Former Selma Times-Journal editor dies

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 29, 2004

Former Selma Times-Journal Editor/Publisher Roswell Leslie Falkenberry, 89, died Friday, Feb. 27, 2004 at his home in Selma following a short illness. A memorial service will be held Monday, March 1 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Falkenberry was born at Peterman in Monroe County on May 27, 1914 to Herndon Croom and Lucille Helton Falkenberry. He moved with his parents to Selma at an early age and was educated in the Selma public schools. In 1939 he graduated from Selma High School, where he was an outstanding athlete. He later attended Birmingham-Southern College.

Falkenberry was actively involved in Selma community affairs for many years, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Paul M. Grist YMCA, the Kiwanis Club, the Boy Scouts and a number of charitable organizations. He was a communicant of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he served as a vestryman.

His long career with The Times-Journal began with the advertising department in 1936. He later became an owner of the newspaper and served as editor and publisher from 1963 until his retirement in 1974. He received the Alabama Press Association’s Journalist of the Year award in 1965 for his policy of unbiased reporting during the civil rights unrest in Selma that year.

Falkenberry was a veteran of World War II, serving in Europe with the Ninth Air Force during the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.

He is survived by his wife Eleanor Rennie Falkenberry of Selma; three children: John C. Falkenberry (Ellen) of Birmingham, Anne Falkenberry Knight (Mrs. Joseph S.) of Selma, Rennie Falkenberry Edwards (Mrs. Thomas H.), of Birmingham; and three grandchildren: Joseph Kirkpatrick Knight (Sarah) of Atlanta, Christopher Alan Edwards of Richmond, VA., and Leslie Cameron Edwards of Bethesda, MD.

Other survivors are his sister Jane F. Duke (William) of Selma, a brother William M. Falkenberry (Sandra) of Anniston, and several nieces and nephews.

His son George Alan Falkenberry preceded him in death. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial gifts be made to the Selma Public Library or St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.