Obituaries for Tues., Oct. 25, 2011

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Judy Shaw Armstrong, 63, went to be with her Lord on October 21, 2011, surrounded by her family and closest friends in Andalusia.

A celebration of her life was held Mon., Oct. 24, 2011, at the First Baptist Church in Andalusia.

She was born April 8, 1948, in Dothan, to Robert Edward and Eleanor Brannon Shaw. She spent her childhood in Clio, and graduated from Barbour County High School in 1966 and Troy State University in 1972. While in high school, she served as head majorette for the band, was selected for Girls State in Alabama, and was salutatorian of her graduating class.

A lifelong musician, she played the saxophone as a teenager and was pianist for Clio Presbyterian Church at age 18. In 1966, she represented her hometown at the Peanut Festival as Miss Clio. In 1968, she met and married the love of her life, Paul Armstrong. Before moving to Andalusia in 1976, she also lived in Killeen, Texas; Ozark and Mannheim, Germany.

She began her teaching career in 1972, and it was there that she found her true calling. She spent 31 years at Andalusia Middle School, teaching a variety of subjects to two generations of Andalusia students, including both her sons and, more recently, two of her grandchildren.

A true patriot, she loved her country deeply and, in the late 1980s, an exercise she assigned her students involving “thank you” letters to local veterans resulted in a remarkable community response. It was eventually expanded through the years, and now continues as an annual school-wide event. Its impact on both the students and the veterans is well known, and the concept has been copied by other educational institutions. A hallmark of her teaching style was her fairness and her focus on her students’ needs, whatever they might be – academic or personal. She was SGA sponsor and was active in supporting the middle school events such as football, cheerleading and special programs. She was selected as “Middle School Teacher of the Year” for 2001-2002. After her retirement in 2010, she continued to serve as a substitute teacher and tutor at AMS.

She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an educational sorority, the study group Docena Y-Tres, as well as the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). She was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Andalusia in the capacities of church choir, Irene Hines Bell Choir and the culinary committee. Her interests were widespread and included, first and foremost, being with her family. She loved gardening, entertaining, sewing, playing the piano and organ, reading and boating. In recent years, she devoted much of her time and energy to her grandchildren, attending their recitals, ballgames, pageants and other events.

She is survived by her husband, Paul Armstrong; son, Wade and his wife, Heather, and their children, Madeline and Evan; son, Joe, and his wife, Deb, and their children, Megan Rogers, Brandon Rogers and Callie Armstrong; a sister, Rita Shaw Rone, and her husband, Bill Rone; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Her spirit and influence will live on in those she loved, taught, mentored and inspired.

Pallbearers were Wade Armstrong, Joe Armstrong, Will Rone, Brandon Rogers, Scott Goss, John Cherry, Todd Pate and Wayne Sasser.

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Jack Feagin, 82, of the Brooklyn Community, passed away on Sun., Oct. 22, 2011, in a Crestview, Fla., hospital.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Wed., Oct. 26, at Keahey Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends at the funeral home tonight from 6 until 8.

Burial will follow in Brooklyn Baptist Church cemetery with Keahey Funeral Home directing.

Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Feagin of the Brooklyn Community; brother and sister-in-law, Glenn and Barbara Feagin; sister, Eleanor Feagin Johnson of Evergreen; four grandchildren, Josh Feagin, Zach Feagin, Jacob Feagin and Avadia Feagin; five great-grandchildren, Tye Feagin, Avah Feagin, Devin Feagin, Nate Feagin and Jaylah Feagin.

He was a member of Mobley Creek Baptist Church and was preceded in death by his two sons, Tim Allen Feagin in 2010 and Alex Wayne Feagin in 2011.

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Lester Mark Piland, 47, of Andalusia, passed away on Mon., Oct. 24, 2011, at his residence.

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

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Vester Blair Rabren, 88, of Hattiesburg, Miss., formerly of Andalusia, died Tues., Oct. 18, 2011, at his residence.

He had requested no services be held.

Survivors include his wife, Irene Rabren of Hattiesburg, Miss.; son and daughter-in-law, David and Wanda Rabren of Opelika; three stepchildren; three grandchildren; and two sisters and a brother-in-law, Vonceil R. and Pat Thompson of Andalusia and Lucile R. Brawner of Dadeville.

He is preceded in death by his daughter, Donna Rabren Gale; parents, A.A. “Jack” Rabren and Q.V. Gilmer Rabren; and two brothers, Morgan Rabren and Morris Rabren.

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