Obituaries for Sat., July 11, 2015

Published 8:25 pm Friday, July 10, 2015


Mr. James W. Laird, of Lockhart, died in his home, on July 10, 2015. He was 86 years old.

James is survived by his wife, Betty; daughter, Patricia Peoples (Terry); daughter-in-law, Patricia Laird; brothers, Braxton of Highland Home and Nolan of Florala; sisters, Juanita Russell of Opp and Ina Davis of Lockhart; grandchildren, Amanda Laird, April Durkee (Travis) and Anais Black of Huntsville; great-grandchildren, Alivia Laird, Alexis Durkee and Ava Durkee. He is predeceased by his parents, J.C. and Mittie Mae Laird; brother, Lamar Laird; and son, Gary Laird.

James was born on June 14, 1929, in Crenshaw County. He joined the U.S. Navy at a very young age. After naval service, he enrolled in Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. He attended Massy Draughon in Montgomery, and finished the accounting program at Modern Business Academy in Montgomery. He married Betty Garrett in December 1948. After working as a cost accountant for six years, he decided to return to farming. He moved his family back to the farm after living in Milton and Pace, Fla. He farmed peanuts, cotton, soybeans, cattle and pecans. After finishing his cotton crop in Alabama, he would ship his combine to Arkansas by train and work the cotton fields there. In addition to farming, he also owned Laird Flying Service and Laird Power & Equipment Case dealership. He was joined in operations there with his son, Gary. After closing these businesses, he operated heavy equipment and dug ponds. He loved his bulldozer and excavator work.

In addition to his farming, he loved politics and often worked at the polls. He was a lifelong Democrat. He served as president of the Lions Club, president of the Covington County Cattlemen’s Association and council member for the town of Lockhart. He enjoyed growing fruit trees and was especially proud of his blueberry, grapefruit and satsuma crops.

James passed away peacefully in his home after struggling with dementia. He will be remembered for his hard work as a farmer, often working from sun up and using lights on his equipment to continue at night, and for his determination.

A funeral is scheduled for Mon., July 13, at 11 a.m. at Keahey Funeral Home in Lockhart. Visitation will be held tomorrow, Sun., July 12, 6-8 p.m. at Keahey Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted by John Bryan of Lockhart Baptist Church. Mr. Laird will be buried in Red Oak Cemetery. A special thanks to Dr. Maddox and his staff, the Southern Care nurses, and family caretakers, April Durkee and Terry Peoples.


A memorial service for Sharon Fletcher (Breezee) and Miguel Bernal is set for 6:30 p.m. at Kirkpatrick Park in Andalusia.

Fletcher and Bernal died on June 23, 2015, in Opp, after being struck by lightning.

Friends are encouraged to dress casually and to attend a bring-a-dish gathering following the service.

The park is located at 664 Beatrice St.

For directions or other information, call 334-892-3599 or 334-488-4911.


Mrs. Lucille Howell King, 103, passed away on Sat., July 4, 2015. She was a native of Opp and daughter of the late Morgan and Laura Howell.

She graduated from Huntingdon College in Montgomery and taught English in Cullman before moving to Andalusia in 1935. A member of the First United Methodist Church, she became active in her church and the civic and social life of Andalusia.

She taught private speech lessons in the city schools and was drama director for school plays for several years. She also assisted in the production of annual Christmas plays at her church. For many years, she was in demand as a speaker at literary and social clubs in Andalusia and surrounding towns. Her great love was poetry and many of her club programs covered the great poets and their works.

For 18 years she was society editor of the Andalusia Star-News and wrote a weekly column called “Strictly Personal.” Many of her philosophies live on in her columns, such as “something to do, something to love and something to hope for.”

Her greatest love and interest was her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Edgar Earl King, to whom she was married for 61 years; her brother, H.W. “Bill” Howell; and her sister, Eva Howell Hamilton.

Survivors include her son, Edgar Earl King, Jr. (Lynda) of Brewton; grandsons, Brian K. King of Atlanta and Russell A. (Vanessa) King of Huntsville; and great-grandchildren, Stella, Wyatt and Jude. Other survivors include her nieces, Donna Jacks of Dunnellon, Fla. and Laura Schellinger of Clifton Park, N.Y.; and her nephew, Scott Howell of Lynn Haven, Fla.

Graveside services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. today, Sat., July 11, 2015, at Andalusia Memorial Cemetery with Dr. Jason Thrower officiating and Foreman Funeral Home directing. A short visitation will be at the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. today.

The family will accept flowers or memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

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


Mrs. Frances Elizabeth Burgans, 65, of Andalusia, passed away on Wed., July 8, 2015, at her residence.

Funeral services were held on Fri., July 9, 2015, in the Keahey Funeral Home chapel. The Rev. Derrick Stewart officiated. Interment followed in the Five Runs Cemetery with Keahey Funeral Home directing.

Survivors include husband, Eliga Burgans of Andalusia; sons, Richard (Connie) Burgans of Andalusia and David Burgans of Andalusia; daughters, Linda (Henry) Huckabaa, Melody Willhite of Andalusia and Teresa Edgar of Andalusia; sisters, Linda (George) Pouncey of Andalusia, Barbara (James) Sorrells of Red Level and Anita (James) Blackwell of Red Level; grandchildren, Ashley Brown, Donald Ray Edgar, Jr., Christopher Edgar, Latrisha Burgans, David Burgans, Jr., Chad Willhite, Ryan Burgans, Adam Burgans and Haley Burgans; and numerous great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Burgans was preceded in death by her parents, Boney Neal, Jr. and Bernice Inez Golden; sister, Ann Walker; and brother, James Neal.