Obituaries for Thurs., Feb. 18, 2016

Published 12:04 am Thursday, February 18, 2016

Evelyn Holderfield Brown

Evelyn Holderfield Brown, 84, died of natural causes on Feb. 11, 2016. Born on July 27, 1931, in Fairfield Highlands, Ala., to Ruby Grace Holderfield of Perote, Ala., and Thomas G. Holderfield, Sr. of Fredonia, Ala., Evelyn was the youngest of five children that included Miriam, Eloise, Virginia, and Thomas Holderfield.

0218 Evelyn Brown 2

She married Bury G. Brown, Jr. of Andalusia, Ala., who, after a tour in the Navy during World War II, left the service and subsequently enlisted in the U.S. Army. Together Evelyn and Bury began their two-and-a-half decade Army life of adventures and travels in the United States and Europe.

Upon the death of her husband, Col. Bury G. Brown, Jr, from a heart attack in 1972, Evelyn permanently returned home to her life in Alabama. In spite of having young children still at home, Evelyn had a burning desire to pursue her education that had been interrupted by the rigors of military life and raising five children. At the age of 45, she enrolled at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM or little Auburn as she liked to call to it). Older than all the other students and many of her professors, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English. Upon graduation Evelyn stated it was one of the proudest moments of her life. Evelyn was extremely proud that her five children earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from West Point, Georgia Tech, Auburn University, the University of Alabama, Georgia State University, the University of Texas, Harvard University, and George Washington University.

At one point, she had all of these universities’ decals on her car’s back window at the same time. Evelyn was college football’s most ardent fan. Following his death in 1972, Evelyn developed Bury’s beloved weekly family college football pool into a storied institution now steeped in family tradition. She added her weekly college football and family newsletter, which just celebrated its 43rd Anniversary during the 2015 season. She took it from the dark ages of postal snail mail with days and weeks of waiting for results to the computer age of email, excel spread sheets and instantaneous results after Saturday’s games. The weekly newsletter with pool winners and family news became everyone’s most anticipated e-mail of the week. She knew more about college football than many of the sports announcers we saw on TV. She was crazy about Alabama football and the SEC.

She loved her family, her church (Fairfield Highlands), her friends…and Bear Bryant, Nick Saban, and Shug Jordan, probably in that order. She was preceded in death by her husband, Col. Bury G. Brown, Jr; her daughter, Linda Carol Brown Pontius; her parents, Tom and Ruby Holderfield; sisters, brother and brothers-in-law, Miriam and Harry Green, Virginia and Jimmy Golden, Tom and Nann Holderfield; and grandson, Justin Brown.

She is survived by her four sons Dr. David Brown (Susan) of Dallas, Texas; Glenn Brown of Chicago, Ill.; Neil Brown (Karen) of Atlanta, Ga.; Richard Brown (Kathy) of McKinney, Texas; her son-in-law, Bill Pontius of Bessemer, Ala.; her sister, Eloise Holderfield, Bessemer, Ala.; her grandchildren, Kevin Brown (Jennie) of Brooklyn, N.Y., Karin Shoffner (Mark) of Dallas, Texas, Christine Klayman (Gregg) of New York City, Katherine Brown of McKinney, Texas, Madison Wetmore (Garrison), of Auburn, Ala., Melissa Pontius, Bessemer, Ala., Samantha and Stephanie Brown, Bartlett, Ill.; her step-grandchildren, Mark Danuser (Christine) of Dallas, Texas, andKatie Hobbs (Ryan) of Frisco, Texas; as well as four great-grandchildren, five step great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather to visit, tell stories, and share memories and anecdotes, on Thursday evening, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. until 7:30 at Peoples Chapel Funeral Home, 195 Brooklane Dr. in Hueytown, Ala. On Friday morning, Feb. 19, a processional will depart at 10:40 from Peoples Chapel Funeral Home to Highland Memorial Gardens Cemetery where a graveside service will take place at 11 a.m. A memorial service will be held at 12 p.m. at her beloved Fairfield Highlands Presbyterian Church where Evelyn was a member for more than eight decades. A lunch reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial gifts be made to Fairfield Highlands Presbyterian Church, 907 11th Ave, Midfield, AL 35228 or to The Foundation for Cardiovascular Education Research and Training (FACET) at The Heart Hospital Baylor at 1100 Allied Drive, Plano, TX 75093.


James Alvis Ferguson

Mr. James Alvis Ferguson, 75, of Dozier, passed away Sat., Feb. 13, 2016, in Montgomery.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Sat., Feb. 20, 2016, from Foreman Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Fred Karthaus officiating the service. The family will visit with friends following the service.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ferguson of Dozier; two daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and David Marcum of Dozier, Dorene and Keith Stevenson of Virginia Beach, Va.; one son and daughter-in-law, Darrell and Masami Ferguson of Sugarland, Texas; his grandchildren, Grant Marcum, Colin Marcum, Alexander Stevenson, Eric Stevenson, Johnathan Ferguson, and Samuel Ferguson; a brother and sister-in-law, Glenn and Kathy Ferguson of Galveston, Texas; and sister and brother-in-law, Janice and David Huddleston of Santa Fe, Texas.

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


Jay Lee Stanley

Jay Lee Stanley, 88, passed away Tues., Nov. 17, 2015 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. He was born Feb. 20, 1927, to Thomas R. and Viola “Vashti” (Williams) Stanley in Florala. He was one of five children.

In his 28-year career in the U.S. Navy, Lt. Stanley was one of the men who formed the Navy Seals program in 1962 and worked as an operative with the CIA for 25 years. He was a veteran of WW II, Korea and Vietnam wars, and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, three Good Conduct Medals, Navy Expeditionary Medal, American Defense Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation and Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars) and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He loved this great country and was honored to protect it. Jay was an incredible man who has truly led a remarkable life. He was a wonderful husband and father who will be missed dearly. He made a lasting impression on all who were privileged to know him.

Jay married Gearlene Key (1933-1979) in 1951 and had four children. His loving wife Jeweldene (Johnson) Stanley of Florala, passed away Dec. 17, 2015. Jay is survived by his four children, Virgil Stanley of St. Johns, Fla., Deborah “Debi” Haak of Orange Park, Fla. Denise Strong (Ron) of Jacksonville, Fla., and Marcia Farrell of Jacksonville, Fla.; his six grandchildren, Amber Rivas (Leo), Adam Aguilera, Alex Aguilera, James “J.D.” Farrell, Christian Stanley and Kendall Strong; five great-grandchildren; sister, Suzette Pope of Miami, Fla; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Jay was predeceased by his two brothers, Cecil Williams and Ray Stanley, along with his sister, Cristel Andaloft.

Memorial services for Jay Lee Stanley will be held Sat., Feb. 20, 2016, 11 a.m., at Keahey Funeral Home on Highway 55 in Lockhart. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

The family will greet friends and relatives Fri., Feb. 19, 2016, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.


Estie Lee Castleberry Johnson

Mrs. Estie Lee Castleberry Johnson, age 93, passed away Mon., Feb. 15, 2016, at Andalusia Manor.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thurs., Feb. 18, at Buck Creek Baptist Church with Bro. Tyler Ingram and Bro. Billy Boles officiating. Interment will follow in Buck Creek Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, James Thomas “Tommy” and Sue Johnson, Sr. of Horn Hill and Donnell and Cindy Johnson of Red Level; grandchildren, Jamie Johnson, David Johnson, Melynda Wilkerson, Chris Johnson, Lynn Castleberry, and Robyn Johnson; great-grandchildren, Madison Castleberry, Will Castleberry, Taylor Wilkerson, Maggie Wilkerson, Mary Johnson, Judy Johnson, and Luke Johnson; and sisters and brother-in-law, Era Reeves of Enterprise and Vera and Chet Brown of Florida.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Slick Johnson; sister, Ludie Gibson; and brother, I.D. Castleberry.

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