Archives for May 2017

Aunjell C. ‘Kate’ Baker

Aunjell C. “Kate” Baker 94, of Gallion, passed away May 30, 2017, at Woodhaven Manor Nursing home. Services will be held 11 a.m. Friday June 2, 2017, from Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel with Rev. Bobby Hooper officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Hebron Church Cemetery in Akron. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing.

She was born October 15, 1922, in Akron, to Talmadge and Maggie Johnson Cole.

Kate was preceded by her parents; husband, James O. Baker; son, Walter Wayne Baker.

Survivors include her daughter, Mary Alice Baker of Tuscaloosa; son, James W. “Bill” Baker (Beth) of Demopolis; grandchildren, Wayne Baker (Pam) of Jefferson and Dyan Perrigin (Steve) of Daphne; great grandchildren, Cody Baker, Carolyne Baker, Wesley Perrigin and Wesley Perrigin.

Pallbearers will be Mike Baker, Mark Baker, Cody Baker.

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

Richard Keith Dunkley

Richard Keith Dunkley age 61 a millwright of Brooksville, MS died May 30, 2017 in Noxubee County, MS. He was born October 8, 1955 in Linden, AL.

He is survived by his mother, Marie Dunkley Ballard; two sons, Chase Moreland Jones and Jason Dunkley; companion, Betty Eaves, and three grandchildren.

Graveside funeral services will be held at Welsely Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery on Friday, June 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm with Rev. Tony Antonelli officiating.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Linden, AL.

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

Chadrick Harold Kornegay

Chadrick Harold Kornegay age 45 a carpenter of Sweet Water, AL died May 30, 2017 at his home. He was born June 16, 1971 in Tuscaloosa, AL to Thomas Harold and Debora Jane Kornegay.

He is survived by his mother, Debora Tucker; step father, Charles B. Tucker; son, Cullen Kornegay; half brother, Kalum Simpson, half sister, Erica Berryhill; nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Graveside funeral services will be held at Paynes Chapel Cemetery on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 10:00 am with Rev. Adam Hughes officiating.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

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

Judith Bassett

Judith Bassett 73, of Fairhope, Alabama passed away May 30, 2017, at Thomasville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Thomasville, GA. Family visitation and memorial services will be held Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at St Leo’s Catholic Church in Demopolis, AL. Visitation will begin at 10:00am. The memorial service will start at 11:00am followed by graveside at Memorial Gardens. Kirk Funeral Homes’ Demopolis Chapel will be directing. Father Larry Shinnick will officiate and Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing.

Judith was born August 8, 1943, to the late Lawrence E. Tate and Ava McDonald Tate in Selma, Al.
She was a graduate of Judson College with a B.S. in Education and taught in the Perry County School System. Most recently Judy retired from Morgan City Veterinary Hospital in Morgan City, LA.
She is preceded in death by her parents and husband, McArthur Bassett.
She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Bassett Ewing of Hahira, GA.; son, John Kenton Bassett of San Francisco, CA.; grandchildren, Daniel Wyman Ewing, Anna Kathleen Ewing of Hahira, GA. and Ethan McArthur Ewing of Orlando, FL.

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

Erick Kellom

Mr. Erick Kellom, age 49 of Demopolis, Alabama, entered into eternal rest May 29, 2017 at his residence.Funeral services for Mr. Erick Kellom were held Saturday, June 10,2017 at 11 a.m. at Christian Chapel Baptist Church, Demopolis, Alabama; Rev. Fred Moore, pastor;Elder Frank Stiff, eulogist. Interment followed in Memorial Gardens, Hwy 43 South, Demopolis, Alabama. Larkin and Scott Mortuary, LLC entrusted with arrangements.

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

Barbara Allen Corgill

Barbara Allen Corgill age 87 of Thomasville, AL died May 28, 2017 at Mobile Infirmary. She was born January 25, 1930 in Clayhill, AL to James Paul and Ruby F. Corgill. She was a retired sales lady with Bedsole Dry Goods and Dukes Department Store and a member of Thomasville Baptist Church.

She is survived by her brother, Gerald P. (Ann) Corgill of Thomasville, AL; two sister-in-laws, Mrs. James E. Corgill of Augusta, GA; and Mrs. Johnny Corgill of Satsuma, AL; a host of nieces and nephews and other relatives.

Visitation will be held at Thomasville Baptist Church on Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 10:00 am until the 11:00 am service time with Rev. Ty Parten officiating. Burial will be at Arbor Cemetery in Vineland, AL.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Thomasville Baptist Church.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

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

Clyde Allen Ballard Sr.

Clyde Allen Ballard Sr. 74, of Faunsdale, passed away May 28, 2017, at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital. Services will be held 11 a.m. May 31, 2017, from Uniontown Church of God with Rev. Ronnie Blankenship, Rev. Wayne Rouse, and Tyler Chastain officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in Sweetwater Cemetery. Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing.

He was born November 29, 1942, in Sweetwater, to Albert and Biddle Davis Ballard.

He was preceded by his parents; sisters, Annie Lois Odom and Maddie Lou Ramsey; brothers, James Richard Ballard, Edward Earl Ballard, Alvin David Ballard and Everett Gray Ballard.

Survivors are his wife, Nellie Averette Ballard; son, Allen Ballard (Sanet); sisters, Biddle Lawrence (Pete) and Arlene Barnes (James); grandchildren, Ashley Ballard, Kody Ballard, Andrew Ballard and Alyssa Ballard; great grandchildren, Brooklyn Roy.

Pallbearers will be Eric Snodgrass, David Ramsey, Jimmy Ballard, Jamey Ketchum, Jason Johnson, Jimmy Barnes, Larry Seale, Don Ballard, Mark Averette and David Kolar.

Honorary pallbearers will be Faunsdale City Council.

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

Dewey Thurston Webb

Dewey Thurston Webb, 88, of Gallion, passed away May 28, 2017, at Woodhaven Manor Nursing home. Graveside services will be held 3 p.m. Tuesday May 30, 2017, at Providence Baptist Church Cemetery in Gallion with Rev. Paul Whitcomb and Rev. David Sidham officiating. Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing.

Dewey was born January 12, 1929, in Marengo County to Daniel Webster and Lillian Courtney Webb.

He was preceded by his parents; sisters, Bessie Ree Mosley, Mattie Lee Foxhall and Martha Pope.

Survivors are his daughter, Mary Frances Webb; son, Dewey William Webb; brother, Burlon Webb (Susie); brother in law, Charles Osburn (Jean); sister in law, Carolyn Lovett.

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

Linda May Huntress

Linda May Huntress, age 69, a bookkeeper of Demopolis, AL died May 28, 2017 at Woodhaven Manor Nursing Home in Demopolis, AL. She was born May 1, 1948 in Brooklyn, NY to John Rudolph and Dorothy May Jakobsen.

She is survived by two sons, Thomas Hollingsworth, Jr. of Titusville, FL; and John Christian (Missy) Hollingsworth of West Palm Beach, FL; two daughters, Cynthia May (Tim) Williams of Demopolis, AL; and Stacey Lynn (Rodney) Skidmore of Gallion, AL; five grandchildren, Casey (Blain) Williams, Tiffany (Drew) Tucker, Shane Skidmore, Rodney Skidmore, and Ashlynne Hollingsworth, one great grandchild, Charlie May Williams.

Cremation arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Linden, AL.

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

Compton admitted to Rhode Island School of Design

Toaster Tale, a stop-motion animation by Banks Compton. (WAW | Contributed)

Banks Compton is unshaken that he will not attend his senior year of high school. He is not bothered by the fact that the institutional doors he will darken in September are exactly 1,265 miles away from the halls of Demopolis High School. For Banks, all the reasons not to go pale in comparison to the one big reason to go.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision,” he said plainly of his choice. “I really just like art. It’s what I want to do. I’m not worried about leaving friends because we have such good relationships that when I come and see them, we’ll all be happy to see each other. And, again, this all would’ve happened a year later. It’s not a huge life-changing event by just leaving one year earlier. I’m very happy with the friends I’ve made so far, but I don’t think it has made a huge impact on my decision just because that’s what I want to do. That’s my vision.”

Compton will forego his senior year of high school and get his GED after having been accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design as a junior.

“When I saw on RISD’s website that they accept high school diplomas or GEDs, I’m like, ‘I could get a GED,” Compton exclaimed, still buzzing over the unexpected acceptance letter he received from the school.

“I didn’t think it would happen,” his mother, Lisa Compton, said of her son’s efforts to apply for the entrance into the school. “RISD is very competitive to get into and we knew that because we had done enough Googling about art schools thinking for next year. So, I didn’t think they would take someone so young since they have so many applicants. When he said he wanted to try, I thought it would be good practice for next year when it would be a real application. I never thought it would actually work.”

The application process proved an involved one for Banks as the he put together a pair of time-sensitive projects in addition to a portfolio of his work.

“I have to admit. I was surprised when he got in. We started Googling and seeing that RISD comes up on Top 5 lists of art schools. It was more than just filling out an application, he spent several weekends doing two art projects. He had to present new material as part of his application process along with the portfolio stuff. Everybody applying to RISD was doing the same project. It was something to directly compare students,” Hunter Compton, Banks’s father, said. “Being his parents, we’re extremely proud of him and all, but at the same time, I didn’t think he had a chance of getting in, so it was okay for him to apply.”

Banks was just as surprised as his parents when he learned he’d been admitted to the school.

“All of me was surprised. I didn’t think I was going to get in at all. It’s a very prestigious art school and you have to make two projects. I sewed my very first dress and covered the entire thing with puzzle pieces. I made it out of a curtain from Walmart and drop cloth canvas. Then I made my very first stop motion video, so it was just a lot of firsts. I think that showed the art school that I’m willing to take risks,” Banks said. “Also, with getting your GED, I’m willing to take the risk of leaving and leaving my senior year behind just to do what I love. I think that’s something that’s very valuable in the art world is to be able to take risks and not look back.”

Aside from the fact that Banks actually got accepted by RISD, just as impressive is the manner in which he completed his assigned application projects with such efficiency and elegance.

Puzzle dress, designed by Compton as part of the RISD admissions process. (WAW | Contributed)

“When you see how hard he worked to get in, that application process was not easy. And you weren’t going to make it through those projects. They assign a project on one day and everybody has two weeks to get it done,” Lisa said. “Part of what they’re wanting to see is, can you work under time pressure. Some people don’t make it through. He put in a lot of hours and was absolutely exhausted. Plus, on one of the assignments, I kept saying, ‘I don’t think you’re doing it right.’ So he had to stand up to his mother and defend his art choices. And it turns out, it was probably his best project. He was strong. He was determined. When someone has worked that hard for it and it was a real honor to get in, there was no way we could say ‘no’, so he’s going.”

Banks tested his acumen on the big stage last summer when he attended Parsons, a three-week summer program at Parsons in New York City.

“Banks wanted to see last year, ‘Am I any good?’ He went to Parsons in New York for three weeks,” Hunter noted.

“We told him to find a taxi, find your own way. He did, no trouble. He didn’t want to come home,” Lisa said.

Banks emerged from that program more determined than ever that he would ultimately pursue his dream. Little did anyone know how quickly he would actually catch up with that goal.

“It has kind of hit his mother, but I don’t know that it has fully hit her. We weren’t planning on him leaving for another year, emotionally or otherwise,” Hunter said. “But it’s really cool that he did get in.”

“We’ve all had to come to terms that we won’t see each other a lot. It won’t be like if he were at Alabama or UWA and could come home on weekends. He’s going to have to make it until Christmas, Spring Break, probably not even coming home at Thanksgiving,” Lisa said. “I have a flexible work schedule, so I’ll probably go up a couple of times a year. He’s going to have to get there and really make his world there. I think he can.”

While Banks will look to make his world at RISD beginning in the Fall and see exactly where his art will take him in the years to come, it is the tiny little corner of the world he calls home to which his parents point in explaining how he has gotten to where he is.

“We really did sit there and go, ‘Wow, out of the 4,000 applicants and only 300 got in, how was he picked?’ I think one of the things that probably showed through was how badly he wanted to go. In a way, being in Demopolis was one of his biggest strengths. He said, ‘We really haven’t had formal art programs when I’ve been here. To have said, ‘I taught myself off YouTube.’ To have shown that against all obstacles, he stuck with this and really pursued it. Yet, while you’re saying that Demopolis didn’t have the things that other kids had, they didn’t have AP art programs and AP teachers showing the kids, this school supported him so much,” Lisa said. “When he put on an art show at the hospital, all the faculty came. The superintendent came. The principal came. Whenever they’ve had productions here at the school, they’ve talked about him. They’ve displayed his art. I think, maybe being from a place that didn’t have everything, was the advantage.”

“He’s had a number of opportunities to show his art. He has been encouraged a lot, not just by us,” Hunter added.

While Banks found an affinity for art early, he looks to a middle school class for helping him to find passion and a high school teacher for helping put his talent to work.

“It started with the faculty here at Demopolis. Mrs. (Meggin) Mayben in middle school was very supportive. I liked art because of her. Actually, Mrs. (Connie) Davis for my business class told me that I should start selling my paintings, so she bought my first painting,” Banks said. “After that, I’ve been selling paintings around Demopolis, doing pet portraits, and I made money off of that. That money went to my first car. All of that was all good, but then I went to New York for three weeks, once I was there in that atmosphere with all those other kids who also appreciated art like I did and being able to learn so much there, I really knew that that’s what I wanted to do.”

“Mrs. Mayben did do some art in the middle school and she has been so supportive,” Lisa added. “I think the opportunities and support he got in middle school gave him the confidence to do that, to keep sticking with it and apply when everybody might’ve said, ‘That’ll never work.’”

From his elementary school doodles to the pet portraits that monetized his abilities, art has been a constant in Banks’s story. With his next move, he will look to add definitive and remarkable brushstrokes to a portrait that is far from complete.

“I’ve been doing art basically my entire life, just drawing or painting or something. It was really intensified after my first painting. I was like, ‘I can make money doing this.’ I was able to work out a system and start having extra spending money by using my talents,” Banks said. “I think it’s a great way of telling stories. By looking at other artists, you can see their life progress through their artwork. And I think that I have a story to tell, myself. I would like to share my story coming from a small town.”