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Obituaries May 17 – 24

Lola Faye McNutt
Hartselle
A graveside funeral service and interment for Lola Faye McNutt, 81, were held May 19 at 1 p.m. at Herring Cemetery with Bro. Nicky Pressnell officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.  

Ms. McNutt died May 15 at her residence. She was born Jan. 13, 1940, in Winston County to Buster E. McNutt and Bessie Mae Curtis McNutt. She was employed as a floral wholesaler prior to her retirement. She loved doing yardwork and gardening, and she attended Neel Church of Christ. 

She was preceded in death by her parents.  

Survivors include her son, Randy Palmer; daughter, Michelle Puckett; daughter-in-law, Beverly Hanback; and grandchildren, Dillan Palmer, Brianna Bowman (Josh) and Aaliyah Hanback. Pallbearers were family and friends. 

 

Lionel Smith
Hartselle
Lionel Smith, 77, passed away May 15. He was born Aug. 7, 1943, in Cullman County to Floyd Lionel Smith Sr. And Artie Louise Calhoun Smith. 

Lionel was a rehabilitation counselor, registered nurse, minister, philosopher, writer, father, husband, brother, son and friend to many. He was born in Cullman and raised in Birmingham. Growing up, Lionel was an All-Star baseball pitcher and high school quarterback but was also blessed with a beautiful voice, allowing him the honor of singing in the acapella choir while studying religion and philosophy at Sanford University.  

Though he never received the calling to minister a church, Lionel ministered in his work and everyday life. He earned his master’s degree in psychology at the University of Alabama and later his registered nursing degree at Gadsden State. He worked in state facilities most of his
career, serving troubled youth and mentally ill individuals.  

Lionel was an avid student of philosophy and religion, enjoyed poetry and was a member of Mensa. He enjoyed playing golf, especially with his son, Adam, and working in his yard. He is dearly loved and will be great missed.
A Celebration of Life ceremony was held by family and friends May 23. 

Survivors include his wife, Lisa Smith, Hartselle; son, Adam Smith, Madison; sister, Zoe Glass, Birmingham; and two grandchildren, Evelyn and Adam Lionel Jr. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be given to the National Alzheimer’s Association. 

 

The Rev. Herbert B. Smith
Cullman
Funeral service for the Rev. Herbert B. Smith, 85, was held May 20 at 1 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. David Smith officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Bell Springs Cemetery. 

He was born Dec. 3, 1935, in Morgan County to Tip Smith and Mertle Johnson Smith. Bro. Herbert went home to be with Jesus May 17.  

He was a Pentecostal preacher for 54 years, pastoring at Barnett’s Chapel Pentacostal Church for 37 years in Somerville. He was a wonderful preacher and a great dad. He worked for Jesus, and now it is his time for a rest with Jesus.  

Along with his ministry, he did carpentry work.   

He was preceded in death by his parents and three sisters, Betty Smith, Eloise Lackey and Tifford Smith. 

Survivors include his wife, Shirley Smith; son, David Smith; daughter, Lynn Long (Andy); four grandchildren, Drew Long (Kristen), Jesse Long, Logan Smith and Jenna Smith; and three great-grandchildren, Sawyer, Harper and Teag. 

Pallbearers were Drew Long, Jesse Long, Austin Chaney, Logan Smith, Freddie Chaney and Rodney Johnson. 

 

Jordan Ward Hartsell
Hartselle
Jordan Hartsell, age 21, died suddenly and unexpectedly May 17.  

He was a sweet boy with a good heart. He loved his family, especially his grandfather Lee, and his dog Champ.  

He was one of the best junior golfers in the state of Alabama and was a member of the 2015 6A State Championship team for Hartselle High School, which he graduated from in 2017. Jordan played on the varsity team at HHS for six years and won several individual tournaments during that time. He signed a golf scholarship with Calhoun and had offers from several Division 1 schools. He loved golf from the time he was a small boy, and he loved playing with his dad, who taught him the game. He loved the beach and family trips to Gulf Shores every summer. He also loved Alabama Crimson Tide football and basketball.
He is survived by his mother Jaymaine, who he was very close to, and his father Jim. He is also survived by his two older brothers, Jonathan Hartsell and Jake Hartsell, who loved him and watched over him fiercely when he was little. He is also survived by his grandparents Lee (who he loved unconditionally) and June Hartsell and Joel Ward and Danny Wiley. He loved his new nephew Otis Hartsell and was so proud of him. 

There was a graveside service at 11 a.m. May 20 at Hartselle City Cemetery with Bro. Toby Chastain and Bro. Walter Blackman officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing.
Pallbearers were Zac Ward, Jeremiah Rhodes, Joshua Rhodes, Garrett Reist, Jake Tiffin and Coach Chad Gladden. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to youthoncourse.org in Jordan’s memory. 

 

James Robert England
Athens
James Robert England, 54, passed away May 18 at Athens-Limestone Hospital. He was born July 16, 1966, in Morgan County to Robert William England and Mary Magdalene Murks England. 

James was a very giving, caring and loving person. He was full of energy and loved God, his family and Alabama football with all of his heart. He was a hard worker who specialized in construction and drywall.
Preceding him in death were his parents and two sisters, Barbara England and Kathy Weaver. 

Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Carolyn England; three nieces; one nephew; a great-niece; a great-nephew; and several aunts and uncles.
No services are scheduled at this time, but the family requests memorial donations be made to the ALS Foundation for Research. 

 

Randy James Hyche 

Falkville 

A memorial service for Randy James Hyche, 67, of Falkville, was held May 22 at 2 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home with Phillip Hines officiating.  

Mr. Hyche died May 20 at his residence. He was born April 16, 1954, in Morgan County to Richard Jennings Hyche and Mary Beatrice Brown Hyche.  

Mr. Hyche worked in the car business for Eddie Preuitt Ford.  

He was preceded in death by his parents. 

Survivors include his wife, Donna Hyche; one son, Bart Hyche (Leah); two daughters, Misty Hyche Roberts (Bryan) and Mandy Hyche Harris (Matt); one brother, Richard Hyche Jr. (Bobbie); one sister, Janet Hobbs (David); seven grandchildren, McKenzie Hyche, Millie Grace Hyche, Marianna Hyche, Fisher Roberts, Maggie Roberts, Vivian Browning and Eli Harris; one stepson, Patrick Thomason; two stepdaughters, Ashley Allman (Jeff) and Melinda Grigsby (Joey); and five step-grandchildren, Addison and Lauren Allman, Audrey Allman and Lane and Luke Grigsby.  

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

 

Larry Keith Slater 

Cotaco 

Funeral service for Larry Keith Slater, 74, was held May 23 at 2 p.m. at Grace Point Baptist Church with Bro. Jack Bailey, Kenneth Roberts and Coach Gary Orr officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was held in Red Oak Cemetery at Cotaco 

Larry Keith Slater, better known as Coach Slater, was born June 25, 1946, to Olney B. and Annie Slater in Cotaco. He died May 20 at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham.  

Coach Slater served 19 years in the United States Army and completed two tours in Vietnam.  

In the early ’80s, Coach Slater was the director of Parks and Recreation in Hartselle. He helped start the Dixie Youth Softball Program and was District 1 director for softball for the state of Alabama.  

In 1982 the first 12U Ponytails World Series Championship trophy was brought back to Hartselle under Coach Slater’s leadership.  

During his tenure at the Parks and Recreation Center, he started the first all-girls youth basketball team. Slater was known as a pioneer for girls’ sports. 

Slater’s coaching career began in 1983 at Lawrence County High School, where he coached football and women’s basketball. From 1987-1989, Coach Slater continued his basketball career at Pell City High School, where he compiled a 55-3 record.   

In 1988 Coach Slater won his first state championship. Oddly enough, this state championship would be played against his daughter, Jeaniece Slater, who was a senior at Hartselle High School. The game was played at Calhoun Community College, with thousands in attendance to see the father-daughter match-up. Pell City would win the 5A State Championship 77-76. This game brought a whole new spotlight to women’s basketball. 

The next stop in the storied coaching career of the small-town boy from Cotaco would be at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, where he served from 1989-2011. Not only did he coach women’s basketball, but he also served as an assistant fast-pitch softball coach to his daughter Jeaniece Slater from 1993-1999.   

Basketball still remained his claim to fame. With a 75 percent winning percentage and a 479-163 record, Slater took junior college basketball to new heights with the help of the local talent he signed every year.  

Slater won six ACCC State Championships and made four National Junior College Championship appearances. In the 1997-1998 season, the Lady Lions finished sixth in the nation.  

More than 100 players led by Coach Slater signed NCAA college scholarships. One of his most prized accomplishments was the many NJCAA All American players and Academic All Americans who were awarded recognition under his direction.  

Coach Slater impacted so many lives through his military service, passion for sports and love of his family.  He truly left a legacy that has imprinted the lives of so many people.  

Survivors include his wife, Rhonda Slater; one son, Keith Slater (Tatha); two daughters, Jeaniece Slater (Misty) and Terrie Nelson (Mickey); one brother, Don Murphy (Peggy); one sister, Brenda Zeigler; and six grandchildren, Kele, Carly Jo, Chloe, Hayden, Chance and Eli. 

Pallbearers were Tom Rice, Keary Rice, Adam Kendricks, Jason Hollaway, John Childers, Adam Cryer, Sean Graham, Calum Naugher, Ryan Childs and Josh Martin. 

In tribute to every former player Coach Slater had the privilege of coaching, it is the family’s honor to acknowledge all his previous players as honorary pallbearers. 

In lieu of flowers, make memorial contributions to Cotaco Methodist Food Pantry, 1170 Collins Hill Road, Somerville, AL 35670. 

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