Archives for June 2017

Lee Bowling Williams

Lee Bowling Williams, died peacefully at his home on June 21, 2017 at the age of 86. Lee was raised in Sunflower, Alabama, to Lewis Harris and Carrie Lee Bowling Williams. Lee received his education at Leroy High School, class of 1948, and then on to Mississippi State University on a baseball scholarship where he received his B.S. degree. Lee then went straight into the Army where he saw active duty in Korea during the Korean conflict. After his military service, he entered the University of Alabama, where he received his L.L.B. and J.D. degrees. He graduated in 1956.

The 86-year-old attorney had been practicing in Grove Hill since 1959. He was the oldest practicing attorney in Clarke County, and recently welcomed his grandson, Bo Keahey to his practice. Lee was a lifelong Democrat and served on the State Democratic Party Committee and was chairman of the Clarke County party for many years.

Preceding him in death were his parents and older brother, Lt. Col. Ret. Lewis Harris Williams, III.

Lee is survived by his wife of sixty years, Patricia Hale, and six daughters, Becky (Mark T.) Williams, Pamela (Bobby) Keahey, Dixie (Mark) Cooper, Cindy (Gil) Gilmore, Dinah (Bubba) Pritchett, and Carrie (Clay Hannah) Williams, and brother, Wallace Hart (Charlie) Williams who resides in Boyd, TX., 19 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren, other relatives and friends.

A celebration of his life was held Saturday, June 24, 2017, at Grove Hill Baptist Church at 11:00 am. Visitation preceded the ceremony a 9 to 11 am. Graveside service was held at Magnolia Lawn Cemetery in Grove Hill, AL. Family and friends were invited back to the church for food and fellowship.

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

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

Shelton State Saturday offers look at local college programs

Shelton State Community College will host “Shelton State Saturday” on Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Demopolis Higher Education Center. This free, drop-in event will highlight the College’s programs in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.

“We are excited about the continued expansion of Shelton State’s educational and training opportunities in Demopolis and Marengo County,” said Joye Jones, Dean of Instruction and Workforce Development. “We look forward to this event and to providing information and answering questions about educational planning and workforce training.”

In addition to program and workforce training information, assistance will be available for individuals needing assistance with enrollment, placement testing, and financial aid. The first 50 guests will receive door prizes, and all attendees will be entered to win a grand prize.

The Demopolis Higher Education Center is located at 186 Field of Dreams Drive in Demopolis, Alabama. For more information, visit

Tears and Laughter: Know what you love, and be willing to run to it

I have written before about teaching writing class and how one of the initial exercises is to have the students write a short, simple essay about their own self.

Five paragraphs.

It is supposed to be easy and serve as a transition into writing about others in second person, but there are always those who seem to draw a bank. They stare into space like they have been asked to describe a stranger.

This is sad to me. One of the many responsibilities we are charged with as parents – and teachers too to some extent – is to help our children to know who they are as individuals.

This is not the same as teaching them. You can’t teach them who they are the same way you can teach concepts. You might be able to teach them who you are, and in that you can influence what they accept or believe, but as for who they are as God naturally made them, it is something they have to discover and allow to develop.

It is why we introduce them to a myriad of books and activities. It is why we take them on trips and encourage them to play sports and take art classes, music classes, and dance.

It is why we let them have hamsters, take them to reptile farms, and start stamp collections we know they will never continue. We do it so they can learn what they like and equally important, what they don’t.

Knowing what they like helps them know what to choose, it helps them know what they want, what suits them, how they tick, how they learn, what they are attracted to and why it is the are drawn to it.

It is how they identify their strengths and weaknesses. Talents, skills, and boundaries. It is how they grow into their purpose, just through knowing who they are and what they like. And writing five paragraphs about it should not draw such a void.

And it is not just children. There are grown people who take six months to pick out a paint color or what dress to wear to the next low country boil because they don’t know what they like. They are too worried about what other people might think or what color their mother would have preferred rather than just walking straight in and saying this it, this is me.

I met a little girl this week who I don’t think is going to have any trouble with the personal essay one day. I say I met her. I never caught her name. She fluttered through our day like a butterfly.

I had taken my youngest daughter to the Tickled Pink Petting Zoo that was visiting Thomasville. She was waiting to hold a python. She is 13. She is shy and creative, smart, and intuitive. She has a heart for animals, all of them, and most small children.

She did not pull away when a little redheaded girl sporting a hot pink tutu ran up to her after recognizing her favorite characters on her shirt. She leaned in, pointing to each with one hand and calling them by name, while holding McKenzie’s long hair out of her way with the other.

She ran back to her mother as quickly as she had appeared, but she left me thinking maybe we should all try and be more like her. Know what you love, and when you see it, run to it.

Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at or at

Charles Douglas Dodd

Charles Douglas Dodd age 80 of Gallion, AL died June 19, 2017 at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital. He was born October 9, 1936 in Lynn, AL to Chesley and Bessie Dodd. Mr. Dodd graduated from Lynn High School, after graduating he enlisted in the US Air Force where he served in Germany and England. He worked for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Michigan, then he began his 35 year career in the paper industry, starting with Marathon Southern and retiring from James River Corp. He was a member of Linden Baptist Church and an avid golfer.

He is survived by his wife, Ann Ross Dodd of Gallion, AL; two daughters, Sandy (Mark) Henson of Linden, AL; and Tina (Robert) Glass of Gallion, AL; one granddaughter, Brittany (Justin) Phillips of Gallion, AL; two grandsons, Brooks Glass of Gallion, AL; and Tyler Henson of Linden, AL; one great grandson, Chesley Cayden Phillips of Gallion, AL.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Chesley and Bessie Dodd, two sisters, Ann Dodd Newsome, and Linda Dodd Mullins, brother, Jerry Dodd.

Visitation will be held at O”Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 12:30 pm until 1:30 pm. Graveside funeral services will follow at Linden Memorial Park at 2:00 pm with Jeremy Smith 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.

Henry Baxley

Henry Baxley, 81, of Demopolis, died June 19, 2017, at Princeton Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Funeral service will be held Friday June 23, 2017, at First Baptist in Demopolis at 2 p.m. Burial will follow the service at Demopolis Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Thursday night from 5 until 7. Reverend Carl Williams will be officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel will be directing.

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

Mary Lou May

Mary Lou May 93, of Tuscaloosa, passed away June 18, 2017, at Daffodile House Assisted Living. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. June 23, 2017, at Greensboro Baptist Church with Rev. Dee McQuire officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Greensboro Chapel directing. Graveside will follow at 2:45 at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo. Visitation will be one one hour prior to the service.

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

Charles W. Arledge

Charles W. Arledge, age 73, of Demopolis, died June 17, 2017, at DCH Northport Hospital. Funeral service will be Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Demopolis, Alabama. The family will receive friends at the church from 1 until 2:45 p.m. The Reverend Carl Williams will be officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel will be directing. Burial will be June 21, 2017 at Shelby Garden of Rest in Shelby, Alabama.

Charlie was born December 30, 1943, in Shelby, Alabama, to Samuel L. And Violet L. Jones Arledge.

He was preceded by his parents; brother, Samuel L. Arledge Jr.

Survivors are his wife, Carole Landreth Arledge of Demopolis; daughter, Dedra C. Arledge of Helena; son, Charles Jason Arledge (Amanda) of Linden; grandchildren, Renee` Whitcomb and Ashley Whitcomb; many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Sam Arledge, Scott Byrne, Brian Jones, Chris Landreth, Michael Landreth, Rodney Landreth, Kaine Martin, Bill Price and Dan Price.

Honorary pallbearers will be Retired Educator Group.

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

Demopolis Arrest Reports: June 16, 2017

May 5 – Juanita Boone, 27, Marijuana – Possession, Blacks Drive

May 7 – Daeshuan D. Lawson, 20, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana II, Drug Paraphernalia – 1st Offense, Marvin’s

May 9 – Maurice L. Lynch, 28, Unlawful Breaking and Entering a Vehicle, BWMH

May 11 – Diana Daniels, 48, Criminal Trespass III, Hilltop Circle

May 12 – Justin O. Smith, 24, Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing Peace, Domestic Violence III/Criminal Mischief, Rainbow Circle

May 12 – Brian Pham, 45, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, South Main

May 14 – Maurice D. Maiden, 37, Appears in Public Place Under Influence, Hwy 80 East/South Finest

May 15 – Christopher L. Dixon, 31, Simple Assault – Family, Failure to Obey a Police Officer, East Washington St

May 15 – Alfred Oates, 47, Contempt of Court, A Street

May 18 – George Smith, 54, Marijuana – Possession, Third Ave

May 18 – Michele Hagood, 55, DUI, Hwy 80 West

May 19 – Tina M. Ramirez, 29, Appears in Public Place Under Influence, Strawberry Street

May 19 – Lornettice N. Williams, 49, Insufficient Funds Check, DPD

May 19 – Royce M. Mullen, 58, Menacing – Intimidation Only, East Washington

May 19 – Naporcshia James, 29, Contempt of Court, Alias Writ of Arrest, Sparks Road

May 19 – Deshiunna N. Johnson, 19, Assault III, Wolf Circle

May 19 – Ann K. Williams, 62, Theft of Property IV (two counts), East Washington St

May 23 – Victor G. Calvin, 30, Burglary III, 26th Street

May 25 – Joe E. Harris, 58, Criminal Trespassing III, Drug Paraphernalia – 2nd Offense, Parr’s Chevron

May 25 – Walter A. Walker, 30, Simple Assault – Family, Olive Drive

May 26 – Walter A. Walker, 30, Assault III (two counts), DPD

May 26 – Gregory G. Nevels II, 25, Possession of a Concealed Weapon w/o Permit, Possession of Marijuana I, East Jefferson St

May 26 – Henry L. Tucker, 47, Possession of a Controlled Substance, East Jefferson Rd

May 27 – Malik Rahman, 42, Theft of Property IV, Using False Identity to Obstruct Justice, Walmart

May 27 – Tremaine L. Richardson, 36, Public Lewdness, East Washington St

May 28 – Montes J. L. Ledezma, 24, DUI, Hwy 43 South

May 30 – Melissa A. Beverly, 24, Possession of a Forged Instrument III, DPD

May 30 – Hugh B. Brame, 22, Theft of Article from Auto, DPD

May 31 – Lakeith J. Moore, 37, Alias Writ of Arrest, Hwy 80 West

May 31 – Josephine James, 58, Contempt of Court, Maria Ave

May 31 – Antonio J. Jones, 36, Domestic Violence III, East Pettus

June 1 – Annet P. Harmon, 55, Contempt of Court, East Washington St

June 2 – Allison H. Busbee, 23, DUI, Bryan Whitfield Hospital

June 4 – Stanley Washington, 57, DUI, Third Ave

June 5 – Victor G. Calvin, 30, Violation of Domestic Violence Protection Order, DPD

June 6 – Becky E. Elliott, 43, Contempt of Court, Marengo County Detention Center

June 8 – Thomas L. Hudson, 41, Domestic Violence III, US Hwy 80 West

June 9 – Franklin G. Wedgeworth, 35, Unauthorized Use of Auto – No Force, Theft of Property II, Walnut Street

June 10 – Dalton M. Jowers, 19, Murder – Non-Family – Gun, Bryan Whitfield Hospital ER

June 12 – Nadiyah A. Pittman, 37, Contempt of Court, East Washington St

June 13 – Colby D. Lewis, 19, Harassment, East Washington St

June 14 – Kendrick Montgomery, 24, Failure to Obey a Police Officer, Parr’s Chevron

June 14 – William E. Wallace, 37, Marijuana – Possession, Drug Paraphernalia – 1st Offense, East Monroe St

June 14 – Erica E. Montgomery, 21, Domestic Violence II, Chevron

June 15 – Selena Fields, 26, Domestic Violence III – Assault III, Resisting Arrest, North Walnut

Graduation date change among Demopolis BOE moves

Demopolis City Schools, starting with Westside Elementary, will begin implementing the program “Leader in Me” to teach 21st century leadership and life skills to students.

The Board of Education approved the program, developed by Franklin Covey of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” at its meeting Thursday morning.

Title I professional development funds will be used to pay for the initial year of training for every adult at WES. The cost is $41,343 for the first year and $16,500 for years two and three, said Supt. Kyle Kallhoff.

The program will extend to U.S. Jones Elementary the second year and eventually to Demopolis Middle School, he said.

The idea behind “Leader in Me” is that every child can be a leader. As the student develops, he also acquires responsibility, problem solving, teamwork and creativity, among other traits.

The board also approved Anderson Plumbing and Heating to do emergency repairs and maintenance work on the HVAC system recently installed in the high school.

No cost of the work could be set since the extent of the repairs and what is required for the job is not known.

After the meeting, Kallhoff said that while the new system works, “At the end of the day it’s got to work properly.”

He said some of the companies involved in the installation have gone out of business, and litigation is expected for the school system to receive reimbursement for whatever costs are incurred.

The board voted to move the date of graduation from May 25 to May 18, 2018. Kallhoff said it was being done for two reasons: to move the ceremony out of the last week of school and to keep it from being over the Memorial Day weekend.

Sharing enrollment projections for the next year, Kallhoff told board members that several Sumter County parents have called to ask about transferring their children to Demopolis schools.

He said there is room to accept more children and invited Sumter parents to meet with principals and visit the schools.

Ricky Montz, whose daughter plays softball for the high school, had at first approached the board about the locks being changed on the softball field. When he understood that the school system is liable for any injury incurred if there is no board employee on site, he said he understood.

Kallhoff said only three people have keys to the field now. He told the board it will have to take up the matter of limiting access to other school athletic facilities because of liability, especially since the system is getting ready to invest another $5,000 for upgrades to the track.

In other action, the board approved:

  • The purchase of a 2013 72-passenger school bus for $60,000.
  • Disposition of items no longer usable.
  • Travel for Kallhoff to attend several conferences and training sessions in June and July.
  • Out-of-state travel for the USJ 21st Century Camp in Meridian, Miss.

The following personnel hires were approved:

  • Darius Waters, WES custodian
  • Eric Hendricks, PE teacher at WES
  • Sierra Allen-Galusha, special education teacher at WES
  • Kamie Johnson, First Class Pre-K Grant Lead Teacher at WES
  • Claire Bell, First Class Pre-K Grant Auxiliary Teacher at WES.

Also approved were two transfers: Brian Allen, English teacher, and Robert Wilkerson, Social Studies teacher, both from DHS to DMS.

Kallhoff called a special meeting for June 29 at 9 a.m. for action on new basketball and softball coaches for the high school. The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be July 17 at 5:15 p.m.

All in the Family: Petrey siblings earn Hitter of the Year honors

Davis Petrey hit .508 as a sophomore and earned AISA Hitter of the Year from the ASWA.

They apparently grow hitters in the Petrey household, at least, that’s the takeaway from the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State baseball and softball teams released over the weekend.

When the softball squad released Saturday morning, Marengo Academy shortstop Macey Petrey found her name listed right behind the words Hitter of the Year in the AISA classification. When the state’s scribes released their baseball team 24 hours later, it was Marengo Academy shortstop Davis Petrey who found his name emblazoned to the right of the same title.

“It surprised me at first. Usually, it seems like it’s a senior or junior or somebody that gets something like that. I just wasn’t expecting it really,” Davis said of his initial reaction to the honor.

The award was less than surprising for Macey, a Mississippi State signee who was also the MVP of the AISA Class A state tournament in May. Petrey, who also earned Super 10 from the ASWA Sunday evening, hit .543 with 10 home runs, 73 RBI, 61 runs scored, 29 doubles and 36 stolen bases as a senior.

“Definitely, having to step up and lead the team. In the past, we’ve had some really good seniors that just have always been our leaders. We were lucky enough to have those players,” Macey said of the most challenging part of her senior season. “I’ve never really had to be in that leadership role. That was definitely something different. And, my dad coaching, obviously he pushes me to be better every day.”

Macey Petrey hit .536 with 10 homers and 73 RBI during a senior campaign that saw her win AISA Hitter of the Year from the ASWA.

Celebrated as it was, Macey’s honor came as little surprise to the Petrey household or the Longhorn faithful. Davis, however, was less expecting when he saw his name attached to the award. By his own admission, the sophomore shortstop did not start the 2017 season the way he would have liked.

“At the beginning of the year, I just was trying to hit the ball too hard,” Davis recalled before explaining the process that settled him in for the stellar campaign he pieced together. “Just going in and hitting off the tee for a long time, every day before games. Then it was just trying to get on base. All I was trying to do was not strike out. Don’t be an easy out.”

“His mental game is really strong. You don’t see a lot of sophomores that can just out there and hit senior pitching or really good teams and always get on base,” Macey said of her younger brother’s poise and performance. “Every time I watched, I swear he always got on base. I’m so jealous. He’s just an athlete.”

Davis finished his season with a .508 batting average to highlight a resume that also included 34 RBI, 30 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.

As honored as they were to receive their respective awards, the middle two Petrey children are the latest products of a household culture that is clearly passionate about baseball and softball. That household culture, they pointed out, is largely predicated upon the work of their patriarch, Chris.

“Probably my dad,” Macey said of the love that she and Davis have had for their respective sports. “He played until he couldn’t play anymore. It’s probably not more the love of the sport, but the work that’s put into the sport. From there, you learn to love and grow in the sport. It’s just really fun.”

“He just never really made it one of those things that wasn’t fun. You got to go out to the baseball field after school. You didn’t have to go home right after school. You get to have fun,” Davis explained.

As they reflected upon the individual numbers, personal accolades and team state championships that comprised the 2017 season for both the Longhorn baseball and softball teams, the duo acknowledged the important role their father has played in the process.

“A lot kids, to me, their parents push them so hard to the point that it’s not fun. Our dad has always tried to make us the best we can be, but he has never pushed us to a point where we don’t have fun and we don’t want to play. It has always been just fun,” she said.

Macey and Davis are the children of Chris and Ashley Petrey of Demopolis.