Obituaries for Wed., June 8, 2011

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011


On the morning of Fri., May 6, 2011, Mother Lucy Gardner’s soul took its flight from this world of sin, sorrow and pain to a place of eternal rest.

Mother Gardner was born Aug. 15, 1924, to the late John and Bessie Staley in Gantt.

She was blessed with a large family of 13 siblings and is survived by four: Douglas Staley, Louise White, Iola Bryant and Lillie Bonam, and eight preceded her in death.

Mother Gardner was married to the late Ernest Robertson and to the late Will Gardner.

She never met a stranger and made everyone feel loved. She enjoyed talking with people and assisting them in any way possible. She was a professional seamstress – known for her unique styles of handkerchiefs, quilts, and alterations within the community. One of her favorite hobbies was gardening. Mother Gardner also served within the church as president of the Sewing Circle and church mother. She also served proudly as one of the first NAACP secretaries. In addition to serving in the NAACP, she played a major role in the awareness of the Civil Rights Movement for fair treatment of all people.

She leaves to cherish her memories: six children, Lynn (Shanitha) Gardner, Dr. Gwen (Tyran) Brannum, Marshene (Debbie) Gardner, Jearnean (Joseph) Jackson, David Robertson and Alice Mahomes; Mother Gardner’s seed of adoration, 18 grandchildren; her flowers of honor, 19 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren, and her blossoms and many loving nieces, nephews, church family, neighbors and community.

She was preceded in death by two children, James Robertson and Georgia Matthews.

A very special thank you goes to lifelong friend, Mr. C. L. Kirkpatrick. Mother Gardner’s legacy will live on through her children and all she loved.


Larue Pursell Thomasson, 86, of the Sanford Community, died Mon., June 6, 2011, in a local nursing home.

Funeral services will be held today, Wed., June 8, at 1 p.m., from the Foreman Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Ed Ganus officiating. Interment will be in the Sanford Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. Wednesday at Foreman’s.

Survivors include six daughters, Wylene Kelley of Florahome, Fla., Dianne Shaw of Andalusia, Kathy (Garry) Hanson of Trussville, Rebecca (Moda) Daughtry of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., Harriet (Malcomb) Peevy of Andalusia and Yvonne (Johnny) Bryars of Clanton; two sons, John P. “Sonny” (Nancy) Thomasson and Steve (Karen) Thomasson, all of Andalusia; 15 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Brad Kelley, John Bryars, Chris Thomasson, Mitch Shaw, Josh Hilburn and Tim Thomasson.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the Sanford Baptist Church.

Those unable to attend may sign the online registry at


Ellie T. Stephens, 80, of Red Level, died Mon., June 6, 2011, at his residence.

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m., Thurs., June 9, from Foreman Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Drexel Copeland officiating, and burial following in Mitchell Cemetery in Loango.

Visitation will be at 5:30 tonight at Foreman Funeral Home.

Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Kayleen and Rocky Schertler of Red Level; his son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Mary Stephens of Gadsden; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Alma Williamson of Oneonta, Ala., and Ann Tidmore of Anniston; and special family members, Tony and Carolyn Cofield and Jerry and Debbie Strickland.

Pallbearers will be Doc Oglesby, Butch Oglesby, Kolby Bennett, Jarrett Bryan, Tray Bryan and Matt Stephens.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Those unable to attend may sign the online registry at


Zelma Earl Spicer, 93, of Andalusia, died Mon., June 6, 2011, at her daughter’s home in


Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Foreman Funeral Home.