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Obituaries for Monday, Sept. 12

Joe T. Smitherman

Mayor Joe T. Smitherman, 75, died in a Montgomery hospital on Sunday, September 11, 2005.

He was born Joe Thomas Smitherman, December 23, 1929, in Alberta, AL, the son of Thomas Joseph and Minnie S. Smitherman. His family moved to Selma shortly after his birth. He attended Selma public schools and was a graduate of Albert G. Parrish High School Class of 1948. Following a short period serving as a brakeman for a local railroad, he served in the United States Army during the Korean conflict attaining the rank Sergeant First Class. After returning to Selma, he entered into the retail appliance business learning the business from his mentor, Leon “Pop” Gillis and later became owner of Home Appliance Company.

In 1960, he successfully ran for the Selma City Council and served a four-year term. He was elected Mayor in 1964 and served the City of Selma as Mayor for 35 years.

He is survived by his daughter, Ouida Dianne Smitherman; his son Stephen Gillis (Erika) Smitherman; his sister Helen Smitherman Dudley (Watt), all of Selma; his grandchildren, Suzanne Smitherman Perkins (Jerry) of Vestavia Hills; Summer D. Smitherman of Montgomery; JoAnna N. Smitherman of Tuscaloosa; Stephanie Smitherman of San Francisco, CA.; Thomas Harrison Smitherman and Lucy Tyler Smitherman of Williamsburg, VA; and a great-grandson, Jackson Foster Perkins of Vestavia Hills.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ouida Cunningham Smitherman; a son, Joseph Thomas Smitherman Jr.; his brothers, Jack Smitherman and Sam Smitherman, Sr.; his sisters, Joyce Smitherman Harris and Ella Mae Smitherman.

The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church with the Rev. Jack Loveless, Rev. Joseph S. Knight and Dr. Cecil Williamson officiating and Lawrence Funeral Home directing. Burial will follow at New Live Oak Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Jack Smitherman, Henry Harris, Harold Speir, Johnny Jones, Johnny Brown, Otto Benford, Henry Pitts and Gary Vancil.

Honorary Pallbearers are Howard Strickland, Larry Striplin, Donald Overstreet, M.D., Samuel Saliba, M.D., Ferrell Ryan, the Elks Club Membership and the members of the Maverick Sunday School Class, First Baptist Church.

Family visitation will be held on Monday, September 12, 2005 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Vaughan Smitherman building.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charitable organization of choice.