Obituaries for Wed., Oct. 17, 2018

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Rachel Johnson Rigby, 96, died peacefully at home in Pensacola, Fla.

She was the daughter of Charles Herbert Johnson and Sadie Lammon Johnson. Rachel graduated from Andalusia High School and after earning a B.A. in Music Education at Central Bible Institute in Springdale, Mo., she conducted Children’s Crusades for the Assemblies of God in Alabama and Northwest Florida.

In 1948, she married Cecil Kyle Rigby. Rachel was very involved with the First Assembly of God in Pensacola as church organist, Sunday school teacher, and president of the Women’s Ministry. She worked as a Teacher’s Aid in the Escambia County Schools from 1966, to her retirement in 1986.

Rachel is preceded in death by her husband, Cecil Kyle Rigby; her parents, Charles and Sadie Johnson; her brothers, Clyde, Billy, and Charles Johnson; and her sister, Mary Keith Johnson.

Left behind to carry on her legacy are her children, Ruth Rigby (Mike, decd) of Cape Coral, Fla., Rebekah Rigby of Pensacola, Fla., Charles Rigby (Ann Marie) of Stow, Ohio, and Rosemary Staples (Tony) of Pensacola; her grandchildren, Christopher Staples (Jennifer), Kyle Staples (Kathryn), Derek Rigby (Anna), Jared Staples, Kim Rigby, and Sean Rigby; her great-grandsons, Brock, Jaxon, and Sebastian; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held 10 a.m., until the Funeral Service at 11 a.m., Fri., Oct. 19, 2018, at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel in Pensacola, Fla.

Burial will follow at Bratt Godwin Cemetery in Bratt, Fla.



Eva Grace Hartin Brogden died Sunday, October, 14, 2018, at the age of 100. Funeral will be at Foreman Brown-Service Funeral Home in Andalusia, on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 11 a.m. Visitation with family will be held one hour prior to services. Burial will be at Andalusia Memorial Cemetery.

Grace spent her working life caring for the medical needs of patients in Covington County; first at Covington Memorial Hospital and later at Andalusia Hospital. She died in Ozark, where she spent her last years living with her son.

She was a child of the Great Depression, growing up in Opp, where her father was a foreman for the L&N Railroad. She played basketball and graduated Opp High School at 16. Following her mother’s policy of children having a “way to make a living”, Grace took a train to Atlanta where she saw her first traffic signal. The city had only one. She lived at the YWCA and studied hairdressing at Rich’s Department Store.

After she finished that course, she took a job in Athens to be near an older sister who taught school at Belle Mina. After a weekly diet of peanut butter, she determined people did not have money for frivolous pursuits. She decided to become a registered nurse.

She entered Charity Hospital and Spring Hill College in Mobile, where two other sisters had graduated. She was joined by a younger sister and Grace began a lifelong love affair with medicine that was second only to her love affair with her husband, Murray Adolphus Brogden. She and Murray met on a blind date. They married secretly in Fairhope, before she finished her education.

After WWII, the couple moved to a family farm near Gantt. They joined Gantt Baptist Church, and she was baptized at Gantt Lake. Later when they built a home in Andalusia, the couple joined First Baptist Church and were members until their deaths. She clung to her Southern Baptist faith and tried to keep her children and grandchildren on the narrow path with letters and religious texts on special occasions. The idea that any happening in her family and extended family did not merit her notice and corrective action was foreign. Her opinions were free and frequent as were her prayers. Her softer side opened her family and home to her mother-in-law, Willie Ruth Brogden, until her death. When they became frail, she nursed her parents, Robert Hilary and Edith Eva Doshia Hartin, in her home until their deaths.

In the years before retirement, she was director of surgery at Andalusia Hospital, where she worked with her sister who was a nurse anesthetist. She also relieved her husband who owned Brogden’s Food Store and raised white baldy cattle on their farms. Her first hospital stint was at Covington Memorial Hospital owned by a sister and her husband. She was director of nursing services there.

After retirement, she grew prize-winning African violets, quilted and knitted baby blankets for grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She battled crippling osteoarthritis that robbed her of her ability to live alone.

She continued paying her bills and directing her finances. She subscribed to newsletters from The Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic to keep up with medical advances. She charted her medicines daily, so she would not overdose. Even near the end she knew her medicines and the amount. She never took a new pill without determining if it interacted with the medication she took.

Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Murray A. Brogden, her parents, Robert H. Hartin and Edith Hartin, two brothers, Andrew Hartin of St. Andrews, Fla., Bill Hartin of Valparaiso, Fla.; four sisters, Emmie Lou Williams of Decatur, Lottie Mae Stanley of Andalusia, Oudia Blackshear of St. Andrews, Fla.; Annie Pearl Gillis of Andalusia, and Jeanette Cowen of Montgomery.

Survivors include a son, Robert (Bob) H. Brogden (Kathy) of Ozark; a daughter, Regina Brogden Wright (Tom) of Decatur; two grandsons, Jason R. Brogden (Casey) of Ozark, David Agan (Meredith) of Ozark; four granddaughters, Regina Lynn Wright of Savannah, Ga.; Mary Grace Deas (Kirk) of Suwanee, Ga., Michele Armstrong (Dale) of Dothan, and Tamala Prickett (Daniel) of Fairhope and 17 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Dale Medical Center Community Hospice, 318 James Street, Suite C, Ozark, Ala., 36360, or to your favorite charity of choice.