Obituaries week of Feb. 15
George Floyd Nancarrow
George Floyd Nancarrow, former coach, principal and superintendent, passed
away on February 5, 2023, at the age of 97. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Burkhalter Nancarrow; their daughter, Beth Nancarrow Rabb (Bill), and son-in-law, Rob Metcalf; four grandchildren, Nancarrow Rabb McClendon (Tim), Kelly Rabb (Rachel), Calloway Rabb (Mica) and Camp Metcalf; nine great-grandchildren, Nancarrow Grace McClendon, Cole McClendon, Will Rabb, Miller Rabb, Mallory Rabb, Cooper Rabb, Milan Rabb, Jake Rabb and CleoDonna
Metcalf. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Lallie Nancarrow; sisters, Anita Olinger, Betty McCoy; brothers, Robert, Lanie, Clyde and Mark Moore; his daughter, Donna Nancarrrow Metcalf and great-granddaughter, Kayleigh Blair McClendon. He was born on January 30, 1926, in Flat Rock, Alabama. His father died when he was five years old, leaving six children and a single mom. Growing up in Flat Rock on rural Sand Mountain, life was hard. He earned money to buy clothes by plowing with a mule, cutting timber, and working in a
sawmill. These jobs convinced him to seek another career path. Basketball was his love and Coach Cooley at Pisgah High School, played a very important role in his life. He knew George’s circumstances and on days when the team practiced after school, Coach let George spend the night at his house to avoid a nine-mile walk home. It was Coach that encouraged him to go to college, but there was no money. In an unexpected turn of events, George’s uncle in England died and upon the age of 21, he would get an inheritance. His sister received her money first, so they worked a deal and he was able to go to JSU. In the fall of 1946, he left home with a cardboard suitcase and rode the bus to Jacksonville. While at JSU he played football, tennis and basketball. He wasn’t the biggest guy, but he kept a positive attitude and never gave up. Once again, a coach, Coach Stephenson, took care of him. He was the only one on the JSU basketball team that had not served in the Army during WWII. It was a learning experience.
Before graduating from JSU, he accepted a basketball coaching position at Speake High School. He returned and finished his degree during the summer. His Speake “boys” were almost as old as he was. His first-year coaching, they won the county championship. After the second county championship, the trustees renovated a small house for him and his new wife, and installed an
He also coached at Hazlewood and Danville High School, and eventually became
the principal at Speake High School. When West Morgan High School opened in 1962, he was selected principal. During his time there, he had the opportunity to welcome the first black student to West Morgan, who was also the first black student in Morgan County to enter a white school. Later he became the assistant superintendent and then Superintendent of Morgan County Schools. He testified before a committee in Congress and presented a desegregation plan for Morgan County. His plan was simple. All students would go to the school nearest their home. This plan was approved, and no busing of students has ever been required in Morgan County Schools. Surrounding systems were not proactive, and they are still under
His greatest educational accomplishment was his vision for Brewer High
School. Graduating classes in eastern Morgan County were small and advanced
classes could not be taught. There was also a need for vocational training.
Building a centrally located high school with a vocational school would
benefit all the students. He took the idea to the board, but did not get
unanimous support. He was determined to do what was best for the students.
He worked with an architect to design the building and found the funding
when no one believed he could. The school opened for the 1972 school year
with the 10th grade students from five schools. Each year a grade was added
until Brewer had grades 9-12. Ironically, his greatest accomplishment cost
him his reelection as superintendent. Throughout his lifetime he was active in church, serving on committees and teaching Sunday School. He was on the board of directors or chairman for
several clubs and charities: United Way, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club and Meals
on Wheels. It was a special honor to be inducted into the Morgan County AND
Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame, along with the Morgan County Teacher
Hall of Fame. Supporting him for over 71 years, his wife, Sylvia Burkhalter Nancarrow, was
by his side. She was his biggest fan. In the midst of a busy career, they
always had time for family and travel. They loved playing tennis, and they
visited all the tennis venues in America and Wimbleton. He loved baseball,
and they visited most of the major league baseball stadiums. Riding his bike
was his favorite way to exercise. Most days he rode the trail at Point
Mallard, but he also enjoyed riding the Natchez Trace, and biked from
Decatur to Panama City. Another year he wanted to see where his father grew
up, so he rode from London, England to Land’s End. Best of all, he enjoyed
watching the sporting events of all his grandchildren and
great-grandchildren. He encouraged, coached and always made sure they had
good tennis shoes. In retirement, they had a plan for every day. He delivered Meals on Wheels
for 30 years to the OLD people. In reality he was older than all the
recipients. He was known for telling everyone to get up and exercise, even
those in wheelchairs with oxygen! According to him, exercise is the key,
and he was walking proof. He survived a heart attack, a severe case of the
shingles, cancer and a stroke, and exercised through it all. If you fall off
your bike, don’t give up, buy a trike. If your foot won’t stay on the bike
pedal, tie it on with a rope and keep going. He was often heard saying, I’ve had a good life. He leaves an extraordinary legacy. Looking back over his life, one can see a team of men following him saying, “Thank you, you were my role model, you were tough on us, and we
needed it. You believed in me and helped me find a job.” Many of them have
gone ahead, but rarely did he go out in public without seeing former
students. Nothing pleased him more than hearing, “Hey, Coach or Mr.
Nancarrow.” It was amazing that he remembered names and stories about most
of them. Those that knew him would probably agree upon leaving this earth,
he heard, “a job well done.” Pallbearers will be grandsons and great grandsons, Honorary pallbearers are the Men’s Sunday School Class, his tennis buddies and his “boys.”
Friends and family are invited to visit at Trinity Methodist Church on
Wednesday, February 8, from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. The funeral service will be held
at the church at 12 p.m. with Phil Waldrep and Greg Burnett officiating.
Burial will follow at Roselawn.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Meals on
Wheels, Trinity Methodist Church or Prayers for Kayleigh, P.O. Box 1772,
Hartselle, AL 35640 Arrangements have been entrusted to Peck Funeral Home.
Thomas Scott “Sam” Cowart, Jr.
Funeral service for Thomas Scott “Sam” Cowart, Jr., 79, was held Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 3 p.m. at Gracepoint Baptist Church with Bro. Jack Bailey officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Shiloh Baptist Cemetery. Mr. Cowart died Monday, February 6, 2023 at Huntsville Hospital. He was born Sunday, March 21, 1943, in Morgan County, to Thomas Scott Cowart, Sr. and Elsie Kirby Cowart. Sam was a member and Deacon of Grace Point Baptist Church. He was employed by General Motors, working in production, until his retirement. He was a man of many hats and wore them with pride. He was a wonderful husband, father
and grandfather, was a long-time Chief, member and EMT of the Florette Volunteer Fire Department and was a former Police Officer at Decatur City and for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Anne Cowart; a daughter, Gina Kay Cowart and his parents. Survivors include sons, Michael T. Cowart (Youlanda), Decatur, AL and David N. Cowart (Lora), Hartselle, AL; daughter, Candy Cowart Roden (Jon), Somerville, AL; sister, Louise Thomas, Trinity, AL; grandchildren, Caitlin Cowart, Carley Sasser (Taylor), Jake Cowart (Taylor), Jenna Rodriguez (Gerardo), Ethan Cowart, Emily Cowart, Wyatt Roden, Kaydee Roden and Luke Roden; great grandchildren, Leilani Cowart and Saylor Sasser Pallbearers were Taylor Sasser, Jake Cowart, Wyatt Roden, Ethan Cowart, Luke Roden and Gerardo Rodriguez.
Robert E. Engle
Robert E. Engle, 85, of Somerville, passed away peacefully Monday, February 6, 2023, at his residence. The funeral service was held Friday, February 10, 2023, at 1 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home with Gary Dobbs officiating. Burial was at Shoal Creek Cemetery, with military honors. Mr. Engle was born March 22, 1937, in Morgan County to Robert “Cad” Engle and Nannie Mae Pepper Engle, was raised in the Austinville community of Morgan County, and was lovingly known as “Bob” to family and friends. He married the love of his life, Shirley Narmore, on February 3, 1956 prior to his enlistment in the U.S. Navy. He proudly served four years in the Navy on board the USS Boxer, and an additional two years in the Naval Reserves. While serving on board the USS Boxer, Mr. Engle participated in the Cold War secret testing of hydrogen bombs in the Pacific Ocean called Operation Hardtack I, resulting in him becoming known as an “Atomic Veteran” due to the radiation exposure. After receiving an Honorable Discharge with rank of BT2, Mr. Engle settled with his family in Somerville, Alabama. In July 2022 Congress passed the Atomic Veterans Service Medal that recognizes the service and sacrifice of the Atomic Veterans, and on January 23rd, Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long, presented the medal along with the Atomic Veterans Service Certificate to Mr. Engle at his residence. Prior to his retirement Mr. Engle was employed with 3M as Maintenance Supervisor, owner of Engle’s Catfish Pond, and owner of Standard Oil Service Station in Decatur. He was dedicated to serving his community by actively being involved in the preservation of the Historic Somerville Courthouse as a charter member of the Somerville Preservation Commission, served as Somerville City Councilman, worked to establish a Health Clinic in Somerville, and Somerville Volunteer Firefighter. He was a member of Oak Forest Baptist Church. Bob will be remembered for his witty humor, pranks, deep love for family, strong work ethic, and his perseverance and strength to continue life running his mini farm after a major stroke that severely affected his speech and right side of his body. He enjoyed the farm life raising chickens, quail, cows, horses, goats, and planting and working a garden.
Preceding him in death were his parents, wife of 57 years, Shirley Engle, sons, Tony Engle and Mike Engle; brothers, James “Buddy” Engle, Roy Engle, and Marvin Engle; sisters Mary Jane Gerstman, Lillie Mae Siniard, Marguerite Knighten, Minnie Lee Nelms, Gay Nell Kent, and Ruth Terry. He is survived by his sons, Martin W. Engle and wife, Sudonda, Jeffery Scott Engle and wife, Sharon, and Melinda Engle, widow of son Mike; and grandchildren, Jeremiah Engle, Clay Bryant, Christopher Bryant, Brandon Bryant, Chad Tribble, and Kari Engle. Eleven great-grandchildren, and host of nieces and nephews who were more like his brothers and sisters due to closeness in age. Pallbearers were his grandsons, and great-grandson, Tripper Engle. Heartfelt appreciation to Steve Fulghum, Hospice of The Valley staff, and Laura Bryant for the gentle care given to Mr. Engle.
Freddie Eugene Sparkman
Funeral service for Freddie Eugene Sparkman, 76, was held Saturday, February
11, 2023 at 1 p.m. at Oak Ridge United Methodist Church with Bro. Brad Roath and Bro. Phillip Steele officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.
Burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery. Mr. Sparkman died Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at his residence. He was born November 16, 1946, in Jefferson County, to Anderson Bryant Sparkman and Mary Elizabeth Hartselle Sparkman. He was employed with Goss Electric, involved in construction and as an Instrumentation Technician, prior to his retirement. He was a 1965 graduate of Morgan County High School and served with the Army National Guard. He was
a member of the New Beginnings Gospel Group and had a huge heart for animals, especially his dog, Butch. Preceding him in death were his parents, a brother, Jerry Sparkman, and a sister, Shirley Johnson. Survivors include wife, Ruby Tucker Sparkman; son, Andy Sparkman (Holly); daughter, Miranda Joyner; brother, Glenn Sparkman (Carolyn); sisters, Debbie Steele (Phillip) and June Ryan (John); grandchildren, Devin and Koen Joyner.
Pallbearers were Devin Joyner, Koen Joyner, Brandon Sparkman, Patrick
Cheatham, Shane Steele and Jerry Peppers.
Mary Knox Burns
Funeral service for Mary Knox Burns, 80, was held Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 1p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Bill Hall officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Gum Springs Baptist Church Cemetery. Mrs. Burns died February 8, 2023, at Summerford Nursing Home. She was born March 11, 1942, in Morgan County, to Jimmie Cecil Ward and Annie Bert Jett Ward. She was employed by Jeldwen in the shipping and receiving
department, prior to her retirement. She was preceded in death by her
husband, Curly Burns, her parents, a sister, Margaret Russell and a great
granddaughter, Brena Riner. Survivors include daughters, Charlotte Dryer (Todd) and Mary Beth Sawyer (Shane), sister, Ruth Hopper; grandchildren, Eric Dryer, Nathan Dryer (Kelly),
Amy Pope (Eric Burnham), Steven Pope (Lisa) and Kristen Sawyer (Michael Brooks);
great grandchildren, Isaiah, Natalie and Shelby Dryer, Lavin and Brettlee Riner, Dawson Pope and Ellie Brooks. Pallbearers were Eric Dryer, Nathan Dryer, Steven Pope, Eric Burnham,
Shane Sawyer, Michael Brooks, Keith Wright and Brad Maner.
Jo Ann McFarlen Shoemaker Moebes
A graveside funeral service and interment for Jo Ann McFarlen Shoemaker
Moebes, 79, was held Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 3p.m. at Blair Cemetery
with Bro. Jimmy Clark officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Mrs. Moebes died Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at her residence. She was born June 8, 1943, in Madison County, to Zebedee McFarlen and Bernice Irene Bevil McFarlen, who preceded her in death.
She was employed by Dunlop Tire Company, in production, prior to her
retirement. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother and
was a member of Danville Road Church of Christ. Survivors include son, Tim Moody (Judy);
daughter, Darlene Jewellson; brother, Marvin McFarlen’ sisters, Faye Sparkman, Lorene Jones, Margaret Atchley and Frances Gray; five grandchildren; seven great grandchildren.
Pallbearers were Michael Moody, Zeb Jewellson, Daniel Reese, Stanley
Sparkman, Maurice Sparkman and Kale Rouse. In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be made to Gentiva Hospice @1st Avenue SW Suite E, Cullman, AL 35055.
Funeral service for Mitchell Beard, 62, was held Friday, February 10, 2023 at
11 a.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Michael Gunter officiating
and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in New Hope North
Cemetery. Mr. Beard died Sunday, February 5, 2023 at his residence. He was born
October 29, 1960, in Cook County, IL, to Dewy Edward Beard, Jr. and Eloise
Slaten Beard. Mitchell was a good man that cared deeply about those who were closest to
him. In life, he was a “Jack of all Trades”. He touched the lives of many
and will be deeply missed by his family and friends. His parents preceded
him in death. Survivors include daughters, Marci Ann Beard Johnston and
Elaina Beard; brothers, Sidney Beard, Jackie Lynn Cranfill, Jason Slayton and
Ralph Beard; sister, Jean Beard Johnson and fifteen grandchildren
Graveside service for Libby Crowe, 83, of Somerville was held Sunday,
February 12, 2023 at 3p.m. at New Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery in
Somerville with Brother Stanley Linderman officiating and Peck Funeral Home
directing. Mrs. Crowe, who was born July 15, 1939 in Morgan County to Leroy Smith
Bennett and Mary Jane Slaten Bennett, died on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at
Huntsville Hospital. Mrs. Libby Crowe was elected as the first Independent Party woman in Alabama to the Morgan County School Board. She loved serving the students of Morgan
County. Mrs. Libby and Bro. Dewitt were married for over 50 years. She was
a Godly Pastor’s wife going with Bro. Dewitt on his visits and watching the
church kids play sports. She taught children’s Sunday School and loved the
“Littles” class. She had three loving children and their spouses, who took
care of anything she needed. She sang with her family, The Crowe Family, as
the Mama Alto, and recorded 3 albums with the family. Mrs. Libby loved watching her three grandkids in sports and any other endeavors that they are involved in. Bryson, Alley, Andee, Noah and Sadie, the Great Grands, were her Loves. She went to watch them play sports,
assemblies and even played video games with Noah. She was the cool
Great-Mammaw. She was a Disney World fan who loved roller coasters and all
the rides at the parks. Her hobbies were, The Hallmark Channel, gardening,
puzzles, and watching Alabama sports. She loved cooking for her family and
friends. She attended New Friendship Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Brother Dewitt Crowe, brothers, Jimmy Bennett and Bunyan Bennett and a sister, Sara Orme. She is survived by one son, Tommy Crowe (Kim); two daughters, Cam Emerson (Mark) and Darlen Grantland (David); one sister, Judy Henderson (Wayne); three grandchildren, Brandon Emerson (Jaime), Seth Emerson (Sabrina) and Chanler Crowe Cantor (Daniel); five great grandchildren: Bryson, Andee, Alley, Noah and Sadie. Libby’s family will served as pallbearers.
Vellene Braswell Tanner
Funeral Service for Vellene Braswell Tanner, 91 of Decatur will be Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 11a.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Jack Bailey officiating with burial in the Herring Cemetery with Peck Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be Saturday from 10-11a.m. at the funeral home. Mrs. Tanner was born January 30, 1932 in Cullman County, AL to Olon Webster and Ruby Viola Cole Braswell. She passed away Sunday, February 12, 2023 at the Terrace in Decatur. She was a member of Danville Baptist Church for 69 Years. Vellene was preceded in death by her parents, husband of 49 Years John W. Tanner. She was a loving Mother, Grandmother and a devoted Christian. She had many talents. Survivors include 2 sons, Steve Tanner (Cindy) and Jim Tanner (Karen); daughter, Joni Simms (David); 8 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren. Family members will be pallbearers. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Danville Baptist Church or Hospice of the Valley.
Our sweet perfect gift from God Kathy entered the arms of Jesus Saturday, February 11,2023. Funeral service for Kathy Ray will be Friday, February 17, 2023 at 1p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church with Bro. David Gamble and Bro Bobby Decker officiating with burial in Burningtree Memorial Gardens with Peck Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be Thursday from 6-8p.m. at the funeral home. Kathy will lie in state 1 hour at the church. She was born December 12,1957 in Cook County, Illinois to James R. Krips and Carmela Rose Giarrusso Krips. Kathy was a member of Bethel Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents, and son, James Joseph (Joey) Ray. Kathy was a loving wife, mother, and she loved her grandchildren deeply. Survivors include husband, Rickey Lynn Ray; son, Stephen Michael Ray (Amber); daughter, Katie Lynne Key (Jesse); brother, James Krips Jr.; 3 sisters, Mary Jo Krips, Loretta Frank and Joyce Seets; 3 grandchildren, Ava Key, Thea Ray and Holden Ray
Mr. Glenn Cryer, 67, passed away Saturday, February 11, 2023 at his
residence. He was born April 13, 1955, in Morgan County, to Ollie Cryer and
Majorie Adams Cryer. He was employed by Kroger, as a night stocker, prior
to his passing. He loved sports, fishing and riding motorcycles. His parents
preceded him in death. Survivors include wife, Teresa Cryer; sons, Aubrey Cryer (Nikki)
and Adam Cryer (Britney); daughter, Alecia Warren (Josh) and seven grandchildren
No services are scheduled at this time.
Timothy Dwight Mann, Jr.
Funeral service for Mr. Timothy Dwight Mann, Jr. will be held Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 4 p.m. in the chapel of Peck Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 3-4 p.m. Saturday. Mr. Mann of Somerville passed away Friday, February 18, 2023. He was born to Timothy Dwight and Maxine Tilton Mann in Volusia, Florida February 17, 1975.
He worked as a forklift operator at Falkville Wood Treatment in Falkville.
He is preceded in death by his parents. Timothy, Tim or as some people knew him as “Toes” was a man of joy but everyone thought he was mean because he had a grumpy look on his face, but
once you got to know him, he was a joy to be around. Everyone can picture
that smile of his as it shined very bright. He loved to hunt and fish he loved
his kids very much. Survivors include, son, Preston O. Mann (Misselly Mendoza) of Hartselle; daughter, Tiarra A. Mann of Arab; brother, Mark A. Mann of Debary, Fla; sister, Marla Mann-Ivey of Deland Fla; two nieces, Etienne and Ennen Ivey of Deland Fla.; one nephew, Mark Mann, Jr. of Debary, Fla.