AHS Outstanding Graduates recognized Friday

Published 1:49 am Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Andalusia High School Outstanding Graduate Committee honored three graduates of the city’s schools with the annual award Friday.

Dr. Bill Hansford

Dr. Bill Hansford

Dr. Bill Hansford is a 1964 graduate of Andalusia High School. He devoted his professional life to medicine, first as a as a U.S. Public Health Service physician to the Navajo Nation, then in private practice in Opp and in Birmingham. He retired from the position of Medical Director of Regular Business for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.

His retirement has given him an opportunity to focus on combining two of his passions – Andalusia and architecture, and in 2015 he published, “Andalusia: A collection of photographs, brief genealogies, histories and events.”

In accepting his award, Hansford said it is important to choose the right friends to help you along in life, then introduced the friends who were on hand to share the special occasion with him.

“They represent groups,” he said. “First, it is important to choose people smarter than you.

Linda Brogden Palmer helped me with the book.”

He said the two of them had English classes together at AHS, but “it took, with her.”

He also introduced Betty Kyzar, who was his office nurse when he practiced medicine in Opp.

“It takes an extremely knowledgeable, bright person to be a nurse,” he said. “They should be loving, caring, attending and responsible.’

He also recognized teachers who were present.

“It is so important that we have teachers that not only teach us, make us want to learn,” he said. “But teachers do much more than that. They also listen to your problems.”

He said Christianity and the Methodist Church have always been important in his life.

“If the doors were open and the lights were on, we were there,” he said, “especially if they served food.”

Another friend, Nedetria Talbot, is a great example of Christian faith.

“She always knows right scripture or prayer,” he said.

His wife, Gerrie Hansford, also has been important, he said.

“All the qualities all these other people have are important,” he said. “They have always been there to help me make decisions. This award does not go to me. These people – my friends, my choice of friends – they are a reward to me; they get the award.”


Mike Jones Sr.

Mike Jones Sr.

Mike Jones Sr.

Mike Jones Sr. is a 1962 graduate of Andalusia High School. He is president and co-owner of Andalusia Distributing Company, Inc. (ADC). He has served in leadership roles and on the boards of numerous state and regional professional associations.

Jones is a former member of the Andalusia City Council, and was mayor pro-tempore.

Locally, he has served on the boards of Regions Bank, Andalusia Regional Hospital, Boy Scouts of America, Parent Teachers Association; Andalusia Midget, Minor and Little League Baseball Associations; Men’s Softball, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Foundation, the United Fund, the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, and Kiwanis Club. He is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Andalusia.

In introducing Jones, Jim Krudop said it is the things people don’t know about Jones that make him deserving of the award.

“I’m talking about things we don’t begin to know that he does quietly, and anonymously,” he said.

One of his nominators, Mike Jones Jr., wrote, “Some of his biggest achievements will never be recognized. Mike Jones doesn’t help people and our community for the recognition, he does it because it’s the right thing to do. If he should receive this award, he will like show nothing more than quiet humility.”

In accepting the award, Jones said, “Thank you, thank you, and thank you.”


Jeddo Bell

Jeddo Bell

Jeddo Bell

Jeddo Bell graduated from the Covington County Training School in 1947.He spent a total of 45 years in the classrooms of the Butler County, Ala., school system and LBW Community College. He taught English, French and adult education, and also is an accomplished musician.

He was elected to the Greenville (Ala.) City Council in 1996, and currently serves as mayor pro-tem. Since retiring, he currently works with the elderly and the city recreation program of Greenville.

Bell is battling cancer, and asked Greenville Mayor Dextor McClendon to accept the award in his behalf.

“There is not a nicer guy in the world than Jeddo Bell,” McClendon said. “He is like a brother to me.”

McClendon said Bell’s recent reports have not been good.

“It is wonderful for y’all to recognize him at this time,” he said. “This really, really means a lot to him.”

McClendon said that Bell specifically asked him to talk about Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Faulkner, for whom he worked at the Dairy Queen during high school and summers of his college years. He was so close to the family that they asked him to deliver Mrs. Faulkner’s eulogy.

McClendon said he plans to make the presentation to Bell at Greenville’s next council meeting, set for Sept. 26.