Obituaries for November 2, 2011

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Joe Helms, 60, of Branson West, Mo., son of Charles and Julia Helms, was born February 6, 1951, in Andalusia, and departed this life Oct. 29, 2011, in Cox Medical Center South, Springfield, Mo.

He was born and raised in Andalusia, graduating from Andalusia High School in 1969. He was a popular student and excellent athlete and earned a basketball scholarship to Jacksonville State University.

He recently renewed his friendships from high school by traveling from Missouri to Andalusia for his 40th class reunion two years ago. His bravery in facing his failing health over the last several years of his life will continue to be an inspiration to his family and friends. He is loved and will be missed.

He was united in marriage to Roberta “ Bobbi” Jones on Aug. 23, 1992, and he had lived in the Branson area since 1987 coming from Mobile. He was a member of Talking Rock Road Baptist Church in Branson West.

He was an inspiration and will be missed so much by his wife, family and friends who became his chosen family and his beloved Sophie, Doodle Bug and the Rooney cat.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include: his wife, Bobbi; one son, Brad Lehn Helms of Hollister; one daughter, Trisha Helms Skal, and husband, Fred John of Baton Rouge, La.; one brother, Craig Helms, and wife, Phyllis of Bay Minette; brother and sister-in-law, Bobby and Henrietta Kifer of Arnold, Mo.; niece, Becky Kifer of California.; two other nieces; one nephew; four grandchildren, Joshua, Katelyn, Lauren and Madison; and a host of other relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., today, Wed., Nov. 2, 2011, at Talking Rock Road Baptist Church with Pastor Delbert Davis officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions to American Diabetes or Talking Rock Road Baptist Church in Branson West.



William W. Avant, 89, of Andalusia, died Fri., Oct. 28, 2011, at his residence.

He was born in Andalusia on Jan. 8, 1922, and attended Andalusia grade and high schools. He was graduated the University of Alabama as an aeronautical engineer. During World War II, he served as an Army officer with the American 9th Army and British 2nd Army, and was in three battles as a combat engineering officer on the mainland of Europe. He received three medals for his service.

After honorable discharge from the Army, he obtained his pilot’s license in 1946 and accumulated many hours of private flying.

His career as an aeronautical engineer began at North American Aviation, Los Angeles Division, in the supersonic wind tunnel for four years; then continued as a pulse-jet power plant engineer with American Helicopter Company’s XH-26, a jet powered helicopter.

At his retirement in 1984, he had completed 31 years of service as an aeronautical engineer with the Garrett/Airesearch Co., in their Phoenix, pneumatic control system product line. During this time, he was awarded three U. S. patents for his inventions.

After retirement, he returned to Andalusia and was engaged in refurbishing the “Avant House” which is now listed on the Register of Historic Places, and managing the land and timber of the Avant-Crittenden Timberlands.

His lifelong interest was with anything that could fly in the air from insects to the biggest jets and spacecrafts. “For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been and there you long to return.”

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., today, Wed., Nov. 2, from Foreman Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Cynthia Howard officiating and burial following in Andalusia Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Andalusia Public Library.

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, William Watts and Therese Avant III of Birmingham; his daughters and son-in-law, Caroline Patricia and Gerald McCall of Birmingham and Leslie Ann Avant of Orinda, Calif.; stepdaughter, Joanne Terry Kuhnlein; and grandchildren, Leslie Ann Dervan, Lathan Williams McCall, Alexander Avant McCall and Rebecca Caroline Wartz.

Pallbearers will be Randolph Kyzar, Bill Swartz, Gerald McCall, William Avant, III, Alexander McCall, Jurrell Davis and Harvey Kelley

Those unable to attend the services may sign the guest registry online at




Judge William H. “Bill” Baldwin, 91, of Andalusia, died Fri., Oct. 28, 2011, in a Pensacola, Fla., hospital.

Funeral services were held on Sun., Oct. 30, at the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Tim Trent officiating, and burial following in Andalusia Memorial Cemetery.

Survivors include his wife, Betty B. Baldwin of Andalusia; sons and daughter-in-law, William E. and Kathy Baldwin Jr., of Cochran, Ga., Charles G. Baldwin of Pensacola, Fla., and Christopher D. Baldwin of Hoboken, N.J.; grandchildren, Patrick Baldwin, Charles Baldwin and Ellie Baldwin.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lions Club Eyesight Conservation fund, the First United Methodist Church of Andalusia or the charity of one’s choice.

Thosse unable to attend the services may sign the guest registry online at




Harold Albert Dunn, 90, of Andalusia, died Sun., Oct. 30, 2011, at his residence.

Graveside services were held on Tues., Nov. 1, at the Andalusia Memorial Cemetery with the Rev. Bill Pritchett officiating and Foreman Funeral Home directing. Military honors were conducted at the graveside.

Survivors include his daughters, Susan Dunn Cravey, and her husband, Albert, of Florala and Nancy Dunn Wiggins, and her friend, Jason Walker, of Andalusia; grandchildren, Harold Wiggins and Elizabeth Cravey; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Ralph and Betty Dunn of Andalusia, Riley and Carolyn Dunn of Dothan and Lamar and Brunetta Dunn of Crestview, Fla.; sisters and brothers-in-law, Frances and J.D. Radford of Shalimar, Fla., Kathryn Butler of Phenix City, Ruth Gaston of Pensacola, Fla., Janell and John McColl of Moline, Ill., and Norma and Wayne Sauls of Dothan.

Pallbearers will be Dennis Meeks, Mark Dunn, Harry Radford, Mike Radford, Laron Dunn and Jackie Butler.

Those unable to attend the services may sign the guest registry online at