Obituaries for Fri., Nov. 11, 2016

Published 12:23 am Friday, November 11, 2016

Lynda Lee Merrill

Lynda Lee Merrill, daughter of Delores Busbee Merrill of Niceville, Fla., and the late Eli Reid (Tobey) Merrill, passed into eternal life with her Lord on Oct. 29, 2016 in Dothan. She was the granddaughter of the late Anna and Woodrow Busbee of Gantt, and the late Rubyand A. Reid Merrill of Andalusia. In addition to her father and grandparents, Lynda was preceded in death by her first grandchild, Lyndsie Erin.

1111-lmerill-obit-picLynda was born in Andalusia, Feb. 13, 1960, and spent herchildhood in Andalusia, Auburn, Birmingham and Raleigh, N.C., before settling with her family in Dothan. She graduated as an honor student from Dothan High School in 1978 and was active in theatre and both the music and puppet ministries at First Baptist and Calvary Baptist Churches. From a young age, Lynda was considered not just a dancer but a ballerina. She studied dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts and continued lessons, concerts and recitals with various ballet teachers through high school and early college years.

Later, with two beautiful daughters to raise, Lynda went back to school, studied nursing and graduated at the top of her ASN class at Wallace College in 1987. She became one of the first to be certified and licensed as an RN in Labor & Delivery and loved her work at Southeast Alabama Medical Center and Flowers Hospital in Dothan. Even though spare time was limited, Lynda continued to help with theatre productions for SEACT. After being diagnosed with a rare blood disease, she gave up nursing and raised two daughters in Headland, Ala., where they attended Headland First Baptist Church.

Lynda is survived by her daughter, Abbey Wood (Neil) Pollan and granddaughter, Alexandra Erin of Dothan; and daughter, Stephanie Wood (Kyle) Burns and grandchildren, Jacob Bradley, Charlotte Emery, and Dashiel Lee of Daphne, Ala.; sister, Elizabeth Merrill (Scott) Wade and sister Cynthia Merrill (Matthew) Joiner, all of Lynchburg, Va.; five nieces, two nephews, five uncles, four aunts-in-law and cousinsthroughout the United States.

A memorial service is planned for Lynda on Sat., Nov. 12, at Ward Wilson Funeral Home, 2414 Hartford Highway, Dothan. Visitation is at 10 a.m. with the service at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Lynda Lee Merrill Memorial Fund through any BBVA Compass Bank.


Rev. B.L. Butler

The Rev. B.L. Butler, 90, died Thurs., Nov. 11, 2016.

1111-black-obitSurvivors include his daughters, Edgena Dean Hassell Betty P. Kendrick, Marie Foshee, Jeanette Malwitz, and Mary Jean Cox; sons Tom Butler and Clye Butler; daughter-in-law, Lucy Butler; sons-in-law, Mitchell Devone Kendrick, Wheeler Foshee III, and Pete Malwitz; sisters, Poly Reno and Nancy Bentz, 18 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Graveside services and interment will be in Andalusia Memorial Cemetery.


Rex Arnold Bowers

Rex Arnold Bowers was born Nov. 26, 1920, in Dozier, Ala. His parents were Charlie and Ruby (Jones) Bowers. He would have been 96 the 26th of this month. He departed this life early Monday morning on Nov. 7, 2016, at home.

1110-rex-bowers-obit-picFuneral services will be at 10 a.m. Sat., Nov. 12, 2016, at Dozier Baptist Church with Brother Roger Lee and Brother Jerry Hogwood officiating the service. Interment will follow in Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery. Visitation will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Dozier Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Carolyn B. Soltes; her husband, Tony; and their son, Bruce.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Yvonne, his three sons, Andrew and wife Sara of New Orleans, James of Tucson, Ariz., Daniel of Dozier, and daughter, Linda, of Dozier. He is also survived by his brother, Kent, and his wife, Glenda, of Milton, Fla.; their children, Beth Campbell, Caroline New, Charlie Bowers, Alice White, Molly Holmes, and their families; as well as the daughters of his sister Carolyn, Sharon Hamilton and Toni Lynn Pickford; and also his niece, Lynn Pederson, and nephew, Steve Straughn.

He served his country in the navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict for 7 ½ years.

He loved and served his Lord to the best of his ability all of his life.

He loved his Lord, his family, his country, and his neighbor, who was anyone.

We will miss him greatly but know that he is in that Perfect Place and not hurting anymore.

The family wishes to thank Gentiva Home Health Care of Andalusia and Comfort Care Hospice of Greenville. Those two fine groups made it possible for Rex to remain at home where he wanted to be.

Should anyone wish to give a memorial donation instead of flowers, the family suggests that such donations be made either to the Dozier Baptist Church in Dozier, Alabama or to the Alabama Baptist’s Children’s Homes of which were very important to Rex.

Family and friends unable to attend may sign an online registry at


Rev. Melvin Eugene Smith, Sr.

The Rev. Melvin Eugene Smith, Sr., age 82, of Andalusia, passed away Tues., Nov. 8, 2016, at his residence. Funeral Services for Mr. Smith will be held on Sat., Nov. 12, 2016, at 2 p.m. from Hopewell Baptist Church with the Rev. Jay Driver and John Stewart officiating. Interment will follow in Thomasson Cemetery.

Survivors include his daughters and son-in-law, June Smith and Libby and Roger Knox, all of Andalusia; sons and daughter-in-law, Gene and JoAnne Smith of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Danny Smith of Andalusia; sister and brother-in-law, Sandra and Jack Sansom of Andalusia; and brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Judy Smith of Andalusia.

He is preceded in death by his sons, Mark Smith and Sammy Smith, and wife, Louise Smith. A visitation will be held on Fri., Nov. 11, 2016, from 5:30-8 p.m. at Foreman Funeral Home.

Family and friends unable to attend may sign an online registry at