CURTIS JAMES BLAYLOCK, WHS Class of 1959, passed away on 18 December 2010. Born in Birmingham, Curtis had lived in New York after high school, with the exception of a two-year stint in the US Army from 1966-68. After his military service, Curtis worked with the Social Security Administration as a disabled veteran, retiring after 35 years. During his retirement, he was know as the family photographer and the "Computer King". He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted companion Lottie Ryans, two brotheres (Joseph Jr. & Joseph "Jobo", one sister (Ethel) , two nieces, a nephew and a host of other relatives and friends.
JIMMY GAINES, SR. departed this life on 16 November 2010. Educated in Jefferson County Schools, he was a 1947 graduate of Westfield High where he later taught. He was a graduate of Atlanta College of Mortuary Science and Miles College. He also attend Samford University. He served in the US Marine Corp during the Korean Conflict. In addition to teaching for 28 years, Mr Gaines also served as a funeral director at Mullins Funeral Home. An ordained deacon, he was preceded in death by his wife, Ogretta Gaine;, his brother, Walter Gaines; and his sister, Lula Mae Durr. He leaves to cherish his memories, seven children and one adopted son, ten grandchildren and seven great grand-children.
RAIFE "WOODY" WOODALL, passed away on Sunday, 12 September 2010, after suffering from cancer. He is the husband of Ethel Wright Woodall, a member of WHS Class of 1959.
CHARLES EDWARD "FOOTS" SUTTLE died peacefully on September 2, 2010. Charles, the son of Howard and Pearlie Mae Suttle, was 59 years old and a graduate of Westfield High Class of 1970. He attended Alcorn State University on an athletic scholarship and later attended San Jose City College in California. He served his country in the US Army and later was employed in the national trucking industry. He was preceded in death by both parents and leaves to cherish is memory a daughter, a grandson, two sisters, two brothers and a host of relatives and friends.
ALAN "AL" HOOD, a 1966 Westfield High graduate and a member of Talladega College class of 1971, died early morning on August 21, 2010 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Per his wishes, there was no funeral or memorial service. He donated his remains to the University of Alabama-Birmingham for medical research and education. Al was a dear friend to many, proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and loyal Talladegan.
JOHNNY B. WILLIAMS SR. died on July 29, 2010. He taught in the Jefferson County School System for thrity-four years, including a stint as the Band Director at Westfield High. He was a faithful member of the South Ensley Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Baptized in 1967, he served as an elder beginning in 1972 and began Pioneering in 1996. He served faithfully in baoth capacities until his death. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife Arthurine, nine children, two sisters and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other relatives and friends. He was 80 years old.
DEACON ROBERT SPEED, JR., 78, died on 13 April, 2010. Ordained a deacon at Peace Baptist Church, he was also a member of the Birmingham Male Chorus and served as president at his church. Robert attended Mulga Elementary and was a 1950 graduate of Westfield High School. He proudly served his company in the United States Army and retired as a coal miner, working 28 years for various companies. He was married to Carrie May Adams since 1951. He leaves to mourn his memory his wife, two daughters, a son, seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, three brothers-in-law, a niece and a nephew and many cousins and dear friends.
ALLENE PACE LOFTIN, of Birmingham, Alabama, was summoned to her heavenly home on March 25, 2010. The 1952 Westfield High graduate was 76 years old. Allene was the first of eight children born to the late Allen Pace Sr. and Eloise Parnell Pace. She married the late Timothy Loftin Sr. in 1955 and they raised ten children. She was a member of the New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Dolomite for about 45 years and was an active member of the Sanctuary Choir and the Women's Sunday School. She was preceded in death by her parents , her husband, four brothers (Willie, Levi, James Ivory and Allen, Jr.), three sons (Timothy Jr., Jesse and Corlethius), one daughter (Arletha Loftin Bell) and a devoted friend and companion, James Walker. She leaves to cherish her memory three brothers (Sherman, Ocie Lee and Tommie Lee), five daughters, one son, twenty grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends and neighbors.
RUTH LEE BERRY, of Wylam , Alabama , passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on February 5, 2010. Sister Berry was preceded in death by her husband, Lester Berry, Sr.; twins, Jack and Jill Berry; daughter, Ruthie Berry; and grand-son Micros W. Thompson. She is survived by daughters, Alethia "Tootie" Thompson, Mary Berry and Minerva Ruth Boston; sons, Solomon (Phyllis) Berry, Rev. Lester (Letha) Berry, Jr., Ellsworth (Carolyn) Berry and Micros W. (Delois Dilworth) Berry; step-son, Leroy Berry; god-daughter, Ruby "Ruth" Baskin; sisters, Inez Ottison and Juanita Hicks; 18 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.
ELIZABETH SIMMONS, mother of Ruby Thomas (New York Chapter), Rutha Bush (President of New York Chapter) and Mary E. Goodwin's (California Chapter) passed on January 7, 2010. Funeral Services were held on Saturday January 16, 2009.
REV. ORLANDERA JOHNSON, known fondly as "O.J.", died on January 5, 2010. A 1964 graduate of Westfield High, O.J. was raised in Dolomite, one of 11 children born to Hinton Johnson, Sr. and Eva Lee Johnson. He served 42 years in law enforcement, beginning in Roosevelt City and retiring from the Homewood Police Department. He also operated a successful window tinting business and was an Associate Minister at Saint John Baptist Church in Dolomite. O.J. was preceded in death by his mother. He leaves to mourn him his wife, Carolyn Waller Johnson, nine children, his father and 10 siblings and their families.
JOHNNIE MAE WRIGHT-BASKIN passed away Sunday, November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles. Johnnie graduated from Westfield in 1944. She was from Docena at that time and was the sister to Velma, '48, Benjamin, '51 James, '53, Emma, '56, Hattye, '58, Ethel, '59, Curtis, '61, and the late Carolyn Wright '65, all of whom also graduated from Westfield.
WILLIE CARLISLE Jr., age 66 of Detroit, formerly of Mulga died July 11, 2009. Funeral was held on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at the Shady Grove BaptistChurch, Mulga with the burial in Carver Cemetery. Willie was a member of WHS Class of 1960.
BANKS, SFC ALFONSO (FONZ) age 66, U.S. Army, of Tacoma Washington passed away on Saturday, May 30, 2009. Service was held on Monday, June 8, 2009. Alfonso was preceded in death by son Demetrius Banks, father, David Banks, mother, Elgertha Banks, brother, David R. Banks. He was born in Mulga, AL and is a 1960 graduate of Westfield High School. He is survived by his devoted wife of 47 years, Sandra Banks; daughters, Sybilla (Earnest) Yearby, Belinda Banks of Tacoma, Washington; two grandsons, Jullian Banks and Earnest Yearby III; one granddaughter, Kayla Yearby; one greatgrand child, Amir Banks; three sisters, Julia Green of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Ethel (Harold) Mallory of Waynesville, MO and Patricia (Johnny) Hinton of Birmingham, AL; a host of relatives and friends. Burial was at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent Washington with full military honors. (From the Birmingham News)
Dorothy Gray Richardson, 70, passed on May 20, 2009 in Poughkeepsie, NY,where she has lived for 50 years. The daughter of Ollie and Georgia Gray and the sister of Lartharee Gray Jones, she was born in Bessemer, but grew up in Hueytown. She was a 1957 graduate of Westfield High. Dorothy was employed by Schutz Federal Bearing and Hudson River Psychiatric Center for many years and later retired from the NYS Wassaic Development Center as a community housing supervisor. Dorothy is survived by two children (Beverly Lynn and Troy), eight grandchildren, four great grandchildren, three sisters and two brothers. She was preceded in death by her parents, a son (Sherman, Jr.), three brothers and one sister.
Mrs Hattie B. Hood, 87, of Wylam, died on May 6, 2009. She was a 1941 graduate of Westfield High. A member of Grace Chapel CPCA most of her life, she was a member of New Zion CPCA at the time of her death. She was preceded in death by her son, Anthony Hood (WHS Class of 1960). Among her survivors are Mr. J.D. Hood, her husband of 68 years; 2 sisters, 3 brothers, 2 stepsons, 6 grandsons, 5 granddaughters, 34 great grandchildren.
Mrs Ozell Hill Rice, from Wylam, died on 1 May 2009. She was 85 years old and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church of Wylam. Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Kennedy Rice Sr.; sons Eddie Lee, Kennedy Jr., Willie, Robert, Raymond and Clarence; 23 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.
Doris Dixon just buried her only son in Cleveland this past weekend. He lived in Oakland,CA. where he owned a shop - he was an artist. Someone broke in and beat him to death. . Doris is a member of the Class of 1958, and a few years ago, while living in Texas, she came home from work one day to find her husband dead from natural causes. Our prayers go out to Doris, her sister Archiedean Dixon Green (Class of 59) and the rest of their families. (Reported 25 March 2009)
Marvin Curry, a former member of the Detroit Chapter died this morning (Saturday, March 28). I am not sure what year Marvin graduated from Westfield, but it was probably in the early to mid forties. Marvin was very active in the Detroit Chapter until his and his wife's health started to decline. Marvin's wife died earlier this year. His sister is Paulette Hunter and she graduated from Westfield in 1962 and his brother is Alvin Hunter, who would have graduated around 1966. Paulette called me this morning with this information. They buried another brother (Richard (Chip) Bryant) on yesterday. That family is going through a lot right now and I ask that everyone keep them in their prayers. The family was from Docena and all of those deaths have affected those of us from that community. I do not have any details for the funeral just yet. As soon as I get that info, I'll share it with you. Thank you very much. (From Ethel Wright-Woodall)
Allen Pace Jr. died at his home in Las Vegas on November 10, 2008. He was 69 years old. The third of eight children, Allen graduated with honors from Westfield High in 1957. He moved to Los Angeles in 1960 where he worked as a restaurant manager and Chef at Denny's Restaurant for 23 years. He married Queen Esther Lacy in April 1962 and they had two children. In 1983 Allen received a degree in Electronic Engineering from ITT Institute. He later worked at Ken Crane in Los Angeles in that capacity until his retirement in 1997. In 1992 allen purchased a limousine and established "Mr. P's Limousine Service which he operated for 10 years.And, in his spare time, he led a band called Allen Pace and the Pacesetters. In 2002 Allen and Queen relocated to Las Vegas where he resided until his death. He is surved by his wife, Queen Esther, three daughters (Sheila, Tiffany and Velvet), one son (Allen III), one sister (Allene), three brothers (Sherman, Ocie Lee and Tommie Lee), nine grandchildren and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents (Allen Pace, Sr. and Eloise Parnell Pace), and three brothers (Billy, Levi and James Ivory).
Samuel Terry, Jr. WHS Class of 1957 passed on November 4, 2008. He was a lifelong resident of Hueytown and had aattended Miles College. Known as "Butch", he had completed 37 years with US Pipe and was a faithful trustee at First Baptist Church, Hueytown. He is survived by his seven kids, two sisters and numerous grandchildren and other relatives.
Anita Holloway Quinn, a biology teacher at Westfield High School for many years, passed away in late October 2008. Mrs. Quinn completed her formal education in the Anniston City School system. She completed her higher education at numerous universities: Spellman College of Atlanta, GA; BS Degree, Indiana University of Bloomington, IN, Masters Degree, Auburn University, Atlanta University, and the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Anita was employed by the Shades Valley School where she was a Biology Teacher. After serving ten years as a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, Anita retired. Survivors include twin sister, Valeta Virginia Holloway; cousin, Diane Easley, Carmen Holman, Karim and Tiffany Easley, Kwaku and Karissa George, Alea Holman, Jonathan Holman; caregivers, Evelyn J. Lane, Jacqueline B. Bradford, Evelyn Crawford, Mary Jane Davis.
Frances Bell Oliver, Class of 1951, passed Oct. 21. 2008. She is the sister of Robert Oliver (Rob) class of 1959.
Hiawatha Butler Maiden died on 30 September.Wattie, as she was affectionately called, was born in Marengo County Alabama and was educated in the Jefferson County school system, graduating from Westfield High School in 1950. She married Goin Maiden in 1951 and they had three children: Jay Glasgow, Wilma Monica and Wanda Goinette. While raising her family, she initiated the first and only Kindergarten in the community, which was supported by Gary Ensley Elementary School and the district's superintendent. In 1968, Wattie moved to Los Angeles, California. She eventually settled in Gardena in 1972, with husband Freeman "Fe-Fe" Norton. While working at MatteI, Inc., she graduated from Los Angeles Trade Technical College, with honors. She began working for the Compton Public Library, where her never-ending love of books continued. Moving ever forward, Wattie went to work for the County of Los Angeles' Department of Public Social Services, until retirement. She joined the California Chapter of the Westfield High School Alumni Association and was a regular attendee at the Westfiled High School reunions. In Gardena, Wattie was the Treasurer for the Second Time Around Seniors, a member of the Democratic Political Party and North Gardena Democratic Club. A member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Committee, the Cinco de Mayo Day Celebration, the Gardena/Hollypark Community Association, and a Gardena City Election Precinct Officer. She was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from Gardena City Council officials in recognition for her service and support of civic organizations. She was preceded in death by her husbands, her three brothers and a sisters. Mrs Maiden is survived by her children, two sisters, eight grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Learned on 21 August 2008 from Johnny Moore that Joseph Youngblood passed January 07. He and his family lived in Los Angeles, Calif. He was in the class of 1960. He use to sing on all the shows at Westfield, he had a voice just like Sam Cook and played guitar.
Michael Threats of Dolomite passed away on July 29th. His funeral was held at New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church on 2 August. He is the brother of Edward (Class of 60), Larry (Class of 69). Pete (Class of 69), and Bernadette (Class of 70).
Sandy Ellis Munro, daughter of Willie and Josephine Ellis of the New York Chapter, passed on 24 July 2008. Funeral services were held in New York on 30 July 2008.
Frances Ray Cooper Walker, graduate of WHS Class of 1944-45, passed on June 1, 2008 in Bessemer AL. Two siblings, Henry C. Cooper, Class of 1940 and Sarah B. Cooper Taylor, Class of 1947, were also alumnae of WHS. Frances worked at a Dayton Ohio airplane plant during World War II, packing airplane parts. Then on to Curtis Candy Co. plant in Chicago IL for a few years as a wrapper. Most of her remaining years were spent in Palm Springs CA as a hotel maid until returning back home to Bessemer AL where she remained until her death.
Eddie R. (Fat) Ford,
passed away April 2, 2008. A member of the WHS Class of 1960, he leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife of 43 years, Evelyn Scott Ford (also Class of 1960); two sons, Dana G. Ford (Catherine) of Birmingham, AL and Gerald J. Ford (Patricia) of Tuscaloosa, AL; six grandchildren, Damian Ford, Kiarian Ford, Dayna Ford, Kayla Ford, Jaylin Ford and Lauren Ford. [Adapted from Bham News].
Warren E. Pippen,
WHS Class of 1944, passed away on March 6, 2008. He was 82 years old. He moved to Detroit in the early 1940's where he met and married Gwendolyn Ford in 1949. They had seven children. He latter married Joe Ann Brisbon and they had one daughter. He worked for General Motors Pontiac Division and retired from there after 30 years on the job, nevver missing a day of work.He also wrote several recorded songs and managed at least three R&B performing quartets. He joined Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit in the early 70's and served there until his death. Warren was well known to WHSAA reunion attendees as a fancy dresser and for his stylish coordination from head to toe. He leaves to chrish his memory 3 sons, 6 daughters, 4 brothers, 1 sister, 3 cousins, 21 grandchildren, 52 great grandchildren, a host of neices and nephews, his church family and friends and the members of the WHS Alumni Association.
died Friday, 12 January. Cleveland was the brother of George, Charles and Christine Lenoir. He attended Westfield and would have been in the Class of 1964.
Herbert Lee Anderson
, WHS Class of 1959, passed on December 29, 2007. He was raised in Mulga,
Alabama. Herb joined the Army and served in the Dominican Republic with Co. A5030 MP BN Third U.S. Army. He moved to Los Angeles in 1966 where he married, raised his sons, furthered his education, and provided for his family. He worked for Safeway and Continental Airlines. In 1975, he moved to Bakersfield to work for Mobil Oil and retired in 1995. After a couple of years, he came out of retirement to work for the State of California Corrections in Delano. He was a member of the Masons and the American Legion. Herbert was preceded in death by his father, Bennie, and brother, Curtis. He is survived by his wife, Anna; his mother, Thelma; sons: Herbert Jr., Kevin, Maurice, Derrick; brothers: Sidney, Bennie Jr., Rodney, Marcus; sisters: Shirley, Carolyn; stepson, Brian Boudreaux; and numerous aunts, cousins, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and countless friends. (Adapted from the Bakersfield Californian)