Obituaries for Aug. 12, 2007

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 12, 2007

Paula Susan Foxhall Mertz

Paula Susan Foxhall Mertz, 61, died July 22 in a hospice near her son’s home in Lapeer, Michigan.

The cause was glioblastoma, a brain tumor.

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Mrs. Mertz was born in Sylacauga, Ala., in 1946 while her mother was staying with family members who had moved to nearby Childersburg to work in the World War II munitions plant.

At age two, she moved with her parents to the home where she grew up, near Martin Station, outside of Orrville.

She and her family attended the Orrville Methodist Church.

During her childhood she rode horses, helped her parents tend chickens and cows, tramped field and streams, and read voraciously from the Selma Carnegie Library.

After graduating from Orrville High School, she worked as an assistant at Hohenberg cotton brokers and then as the church secretary at the Church Street Methodist Church in Selma.

On Aug. 4, 1967, she married Eugene R. Mertz, a former airman who had been stationed at Craig Air Force Base outside Selma. The ceremony was in a chapel of the Church Street Methodist Church and officiated by her former supervisor, the pastor there.

She lived with her husband for 33 years in southeast Michigan, his home state, raising their son there. For about the last 18 years of that time, they lived in Lapeer, a small historic town east of Flint.

Mrs. Mertz worked as a hair stylist and hair salon manager for many years.

She read widely throughout her life. She had a knowledge of many kinds of historic and antique objects and she did masterful interior decoration of her family’s homes. She camped in Michigan with her family and often stayed at their cabin in a family compound on a small lake in northern Michigan. She traveled in Europe, Canada and the U.S. In retirement, she and her husband traveled in their RV to Florida, Alaska, Canada and the western United States.

In 2000 she and her husband moved back to Lay Lake, outside Clanton, to be near her mother in her final illness. Last September they remained in their son’s home in Michigan after she was diagnosed while visiting.

Surviving are her husband Eugene Mertz and her son Christopher E. Mertz of Lapeer, Mich.; three grandchildren: Aline Mertz and Jeremy Mertz of Lapeer; and Madeleine Mertz of Nuremberg, Germany; her sister, Kathryn Foxhall of the Washington, D.C. area, and many aunts, uncles and cousins of the Prattville, Columbiana, Calera, Birmingham and other areas.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Isabelle Cadle Foxhall (2003) and Jess Willard Foxhall (1964).

Her remains were interred in a Lapeer cemetery.

Mitchell Barlow Jr.

Mitchell “Mitch” Barlow Jr., 66, of Perth Amboy, N.J., died Monday, July 30, 2007, at RWJ University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J.

Born in Selma, he formerly lived in Cleveland, Ohio, and Cliffwood, N.J, before moving to Perth Amboy in 1962.

Prior to retirement, he worked 35 years as a chemical operator at Glaxo Smith Kline Co., (formerly Beecham Labs), Piscataway.

He also assisted with the family business, Lelia’s Flowers and Gifts in Perth Amboy, N.J., for 14 years.

He was a member of Cathedral International Church, Perth Amboy, and served as an usher and intercessor there.

He belonged to Old School Riders Motorcycle Club (Double D-Dunkins Donuts group) in Perth Amboy.

He was predeceased by his father and two sisters.

Survivors include a wife, Lelia of Perth Amboy, N.J.; four children, Mitchell III of Perth Amboy, Daphne Williams (Alonzo) of Fords, Derrick of Perth Amboy and Anthony of Rahway; his mother, Alma McElroy Barlow of Selma; three siblings, William J. (Ida) of Piscataway, Alma of Perth Amboy and Donetta of Selma; two grandchildren, Nichole Barlow of Perth Amboy and Deven Williams of Fords; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services were held Aug. 1, 2007, at Cathedral International, Perth Amboy.

Arrangements were by Anderson Funeral Service, New Brunswick, N.J.

Martha McNeil Bell

Martha McNeil Bell, age 64, of Selma, passed Aug. 10, 2007, at her residence. Final arrangements will be announced at a later date by J.H. Williams and Sons Funeral Home.

Travis W. Ledbetter

Travis W. Ledbetter, age 76, of Minter died Friday, Aug. 10, 2007, at home. Family visitation will be at Lawrence Funeral Home from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007. The family will then go to VFW Post 3016 to greet additional friends.

Ledbetter retired from the USAF as a master sergeant. He was past commander of the local VFW Post 3016 and Alabama state commander in 1989 and 1990. He is survived by his wife, Shelby Parker Ledbetter of White Oak Creek, his son Wendell (Lisa) Ledbetter of Georgia and his two grandchildren, Kelli Ledbetter and Parker Ledbetter. He is also survived by his brother, Frank Ledbetter. Funeral arrangements will be announced later by Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home.

Richard Liner

Richard Liner, 51, of Selma, died Aug. 11, 2007, at Trinity Medical Center. Miller Funeral Service in charge of arrangements.

Rev. C.A. Heard

The Rev. C.A. Heard, 90, of Sprotts, died Aug. 10, 2007, at Warren Manor Nursing Home. Miller Funeral Service in charge of arrangements.

Harold F. ‘Sonny’


Harold F. “Sonny” Barton, 64, of Valley Grande, died Aug. 10, 2007, at Hospice of West Alabama. He was born Feb. 20, 1943, in Tuscaloosa and was an Alabama State Trooper for 29 and 1/2 years.

He was preceded in death by parents Hudson F. Barton and Mable Williams Barton; one son, Dewayne Barton; two sisters, Carolyn Smith and Glenda Kay McAllister.

He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Langston Barton; two daughters, Belinda Barton Smith (Jesse) of Birmingham and Jenny Barton Carter (Richard) of Prattville; one brother, Richard Barton of Sprott; and four grandchildren, Drew and Madison Carter and Hunter and Zachary Smith; numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held Saturday. Service is today at 2 p.m. at Heiberger Methodist Church with burial at Payne Chapel with the Rev. Tommy Fancer officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Marion Chapel directing.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Hospice of West Alabama, 3851 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404. Active pallbearers: Bradley Seales, Don Kirchren, Frank Rogers, Birton Langston, Brad Barton and Ken Smith. Honorary pallbearers are Alabama State Troopers.