JT-11 engine that powered the Blackbird SR-71. In 1962 he moved to Marietta, Georgia, where he worked on the final design of the C-141 Starlifter. These jobs were right up his alley, as he had a lifelong fascination with airplanes.  

After two years, he completed the journey back to Alabama, moving to Hartselle in October 1964 to work for IBM on the design of the Saturn V instrument ring. In 1966 he completed his journey back to being a teacher when he was hired to teach drafting at Calhoun Community College. After six years of teaching at the college level, he transitioned again, and he and his wife were hired as original teachers at the new Albert P. Brewer High School. He taught drafting at Brewer until retirement after 29 years of teaching.
Mr. Tilley’s life could be characterized by always being willing to lend his mechanically-talented hand wherever needed. He designed houses for many people, providing professional-quality drawings, and even developed designs for several Morgan County School System buildings, including the addition for Brewer High School. He became a member of Hartselle First Baptist in 1969 and found his area of service in maintaining and running the sound system for more than 30 years. He was a people person, and he devoted his life to helping people get things done. He was an avid camper and spent many summers in the Smokies hiking and learning to carve miniatures. He enjoyed antiques, especially old lamps that he often repaired. He loved telling stories of his youth, and these stories were the last thing he was able to grasp as Alzheimer’s took its toll.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ophir O. Tilley and Elsie Laney Tilley, and by one sister, Rebecca, lost in childhood. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Claire; two sons, Patrick (Sheri) and Kenneth (Celeste), two brothers, Danny and Larry Tilley; and seven grandchildren, John Stuart Tilley, Melinda Tilley Flynn (Adam), Heather Tilley Lewis (Caleb), Logan Tilley, Owen Tilley, Virginia Tilley and Tyler Berry (Ana).
A special word of thanks to Encompass Hospice and to Rethenious Lynn from It’s Adonai, who cared for him with the mighty spirit of the Lord during his final few days on earth. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gideons. 

 

Gearldean “Geri” Hunt Roberts 

Hartselle 

Funeral service for Gearldean “Geri” Hunt Roberts, 71, was held Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. at Oak Park Church of God with Bro. Bobby Newman officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Oak Ridge
Cemetery.  

Mrs. Roberts passed away at her residence Oct. 8. She was born March 10, 1949, in Morgan County to Joseph Wilson Hunt and Ruby Pearl Turner Hunt. She was employed by The Decatur Daily doing vast clerical duties for 26 years prior to her retirement. She was a member of the Oak Park Church of God, formerly known as Sherman Street in Decatur, her entire life. As a member there, she taught Sunday School and sang in the choir.  

She was preceded in death by her parents.  

Survivors include her husbandWayne Robertsthree daughtersLisa Wiley, Tammie Cook and Michelle Graham; one sisterLurleen Poteete (Lee)four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.  

Pallbearers were Dale Wiley, Blake McCollum, Shannon Traylor, Jason Traylor, Jonny Aguirre and Brian McCollum.
 

The Rev. Jerry DeBell 

Valhermoso Springs 

Funeral service for the Rev. Jerry DeBell, 93, was held Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. at East Highland Baptist Church with Rev. Jon DeBell and Bro. Walter Blackman officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was
held in the Valhermoso Springs Cemetery.  

The Rev. DeBell died Oct. 5 at Decatur Morgan Hospital. He was born Jan. 19, 1927, in Kentucky to Cloud Bosworth DeBell Sr. And Hallie B. Wilson DeBell. The Rev. DeBell served as a pastor to churches in Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Alabama during his 51-year career. He had an engaging personality and a winsome laugh and left a positive mark on all those who knew him. His life was one of integrity and faithful service to his Lord Jesus. We look forward to seeing him again!  

Survivors include his wifeDiane Garrison DeBell of Valhermoso Springs; three sons, Jon DeBell (Penny) of Mint Hill, N.C., W. Keith DeBell Sr. (Carol) of Tuscaloosa and Joe Garrison, of Hartselleone daughter, Robin Scruggs, of Priceville; one brotherthe Rev. Richard DeBell (Grace) of Carrolton, Ky.; nine grandchildren, Erin DeBell (Eric Loyd), Megan McManus (Weston), Laura Boyce (Jesse), Will DeBell (Leah), Ben DeBell (Anna), Hank DeBell (Anna), Whitney Alford (Heath), Karley Garrison and Spencer Scruggs (Megan Friedmann); and six great-grandchildren.  

Pallbearers were family and friends.  

Preceding him in death were his first wife, Lurline J. DeBellhis parentsone sister; and seven brothers.  

In lieu of flowers his family requests that memorials be made to the East Highland Baptist Church Building Fund. 

 

Gracie Lee Griffith 

Hartselle 

Funeral services for Gracie Lee Griffith, 93, were Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Tim Herron officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Johnson Chapel. 

Mrs. Griffith died Oct. 9 at Madison Hospital. She was born Aug. 26, 1927, in Morgan County to Pearlie Johnson and Mable Holt Johnson. She was employed as a certified nursing assistant at Summerford
Nursing Home and Falkville Health Care prior to her retirement. She attended the Church of God and loved quilting, canning and traveling.  

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ed Griffithan infant daughterPeggy Joyce Griffith; a sonLarry Griffith; and her parents.  

Survivors include two sonsJerry Griffith (Lorna), of Rainbow City and Kevin Griffith of Hartselle; three daughtersJeannie South (Freddie) of Bay St. Louis, Miss., Sharon Prince (Rodney) of Rogersville and Rita Lamar (Doyle) of Athens; two brothersCharlie Ray Johnson of Decatur and Ervin Johnson of Hartselle; 13 grandchildren; 19 greatgrandchildren; and two greatgreatgrandchildrenPallbearers were Kevin Griffith, Matthew LouAllen, Matthew LouAllen, Chris Lamar, Jon-David Pepperman and Troy Pepperman. 

 

Horace Luckey Grey Wolf Bates Jr. 

Somerville 

Funeral service for Horace Luckey Grey Wolf Bates Jr. will be Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with burial in the Hartselle Memory Gardens Cemetery, with Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Mr. Bates was born April 15, 1935, in Addison to Horace Dewey Bates Sr. and Flossie Adair Bridgemon Bates. He passed away Friday Oct. 9 at Huntsville Hospital.  

Mr. Bates Served in the United States Marine Corp. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Lorene Bates; daughter, Cheryl Ann Bates; and four sisters, Leona Thomas, Dollie Smotherman, JoeAnnie Watkins and Betty Marie Minton. 

 Survivors include sons Carl (Sylvia) Bates and John Alvin (Debora) Bates; daughterJudy Lynn Bates; stepsons James C. Culver and Wendell Culver; brother David Earl Bates; sisters Louise Marks and Ruth Bates Brown; and numerous grandchildren. 

 

William Ballentine 

Decatur 

William Ballentine, 90, of Decatur passed away Oct. 10 at his residence. He was born July 13, 1930 in Butler, Penn., to John Ballentine and Dorothy Wilson Ballentine. No services are planned at this time; the family will have a memorial service at a later date.  

William was a supervisor for Cargill, formerly American Maize. He was a member of the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and wife of 34 Years, Joan Ballentine; four brothers, Tichard Ballentine, Robert Ballentine, Glenn Ballentine and Raymond Ballentine; and one sister, Nancy Jebsen.  

Survivors include his sons, Ken Ballentine and Tim (Becky) Ballentine; three grandchildrenBriene (Adam) Owens, Niki Ballentine and Amanda Ballentine; four great-grandchildrenAbbey Bice, Charlie Bice, Luke Bice and Alivia Owens; and sweet friend Sue Towe.  

In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Southern Care New Beacon Hospice. 

 

Billy Britt 

Falkville 

Billy Britt passed away Oct. 11 at Cullman Regional Medical Center. He was born Dec. 18, 1941, in Robeson County, North Carolina to Henry Britt and Ollie Nance Britt. He loved sports and was very competitive. He played football against Joe Namath in Florida. He was a hard worker and was employed in the construction industry prior to his retirement.  

He was preceded in death by his son, Eddy Kelly; a daughterTina Hood; and two brothers, Robert Earl and Frank Britt.
Survivors include his wifeFreda Britt; four sonsBilly D. Britt, Eugene Kelly, Larry Kelly and Ronnie Kellyfour daughtersTeresa Murphy Britt, Lisa Dobbs Britt, Tammy Massey Britt and Teresa Kelly; one brotherAlford Britt (Patty); two sisters, Louise Kinlaw and Sadie Norris; 12 grandchildren; and four greatgrandchildren 

No services are scheduled at this time.
The family wishes to express their special thanks to Summerford Nursing Home for their kind and compassionate care. 

 

Geraldean Morgan Poole
Hartselle 

Funeral service for Geraldean Morgan Poole, 81, was held Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Keith Morgan officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery. 

Mrs. Poole passed away Oct. 10 at her residence. She was born June 22, 1939, in Cullman County to Ocie Kyle Morgan and Bula Mae Fanning Morgan. She was a homemaker for her family, a very hardworking,
tenderhearted lady who loved to be a jokester and pull pranks.  

She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother and an animal lover.  

She was a member of the Unity Baptist Church.  

Preceding her in death were her husband, Fred Poole; her parents; a daughter, Dawn Poole; and a great-grandson, Brayden Drake. 

Survivors include one sonDwight Poole; three daughters, Ramona Eargle (Mike), Rebecca “Becki” McCleskey and Racheal Smallwood (Ashley); three brothersRobert Morgan, Kenneth Morgan and
Keith Morgan; seven sisters, Dot Reeves, Betty Graham, Faye Cobbs, Gloria Winton, Karen Barbee,
Susie McNutt and Regina Thomas; six grandchildren; and 12 greatgrandchildren 

Pallbearers were Bradley Drake, Dylan Schrader, Austin Smallwood, Forrest McCleskey, Connor Boyd and Cameron Boyd. 

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