Obituaries for June 2, 2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 2, 2006

Jean Sample Sullivan

May 9, 1928 – May 30, 2006

Jean Sample Sullivan, an Alabama Republican pioneer and life-long resident of Selma, Alabama, died Tuesday May 30, 2006, at age 78 after a lengthy and valiant fight with colon cancer.

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Affectionately known to friends and most Republicans as “Mama Jean,” Mrs. Sullivan was a pioneer who devoted herself to developing a two-party system in Alabama politics.

She first became active in politics during the mid-1950s as a volunteer in the presidential campaign of Dwight David Eisenhower.

Recognizing the importance of a two-party system, she devoted her life and energies to achieving this goal. It was once stated that the entire Alabama Republican Party could meet inside a “phone booth”. No one would question that if that statement was true that “Jean” was the one ” talking on the phone.”

In 1964 she became extremely active in party politics and helped party officials gain control of the Alabama Congressional delegation for the first time since Reconstruction. From 1968 until 1996 she attended every national convention as a delegate and in 1968 and again in 1972 she served as a member of the party’s prestigious Platform Committee.

In 1992, she was named to the convention’s “site committee” and also served as the delegation’s vice -chairman.

In 1972, Jean was elected as Alabama’s National Committeewoman – a position she held for twenty (20) consecutive years. During her tenure, she was elected to the party’s National Executive Committee – a body of 15 Republicans that provided guidance to all party faithful.

She served as a member of the Alabama Republican Patronage Committee – providing considerable influence in the selection of numerous federal judges, U.S. Attorneys and Marshals, and other appointed governmental positions. Through those years she became a confidant of presidents, governors, senators and congressmen.

Once affectionately nicknamed by President Richard Nixon as “The Wicked Witch of the South”, Mrs. Sullivan routinely voiced her opinions, speaking candidly and offering suggestions to several Republican presidents.

Known for her directness, anyone who spoke to her clearly knew of her strong positions.

In 1988, she chaired President George H.W. Bush’s “Southern Strategy” helping secure the southern states in his election to the presidency in 1988.

Until her death, both former President Bush and President George W. Bush remained dear friends and maintained frequent contacts.

In 1986, it was widely reported that some Republican officials encouraged “cross over” in the Democratic run-off for Governor – securing the nomination for then Attorney General Charlie Graddick.

Most news media accounts attributed the influx of Republican voters to the actions of Jean Sullivan.

Never one to deny the accusations, she relished the fact that these actions led to the election of the first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Her commitment to the two-party system has now placed the Alabama Republican Party in the forefront witnessed by the election of three (3) state governors, a majority representation in the House of Representatives, two United States Senators and a predominantly Republican state judiciary.

Regardless of their political affiliation, sex, race or life’s standing, she was always ready to assist anyone in need.

Through her political contacts Jean used her influence to assist many Alabama cities and counties in receiving tens of millions of federal dollars for public works projects. Never once did she request or receive anything in return for her assistance.

Mrs. Sullivan sincerely believed it was her “calling” to provide substantial aid to the disadvantaged and economically deprived.

In addition to her party functions, Mrs. Sullivan also served as a board member of the Alabama Kidney Foundation, the UAB Family Practice Residency Program (Selma), the Wallace Community College Board of Trustees, the Selma/Dallas County Humane Society, the West Alabama Rehabilitation Board, the Cahaba Region Mental Health Board as well as many other charitable organizations.

Jean Sullivan was preceded in death by her beloved husband of fifty-seven (57) years, Ira O. Sullivan.

She is survived by her five (5) children – Arthur Sullivan (Claudia) of Hendersonville, Tennessee; Kent Sullivan (June) of North Augusta, South Carolina; Jim Sullivan (Debbie) of Hoover, Alabama; Connie S. McAfee (Tom) of Valley Grande, Alabama; Teresa S. Collins (Mike) of Selma, Alabama; a sister, Reita S. Davis (Dick) and first cousin Eugene A. “Bunny” Sample, both of Vestavia Hills, Alabama.

A much loved and devoted grandmother, she is also survived by her nine (9) grandchildren Maggie Sullivan Bryant, Allen Sullivan, Michael Collins, Lauren Sullivan Lee, Patrick Sullivan, Parker Sullivan, Taylor Sullivan, Robert Collins and Ashley Sullivan.

Pallbearers will include her five (5) grandsons Allen Sullivan, Michael Collins, Patrick Sullivan, Parker Sullivan, Robert Collins and close friend, Brock Wells.

Honorary pallbearers include Dr. D.C. Overstreet, Frank Mitchell, Larry Nichols, members of the Alabama Republican Party, the staff of Park Place and Cahaba Hospice.

The funeral will commence at 2pm Friday, June 2, 2006 at the Church Street United Methodist Church, Selma, Alabama, with Reverend George McGehee Sedberry officiating.

A short graveside service will follow at the Pineview Memory Cemetery. The family will receive guests at the Selma Funeral Home from 6 to 8pm Thursday, June 1, 2006 and at 12:30pm prior to the funeral service on Friday, June 2, 2006 at Church Street United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Church Street United Methodist Church, Cahaba Hospice, Alabama Kidney Foundation, or the American Cancer Society.

Charlie Lee Fails

Charlie Lee Fails, age 73, of Selma passed away on May 28, 2006 at a local hospital.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 12:00 noon at Good Hope Baptist Church with Pastor John Ward officiating. Burial will follow in Fairlawn Memory Garden with J.H. Williams & Sons Funeral Home directing.

Mrs. Fails was born on January 3, 1933 in Dallas County, Alabama to the late Charlie and Easter Fails.

He confessed Christ at an early age and joined the Good Hope Baptist Church where he served until his death.

He was united in holy matrimony to the late Lelia Mae Fails. To this union four children were born. His wife and one son preceded him in death.

He was employed with ALAGASCO for forty-two years, until his retirement.

Mr. Fails enjoyed singing and sang with many groups including the Good Hope Baptist Church Gospel Choir. He also has a love for fishing and hunting.

He leaves to cherish his memories one loving daughter, Hattie (Gregory) Olds; two loving sons, Darryl W. Fails and Christopher L. Fails all of Selma; three special grandchildren, Jessica Olds, Keisha Fails and Darryl Fails, Jr.; two sisters, Sadie Sullivan and Hattie Hildreth; four brothers, Ned (Jeanette) Fails, Joseph Fails, Jimmie Fails and Loveless (Deloris) Fails; one aunt, Ethel Bender; four sisters-in-laws, Georgia (Zeb) Lee, Henrena James, Susie Harrison and Palestine Ishman; one brother-in-law, Henry Ishman, plus a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family will receive friends on Friday, June 2, 2006 from 6 until 7 at J.H. Williams & Sons Funeral Home, 1226 Minter Ave.

William Ford

William Ford, age 58, of Detroit, MI died on May 22, 2006 in Detroit, MI.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 11:30 AM at Church of Christ (Idaho St.) with Bro. William Beeman. Burial in Marietta directed by Miller Funeral Service.

Survivors include: one son, William; four daughters, Terrysa, Terrell, Audrey Renee, Osha; two brothers, John (Versie) and Melester (Ann); there sisters, Aretha, Hattie and Mary; two grandchildren, three special friends, Laura, Audrey and Dr. Wright; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Elsye Eagle Rosenberg

Funeral services for Elsye Eagle Rosenberg, who died Sunday, May 28, will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 4 in Lawrence Funeral Home Chapel. Ed Ember will officiate.

Mrs. Rosenberg was born in Selma on April 22, 1916, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Eagle. After graduation from Selma High School in 1934 she attended the University of Chicago and Ohio State University.

Returning to Selma, she married Billy Rosenberg, who preceded her in death in May 2006.

In the community Mrs. Rosenberg took an active role as a member of the Council of Jewish Women and as a volunteer with the Pink Ladies of Vaughan Hospital, where she was recognized for compiling more than 1,000 hours in service there.

Her survivors include a daughter, Royce Rosenberg Wells of Austin, Texas; a son, Ron Rosenberg of Tucson, Arizona, and a granddaughter, Lisa Wells-Cloughley, also of Austin.

Her cousins June Eagle Cohn of Selma, Rita Hagedorn Sabel of Montgomery and Alan Eagle of Los Altos, California are also among her survivors.

Memorial gifts may be made to “Women of Hope,” a charitable organization dedicated to Indian women in Mexico. Contact may be made through Ron Rosenberg, 3090 San Juan Drive, Tucson, Arizona 35713, or through this E-Mail address: .

Josie B. Henry

Josie B. Henry, 81, of Selma, passed May 28, 2006 at her residence. Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 3, 2006 from Sunny Acres Church of Christ with Brother Jack Beeman officiating. Burial will follow in the Fairlawn Memory Garden with J. H. Williams and Sons Funeral Home directing.

Mary Hefner Easterling

Mary Hefner Easterling, age 79, died Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at her home in Selma, Alabama. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 3, 2006 at Pineview Memory Gardens Cemetery with Rev. Preston Johnson officiating and Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home directing.

Mrs. Easterling is survived by her sons, James W. Easterling Jr., Tommy R. Easterling, and Robert E. Easterlling; sisters, Nell Fossett and Elsie Ikerman; nieces and nephews, Pam Bjelke, Charlotte Brison, Hobie Ikerman, Mary Ikerman, and Becky Ikerman; along with four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Easterling was preceded in death by her husband, James W. Easterlling Sr. Pallbearers will be Tony Butts, Omar Smith, Carson Jones, Joseph Easterling, Steven Easterling, and Jimmy Ruff.

Archie McKinly Jackson

Archie McKinly Jackson, age 81, of Selma, Alabama died on May 29, 2006 at Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, June 2, 2006 at 11:00 AM at Greater Mt. Calvary AME, Beloit with Rev. Amos Smith officiating. Burial in Rosehill, Cemetery in Beloit with Miller Funeral Service directing.

Survivors include: wife, Julia Jackson and one son, Iverson Jackson.

Survivors include her children; James (Brenda) Tyus, Robert (Catherine) Tyus, Maurice (Marie) Henry, Frederick (Bertha) Henry, Martha (Leon) Varner, and Virginia (Eddie) Jackson all of Selma; Linda (William) Groce, Willie Bell (Sherman) Douglas, Dwight (Brenda) Henry of Cleveland, OH; 27 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Fannie Tyus of Sardis; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Donald Cooper Lyons

Donald Cooper Lyons, age 83, died at his home on May 31, 2006. He was born on November 13, 1922 in Lamison, Alabama to Godfrey R. and Della Cooper Lyons and grew up in Alberta, Alabama.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Davis Lyons; his sister, Mrs. Camille Lyons Floyd and his brother-in-law Woodard Davis; one son, Godfrey Donald Lyons married to Julie Rowell Lyons; one daughter, Donna Lyons Porter married to William Rufus Proter and stepsons Richard Davis Tabor married to Delores Del Rio and John O. Tabor. Six grandchildren. William Rufus Porter, Jr., John Robert Porter, Jason Paul Tabor and his wife Laura Rhyne Tabor, Melissa Anne Tabor, Amanda Tabor and Mathew Tabor.

Honorary Pallbearers will be, James Whidby, Walter H. Givhan, Sam P. Givhan, Buddy Perkins, Robert Hicks, George Bruner and the members of the morning Exercise Group of the Vaughan Fitness Center.

He served in WWII as a Pilot, and retired from McMillian-Blodel Woodlands Division as head Operations Manager in 1990.

Graveside services will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 11:00 AM at New Live Oak Cemetery with Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home directing.

Victoria Whatley

Victoria Whatley age 48, of Beloit Community died on May 26, 2006 at Baptist Princeton Health in Birmingham, Alabama.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 1:00 PM at Miller Funeral Chapel with Bro. Alvin Reese officiating. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery, Beloit with Miller Funeral Service directing.

Survivors include: husband, Julius D. Whatley; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex George; two sons, Julius D. Whatley and Andrew D. Whatley; sisters-in-laws, Doris (James) Ghant of Selma, AL, Thelma (Rev. Amos) Smith of Selma, AL; brothers-in-laws, Abraham (Flora) Taylor of Arizona, Horace (Cindy) Whatley of

Montgomery, AL; sister-in-law, Climmie Whatley of Georgia, sisters, Ethel L. George of Selma, AL, Loretta (James) Thomas of Ozark, AL, Mamie June George of Trussville, AL, Jesse (Lebarron) Davis of Detroit, MI, Rosa (Steven) Collins of Redford, MI, Della Grace of Detroit, MI, Regina Carter of Detroit, MI, Lizzie George of Detroit, MI, Odessa (William) Sequin of Detroit, MI, Willie Mae (Dixie) Allen of Mobile, AL, Shirley (Henry) Bennett of Cincinnati, OH, and Mary D. Nelson of Selma, AL; brothers, Douglas George of Selma, AL, Edward (Brenda) Jackson of Brooklyn, NY, John Jackson of Long Island, NY, Alex (Linda) George of Vera Beach, FL, Lorenzo (Michelle) George of Cincinnati, OH, Sylvester (Arma) George of Detroit, MI and Sam Foster of Selma, AL; nine sisters-in-laws, ten brothers-in-laws, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Pallbearers will be nephews and friends. Repast, Beloit Community Center.

Janie Mae McDaniel

Janie Mae McDaniel, of Los Angeles, died on May 25, 2006.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 2:00 PM at Isabella Baptist. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Miller Funeral Service directing.

Ada Bell Johnson McGee

Ada Bell Johnson McGee, age 76, of Selma, Alabama died on May 24, 2006 at Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2006 at Sandridge Baptist Church with Rev. M. E. Brown officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Miller Funeral Service directing.

Survivors include: her step mother, Jessie Lee Johnson; four sons, Herman (Irma) Rose, Golden McGee, Jr., Marvin (Fannie) McGee, and John (Jeraldine) McGee; three daughters, Pearlie (Melvin) Blake, Brenda Ruffin and Linda Jones; three brothers, Earnest (Della) Johnson, Eddie (Dorothy) Johnson, and Willie (Gloria) Johnson; four sisters, Adella J. Harris, Fannie (Joseph) Brown, Arlean J. Suttles, Georgia (Cleveland) Chaney; one step sister, Rosetta (Julius) Lanier; twenty two grandchildren, thriteen great grandchildren; two grandsons she reared as her own, Deandra and William McGee; a devoted son-in-law, Kenneth King; best friends, Archie Mae Cleveland, Walter Polnitz, Ethel Lee Allen; one aunt, Emma Jackson.

The family will recieve friends on Friday, June 2, 2006 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM at Miller Funeral Chapel. A special thanks to Dr. Cyriac Madethiannel and staff, Joann Bunch and saff at Park Place Nursing Rehabillitation Center, LLC.

Lanesha Martin

Lanesha Martin, age 46, of Selma, Alabama died on May 29, 2006 at Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, June 2, 2006 at 11:00 AM at Ebenezer Baptist Church with Rev. Raymond Brown officiating. Burial in Provewell Cemetery with Miller Funeral Service directing. Survivors include: husband, Anthony Martin; parents Alfonso and Rosa Sparks; one daughter, Leiha Purdy; one sister, Kyra Sparks; three sisters-in-laws and one niece.

Pallbearers will be Deacons of Providence Baptist Church.

Jessie James Adams

Jessie James Adams, age 70, of Selma, Alabama died on May

26, 2006 at Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 1:00 PM at East Salem Baptist Church with Rev. Brown officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Miller Funeral Service directing.

Survivors include: wife, Minnie Durry; mother, Minnie Williams; two brothers, Frank Williams and Sam Williams; four sisters, Annie Williams, Edna Williams, Edna Miller, Willie Nell Sanders; two sisters-in-laws; one aunt, Lillie Nolon and a host of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Terrence McGuire, Deandre Miller, Eldra Williams, Derick Wilmore, Roderick McGuire and Bracey Brown.

Sarah L. Thomas

Sarah L. Thomas, age 75, of Selma, AL died on May 28, 2006 in Selma.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 12:00 Pm at Tabernacle of Praise with Bishop Arthur Bell, Jr. officiating . Burial in Pinview Gardens with Walker Mortuary directing.

Survivors include: four sons, Calvin (Gloria) , Eric, Marvin Thomas, Raymond (Constance) Smith; three daughters, Mamie (Clarence) Stanback, Norma Roth and Patricia Posey; one brother, Charles (Elaine) Smith; one sister, Beulah Bell; ten grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, one great great grandchild, two sons-in-laws, one daughter-in-law, one sister-in-law and a host of nieces and nephews.