Obituaries for Wed., Jan. 4, 2017

Published 11:32 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bernard L Riley

Bernard L Riley of Doylestown, Pa., passed away on Dec. 24, 2016, at the age of 87. Born in Andalusia, Ala., on Sept. 7, 1929, he grew up in the Carolina Community of Andalusia and graduated salutatorian from Pleasant Home High School where he was a standout basketball player.

0104-obit-rileyHe went on to Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson, Miss., and graduated with honors. At Copiah-Lincoln he was team captain of the basketball team and leading scorer in state conference play in 1952-53. He was inducted into the Copiah-Lincoln sports hall of fame in 1989. He was federalized with the Mississippi National Guard and served two years at Camp Pickett in Blackstone, Va., where he was team captain of the Second Army Basketball Team. He then went on to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, Miss., on a basketball scholarship and graduated with honors with a degree in accounting.

He began his career with International Paper Company in Mobile, Ala., in 1955 and retired vice president of Corporate Logistics in New York City in 1985. He then worked for Emcore Corporation in Somerset, N.J., as vice president of finance and for Dataram Corporation in Princeton, N.J., as chief financial officer and was a board member of the Dataram Board of Directors before retiring permanently in 1998.

During his career, he was a member of the Purchasing Round Table whose membership was limited to 15 executives from Fortune 100 companies, was president and CEO of International Paper Capital Formation, Inc., was a participant in the Executive-in-Residence Program at the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration, and was an executive committee member for the Center of Logistics and Transportation for The Graduate School and University Center at the City University of New York.

He was a devoted father, grandfather and loving husband who cherished his family and had many friends throughout his life. He was a true Southern gentleman who will be remembered most for his love and devotion to his family and friends, his great sense of humor and wit, and for his warm, genuine, kind and loving nature.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of Doylestown, Pa.; brother, Roger, and his wife, Carolyn, of Enterprise, Ala.; sons, Wayne of Denver, Colo., and Peyton and his wife, Tammy, of Chester, N.J.; and five beloved grandchildren, Christopher, Amanda, Paige, Brooke and Sydney.

A memorial service and burial will be held on Saturday morning, Jan. 7, at 10 at Carolina Baptist Church in his hometown of Andalusia. A memorial service will also be held for him at a yet to be determined time and date at Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury, Pa., where he has been a member for the past 19 years.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Carolina Baptist Church, 17745 Rockhole Bridge Rd, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Trinity Episcopal Church, 6587 Upper York Rd, Solebury, PA 18963.


Tommy Lee Skapnit

Mr. Tommy Lee Skapnit, “Uncle Tom,” an inventor and creator of anything needed for the occasion, at age 50 passed away, Fri., Dec. 30, 2016, after several years of battling colon cancer. He was at his sister’s home surrounded by his family.

Funeral services were held 10 a.m., Mon., Jan. 2, 2017 ,at Keahey Chapel. Brother Tyler Ingram officiated. Eulogies were given by his brother-in-law, James McCloskey, and long time friend, David Colvin. Special music by Debbi Butts. Those attending the services were encouraged to wear jeans and T-shirts, Tommy’s preferred attire.

Interment followed in Stone Lake Gardens cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Jason Owens, Donald Huffman, Jr., David Huffman, Darren Huffman, Robert McCloskey, Jamie Mitchell, Frank Butts, and Cheney Robinson.

In Tommy’s memory, memorial contributions may be made to the Montgomery Cancer Center, 4145 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106.

Tommy was born Jan. 3, 1966, and was a graduate of Red Level High School. He had worked as a sewing machine mechanic at Judy Bond in Red Level, Pride Craft in Georgiana, Best Manufacturing in Georgia and most recently with Lavender Corporation doing shut downs.

Tommy was always full of new ideas and a new way of doing anything. He created everything from a watermelon cannon, Mr. Potato (a made from scratch unit with seats used to plant potatoes), and a 50-foot teeter totter for adults.

Everything had a purpose with Tommy and was a fun way to bring family together. One year, he and his family renamed Mr. Potato to Mr. Onion and used it to plant 25,000 onions. They were harvested and processed for friends and family to have plenty of onions throughout the year.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Tommy could look at junk and see the value of it. He always did everything on a large scale.

He was happiest being on a tractor and spending time with friends and family. His passion was farming. He set a goal to have 50 tractors by the age of 50 and he achieved that goal before age 45.

His annual garden was always huge, making sure there was plenty for friends and family. He often would give away what he had kept for himself, making sure no one went without. Three hundred-foot rows of jalapeno peppers was the norm. He was always giving someone something.

He loved mud riding, hayrides and partying by a bonfire. He hosted annual Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve parties and supplied everything. His guest list was “everyone,” and he always had a new featured attraction. He had barrel racing with an old station wagon; firetruck rides with his own firetruck; miniature golf course using odds and ends to build a new course each year; bottle rocket gun; free standing ladder climb; backing up contests using a farm tractor with trailer; setting up a TV with surround sound outside; a stage with a live band and karoake; go cart track racing; and chuck-a-luk.

Tommy never met a stranger and he made friends with everybody.

His family says he was the best son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend you could ever have.

Left to cherish his memory is his loving mother, Shirley Skapnit (Finley) of Red Level; sisters, Peggy (James) McCloskey of Red Level; Patti (Gary) Young of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania and Susan (Robert) Welch of Dozier; numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and many friends.


Martha Harris Gaines Osborn

Mrs. Martha Harris Gaines Osborn, age 90, went to be with the Lord on Sat., Dec. 31, 2016. She was at home surrounded by love.

A private graveside service will be held at a later date.

Survivors include her son, Richard Osborn, and his companion, Rosalynne Williamson of Andalusia; daughter, Brenda Gaines and her companion, Bobby Duncan; sister, Maryann (James) Rabren of Andalusia; granddaughter, Wendy Wadsworth of Georgia; and step-granddaughter, Elizabeth DeLosantos of California.

She was preceded in death by two husbands, Joseph B. Gaines and Louis Osborn.

She was a member of Cedar Grove Church of Christ.


Paskel D. “Pat”


Mr. Paskel D. “Pat” Norris, 98, of the Red Oak community, passed away Fri., Dec. 30, 2016, at Florala Health and Rehab.

Pat was born Oct. 11, 1918, to Sam and Anna Laura Norris. He attended Blue Springs school in Covington County, Ala. Pat served in the U.S. Navy and became a welder by trade, retiring from Dorsey Trailers in Elba. Pat also served as a deacon at Red Oak Baptist Church for many years.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wed., Jan. 4, at Red Oak Baptist Church with Brother Larry Wise officiating. Interment will follow in Red Oak Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Tuesday at Foreman Funeral Home.

Pat was preceded in death by three sisters, Ada Taylor, Ethel Adams, and Irene Wiggins; by one brother, Clayton Norris; and by his first wife, Clio Bulger Norris and his second wife, Marise Holley Norris.

He is survived by his daughters and son-in-law, Elaine and Paul Mixson of the Red Oak community and Kathryn Dale of Weatherford, Texas; his grandchildren, Rob (Sara) Mixson, Lee (Kim) Mixson, Michael (Lori) Jones, Joe Cooper, Kimberly Cooper, Suzanne Horn, April Horn, Troy Horn, and Stephanie Horn; 19 great-grandchildren; a brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Ruth Wise; and a host of nieces and nephews.

The family will accept flowers or memorials may be made to the Baptist Children’s Home.

Pallbearers will be Al Powell, Shannon Bulger, Terry Bulger, Mike Bess, Scott Jones, and Brent Maddox

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


Jacob Nolan Jones

Mr. Jacob Nolan Jones, 72, of Andalusia, passed away Fri., Dec. 30, 2016, in a hospital in Birmingham.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Tues., Jan. 3, 2017, at Mt. Zion Methodist Church with Minister Dianne Everette officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation was Monday at Foreman Funeral Home and at the church 30 minutes prior to services. Masonic Rites were administered at the graveside.

He is survived by his wife, Peggy Jones of Andalusia; his children, Alan (Debbie) Jones of Vance, Ala., Rena (Huey Dewayne) Meeks of Andalusia, and Mark (Nesha) Jones of Birmingham; his grandchildren, Stephen Jones, Zakary Jones, Curt Chesser, Jacob Chesser, Peyton Meeks, Brannon Jones, Nolan Jones, Zack Meeks, Anna Bush, and two significant others, Emily Kessler and Dustin Hallmark; three great-grandchildren, Chloe Bush, Emma Bush, and Kayden Bush; and a sister and brother-in-law, Jane and John Boysen of Prattville.

Pallbearers will be his grandsons, Stephen Jones, Zackary Jones, Curt Chesser, Jacob Chesser, Peyton Meeks, Brannon Jones, and Nolan Jones

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


Karen Suzanne

Sowell Chambless

Karen Suzanne Sowell Chambless, a resident of Blakely, Ga., passed away Sat., Dec. 31, 2016 at her residence. She was 38.

Memorial services for Suzanne will be held at 10 a.m. Fri., Jan. 6, 2017, in Clearman Chapel. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the funeral home.

Suzanne was born in Dothan on Jan. 9, 1978, to the late Douglas and Marilyn Smith Sowell. She was a caretaker by trade and had a love for people. Suzanne especially loved being a mother, sister and friend.

Survivors include her husband, Shaun Chambless; three sons, Karson Erp, Morgan Erp, and Luke Erp; and a host of family and friends.


Mary Grissett Capps

Mrs. Mary Grissett Capps, age 72, of Andalusia, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by loving family on Tues., Jan. 03, 2017, following a long and courageous battle with MS and brain cancer. She was a loving and much loved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.

She was born to William Asbury and Esther Hart Grissett on Sept. 04, 1944, in Andalusia. She was salutatorian of the 1962 graduating class of Red Level High School and was employed at Andytex Credit Union in Andalusia as assistant treasurer for 25 years after which she worked at Royal Foods in Pell City for 20 years. She was a member of the River Falls Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school for many years. She enjoyed her work and loved her family, especially her grandchildren. They brought her so much joy and she loved them with all her heart.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 5, at River Falls Baptist Church with Brother Jim Walker officiating the service. Interment will follow in River Falls Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:30 until 8 p.m. Wednesday evening at Foreman Funeral Home and 30 minutes prior to services Thursday, at the church.

Mrs. Capps is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, William Capps of Andalusia; son and daughter-in-law, Darren and Carrie Capps of Andalusia; daughter and son-in-law, Erica and Trey Ware of Auburn; grandchildren, Raleigh, Emma, and Molly Anne Capps and Will and Reid Ware; Brothers and sisters-in-law, William J. “Bill” and Zelda Grissett of Andalusia, Lamar and Rosalyn Grissett of Prattville, and Ronnie and Barbara Grissett of Prattville; sister, Lynett Adams of Ft. Walton Beach; brothers-in-law, Ken (Ann) Capps of Westminster, Colo., Bennie (Patricia) Capps of Birmingham, and Clifford (Laresa) Capps of Ragland, Ala.; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Grissett of Andalusia, Jeanette Grissett of Pensacola, Patricia Grissett of Andalusia, Betty Grissett of Robertsdale, Jenefer (Vaughan) Morgan of Montgomery, Joyce Capps of Pensacola, Judy Capps of River Falls, and DeAnna Capps of Pell City, Ala.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Grissett; brothers, Benjamin Arnold Grissett, Lynn Hart Grissett, Kenneth Lavon Grissett, and Bobby J. Grissett; and brothers-in-law, John H. Capps, Bill Capps, and Curtis Capps.

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