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Obituaries

Benjamin Forrest “Benny” Bailey

 

Funeral service for Mr. Benjamin Forrest “Benny” Bailey, 77, of Kellyton, was Thursday, February 29, at the Chapel of Radney Funeral Home. Rev. Wayne Cowhick officiated. Burial followed in the Hillview Memorial Park.

Mr. Bailey, known affectionately as Benny to his friends and family, passed away peacefully on February 26, 2024, in his hometown of Alexander City. Born on June 18, 1946, in the same welcoming town, Benny’s life was a testament to his selfless nature, generous spirit, and gentle demeanor.
Benny dedicated over 35 years of his life to Russell Corp, where his commitment and hard work were evident to all who knew him. Following his long-standing career, he continued to share his passion for sales at Russell Marine, where his charisma and knowledge made him a beloved figure. His work ethic was only matched by his devotion to his community and church, where he was a proud member of Calvary Heights Baptist Church.
An avid sports enthusiast, Benny’s love for softball was unparalleled. He not only played the game with zeal, but also found joy in coaching his children’s softball teams, imparting his love for the sport to the next generation. His passion extended to the golf course and to the various sporting events where he served as a respected referee, touching the lives of many with his fairness and kindness.
Benny’s legacy is carried on by his cherished family: his wife, Kay Bailey of Kellyton; daughters, Staci Bailey of Alexander City and Amy Brown (Josh) of Chelsea; his special niece, Chelsey Jordan of Alexander City; his grandchild, Austin Jackson of Alexander City; and his mother-in-law, Betty Jean Jordan of Kellyton. He was preceded in death by his parents, leaving behind a family that revered him deeply.
Mr. Benjamin “Benny” Bailey lived a life marked by love, service, and an unwavering commitment to his family and community. He will be profoundly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Memories and condolences may be shared at www.radneyfuneralhome.com.

Radney Funeral Home was honored to serve the family of Benjamin Forrest Bailey.

 

Mary Elizabeth Dowdell

A funeral service for Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Dowdell was held Saturday, February 23, at Ebenezer C.M.E. Church in Loachapoka, with Pastor Robert Strickland officiating and Pastor Yolanda Jones Colton serving as eulogist. Interment followed in Pine Level Cemetery in Loachapoka. Mrs. Dowdell passed away February 18, 2024.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For the price is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10). This is not only a profound biblical scripture, but characterizes the essence of Mary Elizabeth Lee Dowdell, who was affectionately known as Mom, Grandma, Doll, Aunt Doll, Mrs. Dowdell, Ms. Mary, and Aunt Liz. Mary Dowdell was born to the late Leroy Lee and Lady Lee Price on April 15, 1933, in Como, Mississippi. She was the second child born to this union.

She joined the Cistern Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Como at an early age under the leadership of Reverend J.K. Person and Associate Pastor S.W. Gathing. She was a faithful member until she went away to boarding school, Baptist Industrial High School in Hernando, Mississippi (1952). She later attended Alcorn A&M in Lorman, Miss., where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in home economics in 1956. She met Brother Elmer Dowdell Jr. in 1954 while attending Alcorn State University, and they were married July 8, 1956. She received her Master of Education degree in 1970 from Alabama State University, Montgomery. She did further study and received her AAA certification in education at Auburn University. She was a strong advocate for education. Mrs. Dowdell also served in the capacity of principal and elementary teacher before retiring in 1998 with more than 40 years dedicated to the profession.

She was a devout believer and follower of Jesus Christ and joined the Ebenezer Christian Methodist Episcopal Church of Loachapoka under the leadership of the late Reverend J.W. Moffet. She was a very active member of her church. She also was a member and involved in the Chapter 303 Cottage Grove Eastern Star and was a lifetime member (63 years). She was also a member of the Alabama Education Association (AEA), the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 339. She moved to Orlando, Florida, in 2006 to live with her daughter and family. She joined Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in 2009 under the leadership of Pastor Charles Jones and was a member of the Golden Saints.

Elmer and Mary were married for 44 years before his death in 2001. She is preceded in death by son, Dewayne Dowdell (2003); daughter, DeLois Dowdell (2024); and brother, Ernest Lee of Lawton, Oklahoma (Claudine).

She leaves to cherish her memory, daughter, DeLaine Priest (Orlando, Florida); two sisters, Mrs. Elnora Jackson of Como, Mississippi, and Ms. Ann Cofield (Tommie) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; four loving grandchildren, Malcom Priest (Natalie), Sanford, Florida, Malik Priest, Brisbane, Australia, Calvin Dowdell, Loachapoka; and Kevin Dowdell (Trisk), of Rockford; six great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; a host of loving nieces and nephews, Eric, Wendall, Victoria, Chris, Alvin, Taylor, Latrice, Jeanette, Latisha, Monty, Tonia, Rickey, Bruce; numerous cousins; and a special family friend, Mr. Willie Zeigler, who affectionately called her “mother.”

Final arrangements were entrusted to Armour’s Memorial Services in Alexander City.

 

Olan “Bud” Kelley

 

Funeral service for Mr. Olan “Bud” Kelley, 85, of Rockford, was Monday, February 26, at Sardis Baptist Church. Rev. Matthew Reams and Roscoe Howell officiated. Burial followed in Sardis Baptist Church Cemetery.

Bud; a cherished father, grandfather, and brother; passed away on February 21, 2024, at the age of 85 in Birmingham. Born on April 25, 1938, in Hillwood, Bud was a man of warmth, spirit, and devotion, whose smiling presence brightened the lives of all who knew him.
Bud was a proud graduate of Richville High School, where he formed friendships and values that would last a lifetime. Bud was a faithful member of Sardis Baptist Church all his life. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to become the beloved owner/operator of Kelley’s Crossroads Store for over four decades, where he served his community with dedication. Additionally, he retired from a fruitful career at Kimberly Clark Paper Company, where he was held in high regard by his colleagues.
Family lay at the heart of Bud’s world. He is lovingly remembered by his son, Tim Kelley, and his wife, Stephanie; his daughter, Vicki Ballard, and her husband, Robert. He leaves behind a joyful legacy with his cherished grandchildren, Dayna Turner (T.J.), Sawyer Landers (Jordan), Alison Smallwood (Russell), Sydne Schuler (Tripp), and Ashlyn Kelley; as well as his adored great-grandchildren, Robbie Turner, Raylee Smallwood, Waylon Schuler, and Reese Smallwood. His sister, Nita Walker (Bo), will fondly cherish the memories of her brother.

Bud’s life was preceded in profound love and respect by his parents, Thurman and Wannie Kelley; his spouse, Lucille Kelley; his daughter, Sheila Lawhorn; and his brother, Lloyd Kelley.
Bud’s passions enriched his life and the lives of those around him. An avid fisherman, he found joy on the waters of Alabama, whether on a tranquil pontoon boat ride or casting a line in serene anticipation. The thrill of Alabama Football never failed to rally his spirits, and he spent countless fulfilling hours collecting arrowheads and coins. However, it was his role as “Paw Paw” to his grandchildren that Bud held most dear, enveloping them in the same love and faith that he generously bestowed upon all he met.
Loving, faith-filled, and ever-friendly, Bud’s legacy is one of unspoken kindness, everlasting bonds, and a life richly lived. His spirit will continue to be a beacon of love and friendship in the hearts of his family and the community he loved so dearly.

The family will accept flowers or memorials may be made to Sardis Baptist Church Cemetery Fund.

Memories and condolences may be shared at www.radneyfuneralhome.com.

Radney Funeral Home was honored to serve the family of Olan “Bud” Kelley.

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