Archives for March 2017

Clyde Henry Sr.

Mr. Clyde Henry, Sr. age 80 of Tuscaloosa, Alabama entered into eternal rest March 31, 2017 at his residence. Funeral arrangements for Mr. Clyde Henry, Sr. are incomplete,and will be announced at a later date. Larkin and Scott Mortuary, LLC entrusted with arrangements.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Deloise M. Williams

Ms. Deloise M. Williams, age 63 of Forkland, Alabama entered into eternal rest March 30,2017 at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, Demopolis, Alabama. Funeral services for Ms. Deloise M. Williams will be held Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Lloyd Chapel Baptist Church, Forkland, Alabama; Rev. Michael Bolden,pastor. Interment will follow in the adjoining church cemetery.Visitation will be held Friday,April 7, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. at the funeral home chapel.The remains will repose at the church one hour prior to services. Larkin and Scott Mortuary, LLC entrusted with arrangements.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

ASWA softball, baseball rankings

ASWA SOFTBALL RANKINGS

CLASS 7A
1. Spain Park (28-1)
2. Sparkman (20-3)
3. Fairhope (27-2-1)
4. Baker (27-4)
5. James Clemens (16-9)
6. Buckhorn (25-8)
7. Tuscaloosa County (21-5)
8. Vestavia Hills (17-5-1)
9. Hewitt-Trussville (11-11)
10. Thompson (16-5-2)
Others nominated: Auburn (7-11), Central-Phenix City (18-10), Enterprise (10-10), Mary Montgomery (19-7), Oak Mountain (12-10), Prattville (18-5).

CLASS 6A
1. Oxford (24-3)
2. Chelsea (12-4)
3. Daphne (20-3)
4. Gardendale (16-4)
5. Hazel Green (17-4-1)
6. Helena (13-9)
7. Austin (14-7)
8. Southside-Gadsden (11-9)
9. Northview (18-8)
10. Dothan (15-11)
Others nominated: Hueytown (13-14), Pell City (15-7), Pinson Valley (14-15), Robertsdale (15-8), Saraland (15-8).

CLASS 5A
1. Springville (15-1-1)
2. Rehobeth (24-4)
3. Alexandria (19-5-2)
4. Mortimer Jordan (17-4-1)
5. Scottsboro (18-3)
6. Lincoln (19-9)
7. Hayden (14-6)
8. Marbury (11-8)
9. Demopolis (21-5)
10. Moody (11-8)
Others nominated: Beauregard (11-9), Ardmore (14-6-1), Cleburne County (13-7), Corner (14-8), Eufaula (22-9), Faith Academy (12-3), Lawrence County (17-12),  Shelby County (12-4).

CLASS 4A
1. Westminster Christian (28-2-1)
2. Alabama Christian (29-3)
3. Northside (17-6-1)
4. Hale County (11-5)
5. Wilson (15-2)
6. White Plains (17-5)
7. Central-Florence (18-4)
8. Handley (11-9)
9. Danville (13-4)
10. LAMP (11-4)
Others nominated: Cordova (15-6-1), Leeds (11-9), Madison Academy (8-3-1), Montgomery Catholic (10-3-1), Priceville (13-7), Satsuma (20-4), Thomasville (16-7).

CLASS 3A
1. Plainview (17-3)
2. Sylvania (12-6)
3. Prattville Christian (13-4)
4. Pisgah (10-9)
5. East Lawrence (15-8-1)
6. Pleasant Valley (14-7-1)
7. American Christian (17-6)
8. Mobile Christian (12-9)
9. Locust Fork (12-1)
10. Gordo (14-4)
Others nominated: Colbert Heights (14-1), Carbon Hill (15-9), Geneva (16-7), J.B. Pennington (16-5), Lauderdale County (9-4), Opp (19-7), Randolph County (15-4), West Morgan (7-10-1).

CLASS 2A
1. Hatton (11-8)
2. Leroy (18-3)
3. Lamar County (8-1)
4. Collinsville (13-6)
5. Fyffe (11-7-2)
6. Ider (8-10)
7. Ariton (14-7)
8. Mars Hill Bible (10-5)
9. Tanner (5-1)
10. G.W. Long (7-7)
Others nominated: Billingsley (4-3), Cottonwood (11-9), Horseshoe Bend (10-7), Sand Rock (9-8).

CLASS 1A
1. Sumiton Christian (16-2)
2. Brantley (29-2)
3. Spring Garden (11-5)
4. Skyline (10-3-1)
5. South Lamar (13-3)
6. Tharptown (11-9)
7. Cedar Bluff (7-9)
8. Pleasant Home (7-4)
9. Sweet Water (13-14)
10. Kinston (9-7)
Others nominated: Waterloo (12-10).

AISA
1. Macon-East (33-5)
2. Autauga Academy (28-7)
3. Pickens Academy (14-3)
4. Edgewood (19-10)
5. Abbeville Christian (20-5)
6. Patrician Academy (16-7)
7. Marengo Academy (12-14)
8. Glenwood (26-10)
9. Northside Methodist (18-7)
10. Clarke Prep (20-5)
Others nominated: None.

ASWA BASEBALL RANKINGS

CLASS 7A

  1. Hewitt-Trussville (20-3)
  2. McGill-Toolen (16-5)
  3. Buckhorn (14-7-1)
  4. Oak Mountain (17-7)
  5. Hoover (14-6)
  6. Grissom (16-7)
  7. Theodore (13-7)
  8. Sparkman (12-8)
  9. Spain Park (13-6)
  10. Central-Phenix City (15-10)

Other nominated: Auburn (10-7), Enterprise (14-8), Huntsville (11-8), James Clemens (11-10), Lee-Montgomery (11-4), Mountain Brook (11-8), Vestavia Hills (10-10).

CLASS 6A

  1. Cullman (18-4)
  2. Spanish Fort (20-2)
  3. Decatur (18-1)
  4. Helena (16-4)
  5. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (13-6)
  6. Oxford (18-5)
  7. Chelsea (16-7)
  8. Hartselle (15-10)
  9. Saraland (16-8)
  10. Hueytown (16-4)

Others nominated: Clay-Chalkville (11-9), Florence (12-8), Gardendale (12-6), Hazel Green (13-6), Homewood (16-7), Northview (17-6), Parker (11-5), Southside-Gadsden (8-6).

CLASS 5A

  1. Briarwood Christian (15-2)
  2. Faith Academy (13-5)
  3. St. Paul’s (19-1)
  4. Calera (14-5)
  5. Russellville (13-7)
  6. Etowah (14-4)
  7. Mortimer Jordan (18-7)
  8. Rehobeth (14-7)
  9. Headland (13-5)
  10. Scottsboro (12-5)

Others nominated: Alexandria (11-11), Beauregard (11-9), Eufaula (10-11), Lee-Huntsville (10-10), Moody (12-9), Pleasant Grove (16-7).

CLASS 4A

  1. Cherokee County (15-3)
  2. Randolph (13-4)
  3. Trinity (12-4)
  4. UMS-Wright (11-10)
  5. Oneonta (13-7)
  6. Jacksonville (10-4)
  7. Hokes Bluff (13-3)
  8. White Plains (9-5)
  9. Deshler (16-6)
  10. Satsuma (16-7)

Others nominated: Alabama Christian (7-9), Dale County (10-9), Madison Academy (11-10), Tallassee (11-11), Wilson (13-10).

Class 3A

  1. T.R. Miller (19-0)
  2. Oakman (17-3)
  3. Gordo (17-0)
  4. Cottage Hill (15-6)
  5. American Christian (17-6)
  1. Mobile Christian (11-6)
  2. Geneva (11-7)
  3. Bayside Ac. (14-5)
  4. Clements (12-3)
  5. Piedmont (8-7)

Others nominated: Colbert Heights (8-2), Houston Academy (13-8), Lauderdale Co. (10-4), Ohatchee (8-7), Opp (9-9), Providence Christian (12-9), Wicksburg (11-9).

Class 2A

  1. G.W. Long (17-4)
  2. Leroy (17-4)
  3. Mars Hill (12-6)
  4. Phil Campbell (14-6)
  5. Luverne (12-5)
  6. Reeltown (12-3)
  7. Fyffe (10-2)
  8. New Brockton (12-3)
  9. Thorsby (11-5)
  10. Vincent (10-5)

Others nominated: Cottonwood (9-7), Goshen (8-4), Red Bay (10-11), Samson (10-7), Washington County (12-5).

Class 1A

  1. Cedar Bluff (11-4)
  2. Victory Christian (14-1)
  3. Decatur Heritage (8-7)
  4. Sweet Water (14-5)
  5. Athens Bible (9-5)
  6. Sumiton Christian (11-2)
  7. Coosa Christian (13-3)
  8. Maplesville (11-2)
  9. Brantley (11-8)
  10. Highland Home (13-4)

Others nominated: Cherokee (10-6), Gaylesville (10-5), Hackleburg (6-11), Houston County (12-8), Millry (13-7), Pleasant Home (8-5), Shoals Christian (6-16), Spring Garden (10-3), Vina (9-3).

AISA

  1. Glenwood (21-4)
  2. Pike Liberal (19-5)
  3. Macon-East (21-8)
  4. Northside Methodist (17-7)
  5. Lowndes (15-5)
  6. Monroe (17-6)
  7. Marengo (16-5)
  8. Clarke Prep (16-5)
  9. Autauga (14-11)
  10. Tuscaloosa (15-9)

Others nominated: Chambers (13-6), Bessemer (15-11-1), Fort Dale (11-5), Jackson Academy (9-6), Kingwood Christian (15-6), Morgan (12-5), Springwood (9-7).

Sweet Water hangs 10 on Shades Mountain for 15th win

Sweet Water hit the baseball early and often Wednesday as it capped its Gulf Coast Classic trip with a 10-6 victory over Shades Mountain Christian.

Braiden Broussard’s one-out single in the bottom of the first was the first of 16 Bulldog hits on the day and it ignited a four-run rally. After a Will Huckabee walk, Jonah Smith singled home Broussard for the 1-0 lead. Hunter Mendenhall then doubled in Huckabee and Smith for the 3-0 advantage. Chastain Washington later doubled in courtesy runner R.J. Rodgers to put the Bulldogs up 4-0.

Shades Mountain sent nine to plate in the top of the third and used three hits to score four runs to tie the game. Undaunted, Sweet Water got its bats back to work in the bottom of the frame. Smith singled before John Thomas Etheridge hit a one-out double to put Sweet Water back on top 5-4. Washington followed with a triple to score Etheridge. Luke Davis doubled home Washington to make it 7-4. Back-to-back doubles from Chase Joiner and Huckabee in the bottom of the fourth moved the Sweet Water lead to 8-4.

Sweet Water poured it on more in the bottom of the sixth as Sasha Smith singled and later scored on a steal of home. Huckabee doubled and scored on an error to cap the Bulldog scoring.

Sweet Water (15-5) used four pitchers in the effort with Broussard throwing two innings of no-hit, shutout ball and striking five to pick up the win. The Bulldogs are set to return to Class 1A, Area 1 play Tuesday when they host Millry before traveling to MHS for a double-header Thursday, April 6.

Demopolis softball goes 1-1 in Gulf Coast elimination play

After finishing 3-1 in pool play and seeding No. 6 out of 39 teams in the Gulf Coast Classic at Gulf Shores, Demopolis split a pair of games in elimination play Wednesday.

Demopolis 6, Pleasant Valley 3

The Tigers ran up a 6-0 lead and held on for a 6-3 victory over Class 3A Pleasant Valley in their opening game of the afternoon Wednesday.  Demopolis got the bats going in the second inning with a leadoff single from Kendall Hannah. Kayla Montz doubled to put a pair in scoring position for Bria Brown, who cashed in the opportunity by singling both in for the 2-0 lead.

Demopolis added to that lead with a four-run rally in the top of the fourth inning. Montz opened the frame with a single before Brown reached on an error. Napoleon Roberson reached on a fielder’s choice ahead of a Taylor Smith single that plated Brown to move the lead to 3-0. Courtney Smith followed with a single to drive in Roberson. Elly Brown then doubled home the Smith sisters to move the lead to 6-0.

Four Raiders hits in the bottom of the fourth scored three runs to cut into the Demopolis lead but Pleasant Valley could get no closer.

Austin 5, Demopolis 2

Demopolis followed by digging itself a 3-0 hole against Class 6A Austin en route to a 5-2 loss that ended its tournament run.

The Bears scored a run in the top of the second and two more in the fourth for a 3-0 advantage. Demopolis looked ready to get back into it in the bottom of the fourth when Abbey Latham doubled before scoring on Natalie Tatum’s single to cut it to 3-1.

Austin would have none of it as the Bears used four hits to plate two more runs in the top of the fifth, moving the advantage to 5-1.

Napoleon Roberson looked to give her team life with a leadoff single in the home half of the fifth. Taylor Smith hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Roberson. Courtney Smith followed with a single to set the table for the Tigers’ power hitters. Elly Brown drew a walk to load the bases for Latham, who hit a sacrifice fly to plate Taylor Smith. Tatum singled to load the bases again with two outs. A grounder to short then allowed the Bears to cut down the Tigers’ lead runner at the plate to nullify the threat and end the game.

Demopolis sits at 22-6 following the tournament.

Demopolis softball wraps pool play with wins over 6A squads

Demopolis finished strong in pool play Tuesday with a pair of wins over Class 6A foes on day two of the Gulf Coast Classic.

Demopolis 2, Cullman 0

Kendall Hannah was scintillating in the circle for five innings in a 2-0 victory over Cullman. She needed only 75 pitches to scatter four hits for her second shutout of the tournament.

The teams were scoreless until the bottom of the third when Courtney Smith reached on a one-out single before scoring on Abbey Latham’s RBI line drive to left.

The Bearcats looked to battle back in the fourth with a pair of singles to open the inning. Hannah proceeded to slam the door with a strikeout, pop out and ground out. Hannah worked out of a jam again in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out, inducing a liner to left to nullify the threat.

Demopolis tacked on another run in the fifth as Smith singled ahead of a Latham single and Natalie Tatum’s hit-by-pitch. Hannah followed by taking a bean ball of her own to get the RBI the hard way and plate Smith from third. Time expired as the Tigers pushed the lead to 2-0.

Demopolis 11, Fort Payne 2

Demopolis followed the pitcher’s duel with an 11-2 mauling of Fort Payne. The Tigers jumped on top with three runs in the top of the first and never looked back, adding three in the second and fifth innings as well as two in the third.

Courtney Smith, Elly Brown and Abbey Latham singled to start the game. Latham’s hit plated both Smith and Brown for the 2-0 lead. Kendall Hannah then singled home Latham for the 3-0 advantage.

Smith hit a one-out single in the second to ignite another Tiger rally. Brown doubled her home for the 4-0 lead. After Latham singled, a passed ball allowed both Brown and Latham to score for the 6-0 advantage.

Kayla Montz doubled to open the third before scoring on Napoleon Roberson’s grounder to make it 7-0. Brown plated Roberson with a single to set it at 8-0.

After the Wildcats scratched out a pair of runs in the fourth, Demopolis tacked on more in the fifth, using two hits to score three times. Brown walked and Latham doubled before an error allowed both to score. Hannah then singled in Alex Abrams to set the final margin.

Natalie Tatum was strong in the circle, striking out three and scattering eight hits over five innings while giving up a pair of unearned runs for the win.

Demopolis (21-5) moves into single-elimination bracket play Wednesday.

Sweet Water facing tough tests in Gulf Coast Classic

Two days into the Gulf Coast Classic at Robertsdale High School and Sweet Water has seen no shortage of stiff competition as the Bulldogs have gone 1-2 over the tournament’s first two days.

Clarksville (Tenn.) 3, Sweet Water 0

The Bulldogs began their tournament run Monday with a 3-0 loss to Clarksville High School. Clarksville scored a pair of runs in the third inning and another in the sixth for the win.

Sweet Water managed only three hits in the contest, a trio of singles from Will Huckabee, Hunter Mendenhall and Flynn Mabowitz.

Sasha Smith allowed only two earned runs and four hits in three and two-thirds innings. Chase Joiner fanned one and scattered three hits while allowing one run.

Sweet Water 8, Oneonta 6

Sweet Water rebounded Tuesday with a thrilling 8-6 victory over Class 4A Oneonta. The Bulldogs allowed one run in the top of the first before surging in the middle innings. R.J. Rodgers drew a leadoff walk in the frame before scoring on a Sasha Smith grounder to tie the game. Shamar Lewis singled and later made his way home on a Will Huckabee single to put Sweet Water on top 2-1.

The Bulldogs then hung a three spot on the board in the fourth. Hunter Mendenhall singled to open the inning and gave way to courtesy runner Chastain Washington. Luke Davis singled to move the runner. Rodgers then had a single of his own to plate Washington. Lewis followed with a two-run homer to center to move the lead to 5-1.

After Oneonta got a run back in the fifth, Sweet Water scored again when Mendenhall singled in Jonah Smith. After Rodgers scored to make it 7-2 in the sixth, John Thomas Etheridge drove in Lewis to make it 8-2.

Four walks, a single, a hit-by-pitch, and an error in the seventh allowed Oneonta to cut it to 8-6.

Oak Mountain 9, Sweet Water 1

Things got ugly in a hurry for the Bulldogs in their second game of the day Tuesday as Class 7A Oak Mountain had two singles, two doubles, and two triples in the top of the first to build a quick 5-0 lead.

Sweet Water got a run back in the home half as Sasha Smith reached on an error and scored on a Will Huckabee grounder.

The Bulldogs got no closer as Oak Mountain added two runs in the third and two more in the sixth.

Sweet Water (14-5) is set to face Shades Mountain Christian Wednesday.

Tears and Laughter: The freedom and economics of American stay-at-home moms

An Australian columnist, Sarrah Le Marquand, penned an article last week that has caused a worldwide discussion about stay-at-home mothers. In the United States we tend to respect and value all mothers whether they work full-time, part-time, or not at all.

Not so much so in Australia apparently. At least not according to Ms. Marquand who believes it should be illegal for a woman to be a stay-at-home mom once her children reach school age. She claims it doesn’t help anybody – not husbands, children, bosses, or other women – and they should be forced to go to work like everybody else. Her opinion was based upon a study by the Australian Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which found stay-at-home moms represent large losses to their economy.

Things really are different here. Stay-at-home moms help the American economy if through nothing more than their frequent use of Amazon.com and eBay. Moms stay in a constant state of shopping for shoes big enough to fit one, jeans long enough to fit another, and birthday presents. They all drive full size SUV’s or minivans. What they spend on fuel to get everybody back and forth on time to ball practice, dance, church, art, the orthodontist, and piano lessons should mean something. Plus there is the fact that almost every single one of them makes plans every summer to go help stimulate Florida’s economy too.

And let us not pretend that this particular faction of society doesn’t like to eat. Have you ever seen a group of these sweet mamas gathered at a Mexican restaurant for girl’s night out? It’s remarkable from appetizers through desert. Not to mention how they have spent more money than any of them care to recall on Happy Meals and Sonic dogs. Grocery store owners just love to see a stay-at-home mom dragging in pushing a buggy and holding a list – especially if she has all of her kids swarming around begging, and fighting, and complaining, and crying. This is why some stay-at-home moms sometimes buy wine, but still, they contribute to the economy.

In her column that has offended all of Australia and most of the free world, Marquand wrote, “Only when the female population is expected to hold down a job and earn money to pay the bills in the same way that men are routinely expected to do will we see things change for the better for wither gender.” She also added, “Feminism is about equality, not freedom of choice.”

I was listening to a group of girls last Tuesday in a writing class. The lesson was personal essays and the exercise to help them focus was a “heart map.” This can be as simple or as creatively elaborate as students wish, but the point is to list the people, experiences, and memories that have shaped their lives. It serves as a visual starting point for the personal essay.

Just like little American women they were quietly talking among themselves, their eyes and colored pencils never leaving their work. One of them asked another what she wanted to do when she grew up. She answered, “Well…I will to go to college and get an education. And you know I like to sing, and I want to do some mission work, but then…I believe I just want to get married and be a stay-at-home mom.” The other girl agreed, “Yeah… me too.”

They are young. They have time to change those plans, before changing them yet again. America was founded on principles that protect our children’s freedom to do just that.

Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with AL.com, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at walkerworld77@msn.com or athttps://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist

Demopolis In Bloom hosting 2017 Symposium

Demopolis In Bloom will host its 2017 Symposium at the Demopolis Civic Center, beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 30.

Teresa Johnson of Johnson’s Garden and Cafe in Duncanville will be speaking about Southern Living Shrubs and plants that grown in the Demopolis area. Mike Randall of BWI will be speaking about turf maintenance for the homeowner. Jane Watson will be speaking about and demonstrating how to establish a cut flower garden.

Demopolis In Bloom is sponsored by Collins Communications, George Franks, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Evans and Barbara Blevins. The symposium is offered at no charge to the public.

Final Ride: Lt. Chris Foster laid to rest Monday

They came from Linden, Jefferson, Dixon’s Mills, Sweet Water and Old Spring Hill – where he had served as a volunteer for so many years. Red trucks with sirens blaring driven by men and women in the formal attire of their respective department. Some came because they knew him. Others came because they knew what his loss meant. They all recognized that they had lost a fellow member of the great fraternity of firefighters.

Lt. Chris Foster of the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department passed away in his sleep in the early morning hours of March 23, the day after his birthday and just hours after having worked what proved to be his final call.

“He was 150 percent dedicated in everything he did, with his family and with his fire department family. He gave 150 percent. He was a person you could always count on. He would be here,” DFRD Chief Vernon Waters said of Foster, who joined the Demopolis department in 1994. “With 23 years experience and 150 percent dedication, that’s the hole he is leaving in this department. We’re going to miss him dearly.”

Waters strained to keep his emotions in check as he told of Foster’s firehouse brethren the day following his death.

“It has been tough, very tough,” Waters said. “We asked if anybody wanted to stand and say anything and nobody could do it. That’s how much he brought to this department.”

A pair of ladder trucks stretch the Old Glory across the funeral procession of Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department’s Lt. Chris Foster’s funeral procession Monday.

Foster first came to the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department on a part-time basis while he was working with Cemex. And, despite more than two decades of full-time service in the City of the People, he continued to volunteer with the Old Spring Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

“He got it on his own. When he first started, he worked at Cemex and he worked part time with us. He just loved it so much he just took it on,” Waters said of Foster’s passion for fires service. “He put his two-week notice in and came to work with us and he has been here ever since.”

While it may be hard to pinpoint exactly from where Foster’s love of fire service was born, those who knew him showed little hesitation in pointing toward the genesis of his love of serving others.

“Chris taught my son to drive the firetruck working with the Old Spring Hill Fire Department. Very, very highly respected and thought of by my son and my family. He was a very, very outstanding man growing up, willing to help anybody, go beyond the call of duty when it was necessary,” Shirley Sprinkle Etheridge (South Marengo Fire and Rescue), who had known Foster since his high school days, said. “He was an honest, upstanding man. He stood up for what he believed in, always went forth with all effort possible to accomplish his goals that he set out for. He always looked back and always said that he wanted his kids to be proud of him and his wife to stand by him. In order to do that, he had to be honest, upright, Christian. He was raised with a good family because his family in the past have always been Christian people. His mother and dad always took care of the boys, and always raised them right with good, moral upbringing.”

Photo by Blythe Smith – Fire service vehicles from Demopolis and neighboring agencies filled the front lot of Fairhaven Baptist Church Monday morning as firefighters from throughout the area paid their respects to Demopolis Fire Department’s Lt. Chris Foster who passed away in his sleep March 23.

Billy Carlisle, himself dedicated to fire service in various forms, forlornly remembered the days when he first became acquainted with the man he would later regard as both professional peer and personal friend.

“I was probably 12, 13 years old when I met Chris. I was going to Linden Baptist Church and Chris was very active with the youth department and helping out with the kids. I’ve known Chris just as being a guy who loved to mentor younger kids, help them get a direction in life, especially in the teenage years,” Carlisle recalled of Foster, who many remember as having a disarming smile that both welcomed the world in. “He was always community minded. I really knew him more from the volunteer fire department than I did from the professional fire department just because of his commitment to his community. Chris was always active in the fire service. And he got married, had children and he has been a great father.”

Foster is regarded as having loved life in the simplest, most profound ways; his passion for service perhaps being equaled only by his love of his family.

“He always had little small, odd hobbies. One that stands out to me is beekeeping. He did honeybees. Just recently in the last few years got into that. He was passionate about it. He took on those hobbies mainly just to help his kids get interested in nature,” Carlisle, who works with the Alabama Forestry Commission, said. “Being in the Forestry Commission, he was always asking me different things about trees and wanted to teach his kids more about the outdoors. Chris was always just a genuine person, a trustworthy person, a good friend.”

Fire engines lined the front wall of Fairhaven Baptist Church as the funeral was taking place Monday morning. Demopolis Police Department officers stood in salute as the procession headed toward Foster’s final resting place at Demopolis Memorial Gardens. Several citizens stood next to their vehicles in the highway and somberly placed hand over heart in homage to the passing of a lifelong servant.

The Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department expressed sorrow and gratitude through its Facebook page Monday as local agencies helped DFRD members assist Foster with his final ride.

“The Demopolis Fire/Rescue Department would like to thank everyone for their support during the late Lt. Chris Foster’s funeral procession today. Fire departments, Police departments, Sheriffs and State Troopers from around Marengo County, neighboring counties, and the state come together as Brothers and Sisters to give Lt. Foster his final ride! To the City of Linden, City of Livingston, City of Tuscaloosa and the City of Northport, we can’t thank you’ll enough for covering our city so we could attend the funeral,” the Facebook post read. “Today was a very emotional and sad day for all of us but Lt. Foster looked down and smiled to see all of this take place in his honor.”

Foster, who died the morning after his 54th birthday, leaves behind a wife, Vanya Maria Wilson Foster; daughters, Mary Azilee (13), Rebekah Phares (6 months) and Sarah Ruth (six months) and son, Matthew Lane (11).