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Obituaries week of Sept. 29

Jim Preuitt, Special to the Enquirer

James “Jim” E. Preuitt

Talladega

James “Jim” E. Preuitt, 86, of Talladega, passed away Sept. 19 at Citizen’s Baptist Medical Center in Talladega.

He was born the son of a sharecropper July 19, 1935, in Moulton to Lily Frances Naylor and Howard Bluitt Preuitt.

As the oldest of seven sons, Jim quickly learned the value of hard work. He worked alongside his father and younger siblings farming land belonging to others, igniting a relentless drive and determination that never left him.

In his teenage years, Jim met the love of his life, Rona Jane Millsap, on a school bus to Danville High School. They would soon marry and spend 66 years together.

After graduating, all Jim wanted to do was work – and there weren’t many jobs he turned down. After growing up around tractors and farm engines, Jim used that experience to get work as a bus driver and mechanic. He spent his weekends washing cars at a service station in Hartselle. He later would operate his own Pure Oil truck stop while making regular trips to Chicago to find damaged cars to tow back to Alabama to repair and sell.

The appeal of engines and automobiles led him to Nicholson Ford in Hartselle, where he started in the service department and worked his way toward selling new Fords. It wasn’t long before Jim realized he wanted his own dealership.

In 1968 he convinced some backers to take a chance on him. He was approved as a Chrysler–Plymouth automobile dealer, and Jim moved his wife and two daughters to Talladega, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Jim went on to own and operate several dealerships in and around Talladega and decided to try his hand at politics a few years later. In 1982, on a dare, he tossed his hat in the ring for a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. After serving one term, he ran for a seat in the Alabama State Senate and served almost 30 years in the state legislature, as well as serving as the probate judge of Talladega County.

His love and compassion for his constituents and his desire to tackle important issues made him a perfect fit for this endeavor. Ultimately, his faith in God and his compassion for others guided his life and career.

The importance of family trumped ambition. Jim’s heart was always centered on his wife, children and extended family, but his greatest pride and joy came from his grandchildren. Nothing made Jim happier than family gatherings.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and he and his family weathered the tragic death of Benjamin Preuitt Stanford, his youngest grandson, at the age of 17.

Jim is survived by his wife, Rona Jane Millsap; daughter Lynne Preuitt Stanford (husband Bill) and grandson William Preuitt Stanford; and daughter Leigh Preuitt Leak (husband Joe) and granddaughters Caroline Frances Leak and Virginia Merritt Leak.

Jim is also survived by six brothers, Gene Elton Preuitt, Kenneth Lamar Preuitt (Ann), Johnny O’Neal Preuitt (Rebecca), Eddie Howard Preuitt (Debbie), Alton Ray Preuitt (Doretha), Michael Wayne Preuitt (Sonya), and Marcia Jane Preuitt (stepmother), as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.

Due to COVID, the family will have a private service.

Jim and Rona were members of the First Baptist Church of Talladega and request that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to The Whosoever Will Foundation, P.O. Box 299, Talladega, AL 35161, or WISE, The Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education, 2305 Montevallo Road, Birmingham, AL 35223.

Online condolences may be offered at www.usreyfuneralhome.com. Usrey Funeral Home of Talladega is directing services.

 

Hoyt Henry Somerville Funeral service for Hoyt Henry, 82, was held Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church with Bro. Frank Morrison and Bro. Charles Owens officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Cedar Creek Cemetery.

Mr. Henry died Sept. 20 at Decatur Morgan Hospital. He was born Nov. 23, 1938, in Morgan County to George H. Henry and Pattie Mae Smallwood Henry. Mr. Henry served in the United States Army and in the Alabama National Guard. He was employed by the Alabama Highway Department as an inspector and retired after 30 years of service. He started Henry Battery around 1974, and that evolved into Henry Tire, which is still in operation today.

He served as a deacon and was a member at Shiloh Baptist Church. He enjoyed gardening and found great joy in ministering to those who were in need. He loved his family dearly and supported his grandchildren in whatever they were involved in.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Grace Henry.

Survivors include his daughters, Tammie Bentley (Ronnie) and Patti Wilkins (Donny); brother, John Henry; grandchildren, Matthew Bentley, Tyler Bentley, Greyson Wilkins and Malachi Wilkins; and great-grandchild, Elouise Jane Wilkins.

Pallbearers were Glenn Wilson, Brian Downs, Ashley Hopper, Fred Sheppard, Carl Tucker and Zac Watts.

 

Benny Ray Bailey

Priceville Funeral service for Benny Ray Bailey, 51, was held Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. J.T. Scott officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Shoal Creek Cemetery.

Mr. Bailey passed away Sept. 21 at Huntsville Hospital. He was born July 8, 1970, in Cullman County to Benny Ray Bailey Sr. and Mary Willene Moody. He was employed as a construction worker for M&D Construction Company prior to his passing.

He was preceded in death by his father. Survivors include mother and stepfather, Mary Willene Creel (Wayne); fiancé, Rebecca Meadows; stepsons, Justin McCary, Deekota Goode and Braydon Edwards; stepdaughters, Maria Landers, Michelle Brock and Nicole Meadows; brothers, Mark Creel, Whitt Bailey and Jon Bailey; sisters, Sandy Ripley, Terry Hope Bailey and Ginger Bailey; grandchild, Leiana Purnell “Tinker Tot;” stepmother, Glenda Bailey; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Braydon Edwards, Phillip Black, Mark Creel, Justin McCrary, Deekota Goode, Whitt Bailey, Cameron Blake and Casey Johnson.

 

Travis Archer

Danville

A graveside funeral service and interment for Travis Archer, 86, was held Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. at Johnson Chapel Cemetery with Bro. Ron Manly and Bro. Stanley Linderman officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. No visitation was scheduled. Mr. Archer died Sept. 21 at Cullman Regional Medical Center. He was born March 14, 1935.

 

Connie Joyce McHan Weeks

Decatur

Funeral service for Connie Joyce McHan Weeks, 72, was held Sept. 25 at noon at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Jay Rhodes officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Good Hope Cemetery.

Ms. Weeks died Sept. 22 at her residence. She was born Sept. 11, 1949, in Morgan County to Roy McHan and Dorothy Farley McHan Ayers.

She was a member of South Decatur Church of Christ.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include three sons, James Weeks (Denis Opsteegh), Jason Weeks (Jennifer Tudor) and Lamar Weeks; two daughters, Jennifer Hitt (Josh Roper) and Lynn Weeks; two brothers, Randy McHan and Chester McHan; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Zach Freeman, Sabastian Weeks, Jason Weeks Jr., Cameron Weeks, Justin Compton and Dylan Compton served as pallbearers.

 

Ed Fuller

Decatur

A graveside funeral service and Interment for Ed Fuller, 83, was held Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. at Burningtree Memorial Gardens with Bro. Michael Gunter officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. No visitation was scheduled. Mr. Fuller died Sept. 22 at Hospice Family Care. He was born Jan. 13, 1938, in Morgan County to William Guy Fuller and Ruby Fuller. He was a welder and pipefitter for the Local Pipefitters Association prior to his retirement.

He was preceded in death by his wife; a daughter, Lois Kay Fuller; brothers, Wes Fuller and Bill Fuller; and his parents.

Survivors include daughters, Brenda Lee Montgomery (Jim) and Susie Mixon (Mickey); brothers, James Fuller and Jack Fuller; grandchildren, Brannen Mixon, Ryan Mixon Jason Collins, Michelle Lamont and Sarah Netherton; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were family members and friends.

 

Loyd West

Eva

Funeral service for Loyd West, 81, of Eva, was held Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home with Bro. Dwayne Harper officiating.

Mr. West died Sept. 24 at Summerford Nursing Home. He was born March 6, 1940, in Morgan County to William Sherman West and Lily Maebelle Taylor West. He was previously employed as truck driver.

Mr. West was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Wayne West, and Wendell West; and a sister, Inez McKee.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley West; one son, Kenneth Arrington (Dianne); one daughter, Lesia Fulps; one brother, Michael West (Carol); one sister, Joann Birchfield; three grandchildren, Amber Graves, Elizabeth Wilson and Derek Arrington; and seven great-grandchildren.

 

Kevin Michael Terry

Moulton

Celebration of Life for Kevin Michael Terry, 56, of Moulton, will be Oct. 24, at Jake’s Drag Strip from 2-5 p.m.

Mr. Terry died Sept. 24 at his residence. He was born June 18, 1965, in Morgan County to Loyal Lee Terry and Edna Pauline Self Terry. He was previously employed as a carpenter.

Mr. Terry was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Jeremy Joe Johnson.

Survivors Include one daughter, Shelly Terry Huggins (Alex); one stepson, Mikey Humes (Kandis); two stepdaughters, Stephanie Lucius (Joe) and Nancy Hensley (Scotty); one brother, Darryl Terry; one sister, Pam Johnson (Terry); 14 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

 

Edna Peck

Laceys Spring

Funeral service for Mrs. Edna Peck, 102, of Laceys Spring was held Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Laceys Spring, with Brother Jerry Hall officiating. Burial was in the Russell Cemetery at Pines Baptist Church in Florette. Peck Funeral Home directed.

Mrs. Peck, who was born March 20, 1919, in Laceys Spring to Leon Lipscomb and Dannie Dewey Moore Lipscomb, died Sept. 24 at her home.

She worked many, many years as a substitute school teacher at A.P. Brewer High School and Cotaco School for the Morgan County Schools system. She was a faithful member of the Pines Baptist Church, where she was a Sunday School teacher and the church clerk for many years. She loved to work on her farm.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Russell Peck, and a sister, Sue Black. She is survived by her daughter, Dannie Cochran (Lamoyne); three grandchildren, Greg Motes (Jennifer), Tami Galloway and Eric Cochran (Katie); and seven great-grandchildren, Emily Motes, Ashley Motes, Jarrod Galloway, Braydon Galloway, Brooks Cochran, Graham Cochran and Carter Cochran. Jarrod Galloway, Braydon Galloway, Wes Anderson, Jerry McCutcheon, Mike Graveman and Kenneth Roberts served as pallbearers. Brooks Cochran, Graham Cochran and Carter Cochran served as honorary pallbearers.

 

Vickie Anne Schuller Copeland

Hartselle Graveside service for Vickie Anne Schuller Copeland, 70, of Hartselle was held Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. at Roselawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Decatur with Pastor Joe McCaig and Pastor Doug Ripley officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. No visitation was planned.

Mrs. Copeland, who was born May 22, 1951, in Atlanta, Ga., to George Schuller and Susie Pritchett Schuller, died Sept. 25 at Decatur Morgan Hospital.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Jackie Schuller. To know Vickie was to love her. Her constant smile and laughter, accompanied by a sweet Southern drawl, were as contagious as they were ever present. She loved and served the Lord Jesus with her whole being, but her greatest love on this earth was her family. Her very best blessings called her Mimi.

She was a light and treasure to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed, but we rejoice for her heavenly reunion.

Our family requests, instead of flowers or gifts, please make donations in her memory to Decatur Baptist Church and/or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She is survived by her husband, James E. Copeland; children, Jonathan Hedden and wife Kimberly, Valarie Thornton and husband Jay, Andrew Hedden and wife Samantha; Michael Copeland and wife Addie and Jill Copland; brother, Ricky Schuller; two sisters, Nancy Sykes and Sherri Glover; and nine grandchildren, Haley Copeland, Benjamin Hedden, Alex Copeland, Samuel Thornton, Brody Hedden, Ryleigh Thornton, Damien Thornton, Katherine Thornton and Emily Thornton. Jay Thornton, Jonathan Hedden, Andrew Hedden, Benjamin Hedden, Michael Copeland and Alex Copeland served as pallbearers.

 

Monica Rose Smith Brewer

Hartselle

With a heavy heart we have to announce the death of Monica Rose Smith Brewer Sept. 25. The funeral will be Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. at Peck Funeral Home with the Rev. Aaron Warnick officiating, followed by the burial at Piney Grove Cemetery. Peck Funeral Home is directing.

Mrs. Brewer was born Feb. 4, 1959, to Harold Wayne Smith Sr. and Paula Thomas Smith.

Moncia was an active member of Piney Grove Christian Church.

Anyone who knows this lady would not argue she was a caregiver to all. Monica’s genuine selflessness was unrivaled, and her ability to truly see the good in everyone is without comparison.

Monica was preceded in death by her father, Harold Wayne Smith Sr., and her husband of 43 years, Herman Neal Brewer.

Her survivors include her mother, Paula Thomas Smith; two sons, Thomas (Christina) Brewer and Justin (Tesha) Brewer; one daughter, Julia Brewer; three brothers, Wayne Smith, Jerry Smith and Tim Smith; and six grandchildren, Cayden Brewer, Avery Brewer, Ava Brewer, Mason Brewer, Sullivan Brewer and Raelyn Brewer.

 

Cathy Hopper Freeman

Decatur

Funeral service for Cathy Hopper Freeman, 60, will be Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Michael Sikes officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be Sept. 29 from 6-7 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home. Mrs. Freeman died Sept. 25 at Huntsville Hospital. She was born Aug. 7, 1961, in Wayne County, Michigan, to Alford Travis Hopper and Faye Shadrix Hopper. Mrs. Freeman was employed as a caregiver and activities director for The Terrace in Priceville prior to her passing. She loved Disney and her dog, Crimsen Grace.

She was preceded in death by her father.

Survivors include mother, Faye Shadrix Hopper; daughters, Mechel McAbee (Holli) and Amanda Lewis (Chris); sisters, Connie Childers (Barry) and Theresa Guire (Billy); and grandchildren, Hagen Smith, Addisen Smith, Brantsen Smith, Cole Lewis, Dylan Lewis and Cheyanne McAbee.

Freda Vincent, Special to the Enquirer

Freda Johnson Vincent

Eva

Freda Johnson Vincent, of Eva, passed away Sept. 23 in Winchester, Ky. at the age of 93.

She was born May 3, 1928, in Cullman County to the late Guy E. and Bertha Minerva Johnson.

Freda had a deep love for her family and church. She was a true lady who devoted her life to the service of others, her family, friends and her church. She loved playing with her great-grandchildren, visiting with friends, shopping and doing word puzzles.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Fred Vincent, her parents, two brothers and two sisters.

She is survived by a son, Joel Vincent (Becky) of Winchester, Ky., and by her grandchildren, Brendan Vincent (Mandy) of Normal, Ill., Caitlyn Miller (Joseph) of Winchester, Ky., and Alyson Hill (Rob) of Winchester, Ky.

The joy of her life was her surviving great-grandchildren, Hayes Robert Hill, Hampton James Hill, Merritt Campbell Miller and Leighton Joseph Miller.

She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held at Oden Ridge Baptist Church Sept. 30 at 1 p.m., with Bro. Jeff Allred officiating. Visitation will be held graveside beginning at noon until the time of the service.

Peck Funeral Home is directing.

 

Tera Morris Penn Pepper

Hartselle

Tera Morris Penn Pepper, 93, passed away Sept. 25 at her home in Hartselle, surrounded by family.

Tera was born Dec. 21, 1927, in Morgan County, the daughter of the late James and Venta Morris and the second of five children. She married Richard Willard Penn Jan. 10, 1948; he preceded her in death. They had four children together.

She had several different interests and occupations, including telephone operator and beautician, before working at Sears and Roebuck, from which she retired.

During her time at Sears, she met John Thomas Pepper, whom she went on to marry June 17, 1977. John also had four children.

They were married for 21 years before he preceded her in death.

She was a loving mother and grandmother, lifelong churchgoer and an avid Braves baseball fan. In her spare time, she enjoyed reading, writing letters, bird-watching, bowling and eating banana splits. She was an enthusiastic learner, taking piano lessons in her mid-60s and deciding in her 70s to go back to school to study computers and technologies. She loved to keep in touch with her family via email and social media.

She is also preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Rose and Pauline; two sons, Byron and Stanley; and one grandchild.

She is survived by two daughters, Patte (Robert) and Terry (Darryl); four stepchildren, Sharon (Allen), Michael (Paige), Teresa (Ronnie) and Derek (Shelley); and two sisters, Jerry Bryant and Barbara Hartselle. Additionally, she is “Granny” to 25 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, with her 25th great-grandchild arriving any day.

A graveside service, officiated by Brother Clyde Ledlow, was held at Herring Cemetery in Massey Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to New Beginnings Baptist Church, 2248 Kooken Ave., Decatur, AL, 35601.

Her grandsons, Jonathan Trimm, Ross Pepper, Destin Sandlin, Cape Sandlin, Phillip Penn and Matthew Penn, will serve as pallbearers.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

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