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Obituaries Jan. 4 – 8

Merle Looney

Funeral service for Merle Looney, 75, was held Jan. 8 at p.m. at Roundtop Church with Bro. Pearl Jenkins officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Roundtop Cemetery.  

Mrs. Looney died Jan. 1. She was born May 15, 1945, in Morgan County to Marvin “Tip” Smith and Rosie Lilice (Caudle) Smith. She was a great mom and sister and a hard worker who made friends with everyone. She was a wonderful homemaker for her family and was greatly loved by her family and friends.  

She was a member of the senior citizens center of Falkville. 

Survivors include daughters Joyce Lawrence and Melinda Shaddrix; brother, Skippy Smithsister, Sylvia McClellanand grandchildren Kodie Shaddrix Courtney ShaddrixSummer Lawrence, Jakob Lawrence, Bailey Lawrence and Brasher Lawrence. 

Pallbearers were Colton Smith, Steve McClellan, Mike McClellan, Daniel McClellan, Nick Smith and Brantsen Smith. Honorary pallbearers were Stan Smith, Skipper Smith and Preston Lindley. 


Lorene Moland Ward 


Funeral service for Lorene Moland Ward, 76, was held Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Jimmy Watson officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Somerville Historical Cemetery.  

Mrs. Ward died Jan. 4 at Decatur Morgan Hospital. She was born July 29, 1944, in Lawrence County to Mack Moland and Gertrude Blankenship Moland. She was employed as a cashier for Kroger in Decatur for 32 years prior to her retirement. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. 

Preceding her in death were her parents and two brothers, Herman and Herbert Moland. 

Survivors include her husband, Jerry L. Wardtwo daughters, Rena Ward and Stephanie Wardbrother, Hubert Moland (Trixie)sisters, Hazel McClaine, Marie Ethridge and Hattie Ingle (Jerry)and a granddaughter, Jayden Ratliff. 

Pallbearers were Kirk Caldwell, Charlie Howse, Cody Kennedy, Tim Hughes, Darryl Mann and Mason Mann. 


Nora Webster Kilpatrick 


Funeral service for Nora Webster Kilpatrick, 96, was held Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Hartselle Memory Gardens.  

Mrs. Kilpatrick died Jan. 5 at Decatur Morgan Parkway Medical Center. She was born Oct. 18, 1924, in Morgan County to Noah F. Webster and Hattie Carter Webster. She was a homemaker for her family, who she loved dearly, and a member of the First United Methodist Church. 

She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Adrian Kilpatrick; her parents; a daughter-in-law, Barbara Kilpatrick; brothers Harold and Herschel Webster; and sisters Wilda Kelley, Marie Breeding, Sue Carter and Elzie Webster. 

Survivors include a son, Jeffrey Kilpatrick (Dena Marie); brothersBobby Webster (Barbara) and Noah Webster (Peggy)grandchildren, Jeremy Kilpatrick (April) and Paul Kilpatrick (Stephanie); several greatgrandchildrenand several nieces and nephews 

Pallbearers were family and friends. 


William Histaspas Stewart 


William Histaspas Stewart Jr., 81, passed away Jan. 3 after a lengthy illness.  

He was preceded in death by his mother Opal Cross Stewart, his father William H. Stewart Sr., and his sister Dottie Stewart Lanier. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Connie Scott Stewart; his son William H. Stewart III, Birmingham; his sister Susan Stewart Greayer, Denver, CO; brother-in-law Lamar Scott; and sister-in-law Judy Scott. 

Dr. Stewart was born Aug. 20, 1939 in Hartselle. He earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Alabama and his master’s degree from George Washington University. He first taught for a year at the Citadel in Charleston, SC. He returned to the University of Alabama as a professor in 1969, where he taught for 40 years.  

Dr. Stewart’s students included people of both political parties, many of whom went on to elected office in Alabama. 

His research interests included state and local government, federalism and public administration. He wrote more than 20 books. He was frequently asked by the media to comment on local, state and national politics as well as appear on numerous television stations as a political commentator. He prided himself on his objective, nonpartisan analysis.  

He had a passion for mentoring students. He taught an internship in the Montgomery experience program that gave young men and women the opportunity for internships in Montgomery in the aspects of state government. He and Connie enjoyed entertaining students in their home. For many years he directed a Master of Political Science program at Maxwell Air Force Base.  

After his retirement he continued to contribute his time to the university by mentoring students and teaching in the OLLIE program. 

Bill was a deeply spiritual person. As an adult, he became a Christian. He was a member of University Church of Christ for most of his adult life. While he was mostly private about his faith, he did frequently discuss matters of faith with family and friends. 

Bill enjoyed all kinds of music, from opera to marches to rock. One of his favorite things to do was participate in Sacred Harp singings.  

Bill was passionate about his own health and fitness. He was an avid runner. He ran several marathons and half-marathons. He also ran many 5K and 10K races.  

For the past quarter century, he wrote a column for the Hartselle Enquirer that focused on what happened in Hartselle in decades past. 

Bill was laid to rest in a private family graveside service Jan. 9 in Hartselle. He will always be in Connie and Trey’s hearts. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of West Alabama. 


George Brannan 


graveside memorial funeral service and interment for George Brannan, 74, was held Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. at Lebanon Cemetery with Peck Funeral Home directing. No visitation was scheduled.  

Mr. Brannan died Jan. 5 at Decatur Morgan Hospital. He was born Aug. 27, 1946, in Morgan County to Floyd Brannan and Salley Bet Kilpatrick Brannan. He was employed as a truck driver and mechanic prior
to his passing.  

His parents preceded him in death.  

Survivors include one brother, Charles Brannan; cousins Charles Williams (Linda), Gail Howard (Wayne)Alice Dutton and Lavon Gibsonand one aunt, Adell Gibson. 


Ruby Johnson Self 


graveside funeral service and interment for Ruby Johnson Self, 95, was held Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Chapel Cemetery with Bro. Tom Campbell officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Mrs. Self died Jan. 6 at Decatur Health & Rehab Center. She was born Jan. 10, 1925, in Morgan County to Pearley Asbury Johnson and Mary Garnett Johnson. She was employed at Hartselle Medical Center in the housekeeping department prior to her retirement. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harvey Floyd Self; her parentsthree brothersTroy, Pruitt and Douglas Johnson; and five sisters, Lillie Legg, Lois Speakman, Mildred Sivley Wilhoite, Irene Dumas and Dorothy Chambers. 

Survivors include four sons, Harvey Self Jr., David Self (Elizabeth), Stanley Self and Leon Self (Kathy); a daughter, Rhonda Selfsisters Lucille Alexander Nicholson and Gwen Holmes; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one greatgreatgranddaughter 

Pallbearers were family and friends.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to your favorite charity, to the American Cancer Society or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. 


James Rhuel Burgess 


graveside funeral service and interment for James Rhuel Burgess, 82, was held Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. at Andrews Chapel Cemetery with Bro. Shane Britt officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Andrews Chapel Cemetery.  

Mr. Burgess died Jan. 6 at Cullman Regional Medical Center. He was born Feb. 6, 1938, in Morgan County to James Rufus Burgess and Linnie Legg Burgess. He was the owner and operator of Burgess
Auto Detailing for 15 years prior to his passing. He knew his craft and took pride in his work.  

He was a member of the Sanctuary Church. 

Preceding him in death were his parents and two brothers, Phillip Burgess and Leon Burgess. 

Survivors include two sons, James Allon Burgess (Carol) and Keith Burgess (Nancy); one daughter, Renee Burgess Herchenhahnbrother, Jackie Ray Burgesssister, Dean Martingrandchildren Faith Burgess, Briley Burgess, Aaron Burgess, Justin BurgessEvan Burgess, Brandon Hayes and Austin Herchenhahnand nine greatgrandchildren.
Pallbearers were Aaron Burgess, Justin Burgess, Evan Burgess, Todd Burgess, Tony Herchenhahn and Austin Herchenhahn. 


Brian Hayes 

Mr. Brian Hayes died Dec. 19 at his residence.  

He was born June 29, 1970, in Morgan County to Lamon Hayes and Mary Patricia Glenn. He was employed with Winston County as a sanitation worker prior to his passing.  

He was preceded in death by his father.
Survivors include his mother, Mary Patricia Glenn; stepmother, Lil Hayes; brother, Lamon Allen Hayes (Jessica); and sister, Rita Hopper (Wayne).  

No services are scheduled at this time. 


Leo Richard Wiggins 


Leo Richard Wiggins passed away Dec. 27, 2020.
He was born March 20, 1933, to Vaughn and Eva Irene Wiggins in Gastonia, NC. He accepted Jesus as his savior when he was years old while attending Temple Baptist Church in Gastonia.  

He worked several jobs while attending school, including his Uncle Lander Mincey’s grocery store, as well as Threads Mill.  

After graduating from Gastonia High School, he enlisted in the Navy and served from 1951-1955. He was a radioman aboard the USS St. Paul that was deployed in support of the Korean War. He received the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, China Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Good Conduct Medal.  

May 19, 1956, Leo married Iris Thornburg at the Loray Baptist Church in Gastonia, NC.  

In 1956 Leo was hired by the Federal Aviation Administrationwhere he worked for the next 28 years as an air traffic controller and air traffic control tower chief with stops in Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Birmingham, Montgomery and Oklahoma City.  

After retiring from the FAA, he started his own business and worked part time as a substitute teacher and as a marshal at Point Mallard and Quail Creek Golf Courses, where he loved playing the game.
He was a 40-year resident of Hartselle, where he regularly attended First Baptist Church, and was a member of the Dewel’s Doubles Sunday School Class. He was a dedicated husband, supportive father and wonderful grandfather, beloved by his familywho cherished nothing more than being around his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Iris Wiggins, as well as their three children, Catherine Wiggins Smith, Scott Wiggins and Michael Wiggins; son-in-law Mark Smith; daughters-in-law Jenna Baker Wiggins and Robin Jones Wiggins; and seven grandchildren.  

The family will have a private graveside service at Hartselle Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Gideons International or Samaritan’s Purse.  

Hartselle Heritage Funeral Home is assisting the family. 


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