Former mayor dies

Published 12:05 am Saturday, June 6, 2015

Former Mayor Benny Barrow died this week. He is shown with his wife, Esther. | File photo

Former Mayor Benny Barrow died this week. He is shown with his wife, Esther. | File photo

Locals are mourning the loss of a former-two term Andalusia Mayor this week.

Benny Bozeman Barrow, 85, died Thursday at Andalusia Manor.

He was a long-time member of First Baptist Church, where he served as deacon, taught the boys Sunday school class, worked in preschool for 35 years and was named their Man of the Year.

An Eagle Scout, he dedicated his time as Scout Leader to the local Boy Scouts, and was also a long-time member of the Andalusia Rotary Club.

He was known for his weekly reports at club members about members celebrating their birthdays.

He served his country for 37 years, including four years in the Army Reserves and spent 31 years in the National Guard. He joined when he was 17, and his field artillery unit was mobilized in the Korean Conflict.

Barrow told the Star-News in 2013 that he joined the National Guard unit in Andalusia because they were asking for volunteers. It was a move he said he never regretted.

Barrow retired from State Farm Insurance and was also the owner of Recycling Resources. He earned a business degree from Auburn.

During his second term as mayor, he closed his business so that the city could offer recycling services to its residents.

Former Councilman Dr. Fred Winkler, who served with Barrow for four years, said Barrow seemed to be a good leader.

“He was straight as an arrow when doing things,” he said. “He really had the city’s interests at heart. I think he did a pretty good job.”

Winkler said he knew Barrow personally before he became mayor.

“He was a friendly fellow,” he said. “I enjoyed talking to him.”

Winkler said Barrow and his wife, Esther, who was a student of Winkler’s, were good citizens.

Councilman Will Sconiers echoed Winkler’s thoughts.

“He was a man you could really work with,” Sconiers said. “He was polite and kind. He tried his very best to work with the city and to keep peace. He was an all-around good man.”

Dwight Mikel, who was the city’s recreation director during Barrow’s two terms, said he was a man of his word.

“I really liked Benny,” he said. “If he told you something, he stood by his word. I think he tried to do what was best for the city.”

Mikel, who was in between Barrow’s two sons in school, recalled that Barrow was always a fixture at the football stadium from around 1967-1975.

For complete obituary, see Page 6A.