Raymond M. Hepner 1943-2012


Raymond M. Hepner, Sr., 69, of Albany, Ga., died on March 20, 2012, at Willson Hospice House. A funeral service was held on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Mathews Funeral Home. Dr. Ronald R. Baxley officiated.

A native of Pensacola, Fla., Hepner had resided in Albany since 1973 moving from St. Petersburg, Fla. He graduated from Baylor Prep School in Chattanooga, Tenn. and the University of Alabama. Hepner served 11 years in the United States Marine Corps and was a Vietnam Veteran. He was a Presbyterian by faith and was member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of The Elk # 713, American Legion, Post # 30 and was a former member of Radium Country Club.

Survivors include his wife, Joan Hepner of Albany, Ga., three sons, George Hepner and his wife, Pamela of Lee County, Ga., Monty Hepner and his wife, Leigh of Canton, Ga., Grady Hepner, Sr. and his companion, Selena Jones of Albany, Ga., three daughters, DiDi Davis and her husband, Tommy of Carrollton, Va., Tami Chadwick of Sterling, Va. and Dawn Williams and her husband, Christopher of Columbus, Ga., a sister, Barbara Patton and her husband, Bob of Opelika, 11 grandchildren, John Davis, Beni Davis, Miki Davis, Richard Hepner, Anthony Hepner, III, Grady, Hepner, II, Brendan Hepner, Geoffrey Hepner, Austin Montgomery Hepner, Matthew Chadwick, Lauren Chadwick, six great-grandchildren, Skylar Davis, Madison Davis, Ally Hepner, Lakelynn Hepner, Matthew Kennedy, Rylee Hepner and several nieces and nephews.

Those desiring may make memorials to Willson Hospice House, 320 Foundation Lane, Albany, GA. 31707.



Bettie Jane Bradford 1942-2012


A funeral service for Bettie Jane Bradford, 70, of Opelika, was held at 2 p.m. on March 29, at Jeffcoat-Trant Chapel. Reverend David Floyd officiated. Burial was held in Garden Hills Cemetery. Visitation was Thursday from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. prior to the service at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home.

Bradford was born on Feb. 25, 1942, in Lee County. She passed away on March 26, 2012, at Woodley Manor in Montgomery. Bradford was a lifelong resident of Opelika and attended Beauregard High School. She had been employed by Morris Snower Co. and Diversified Products Corp, but was a homemaker in reality.

She is survived by husband, Jerry D. Bradford of Opelika; daughters, Paula (Tommy) Gunn of Cusseta, Billie Barnes of Dekalb, Miss.; sons, Gerald M. Whitlow of Ashville, David P. Whitlow of Bessemer; four grandchildren; four great grandchildren; sisters, Alice (James) Smith of Opelika, Glenda (Tony) Thrash of Beauregard; brother, Roy Lee (Betty Ann) Murphy of Beauregard; and sister-in-law, Margie Murphy of Canton, Ga.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed. www.jeffcoattrant.com



Paul Alexander Downer 1945-2012


Paul A. Downer, 66, of Auburn, was born on July 26, in Midland, Ontario, Canada. He passed away on March 20, 2012, at the Bethany House.

He was a devoted husband, daddy, and papa to his family and he will forever live on in all of our hearts. Paul was a builder for 33 years and was so proud of all the beautiful homes he built in this community.

Building was his passion and he left his family and many other Auburn families with homes they can always be proud of. Those who knew him well will always remember his love for his family, his love of Auburn football, his love for boating, his dedication to mission work in his church, and his passion for putting his heart and soul into his work.

Downer grew up in Canada and was the first of three children. He loved the beauty of his surroundings and enjoyed going to his family’s hunt camp to fish and hunt and he loved to play hockey. Sports were always a big part of his life. He not only loved to play sports, but he also loved to coach. Once he became a Papa and had grandsons, he loved to go to all of their sporting activities and watch them play.

When he finished high school, he left Canada and came to the U.S. to attend college. He attended George Williams College in Illinois and that is where he met the love of his life, Sheri. The two of them met the second week of classes in their freshman year and were married by their junior year.

In 1978, Paul and Sheri moved to Auburn, because Sheri was hired as a department head at Auburn University. Paul became a custom home builder soon after they moved to Auburn.  Auburn is the place where the two of them built their home and raised their family of three girls. Not long after moving to Auburn, they became members of Auburn United Methodist Church.

Paul became very active in the mission area of the church and he absolutely loved going on mission trips all over the world and giving back to families and communities that were not as fortunate as he was. He was also active in the Auburn area in Habitat for Humanity. He loved to travel all over the world with Sheri and occasionally they would go places with special friends. He enjoyed riding on his many boats and enjoyed relaxing with his family. He loved his grandchildren more than anything in the world. He loved that he was blessed with seven of them and he loved being active in all of their activities. Being a Papa was the proudest title he held in his life.

Downer got his BS in Health and Human Sciences and a Masters degree in School Guidance and Counseling. He taught high school science and physiology and he coached basketball, football and wrestling at Lemont High School in Lemont, Ill.

Downer is preceded in death by his mother, Margaret. He is survived by his loving wife, Sheri; daughters, Shauna (Cale) Young, Kelly Downer, and Jenny (Phillip) Adamson. He also leaves behind seven precious grandchildren, Brandon, Will, Whit and Lily Young and Parker, Ella Grace and Conner Adamson, all of Auburn.  He is also survived by his father, Rex Downer; brother, Don (Adriene Perry ) Downer; sister, Carol (Bob) Veaudrey, all of Midland, Ontario, Canada. He also leaves behind many other special family members and a host of nieces and nephews.

A visitation was held on March 23, 2012, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home.

A Celebration of Life was held at Auburn United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on March 24, 2012. Reverend Dr. George Mathison officiated.

Flowers are welcomed, or memorial contributions may be made to Auburn United Methodist Church Missions Program or the AUMC Habitat for Humanity.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed. www.jeffcoattrant.com



William S. Gazaway 1939-2012


Bill Gazaway, age 72, passed away on March 20, 2012. He will be remembered as a devoted husband and a friend to many. He enjoyed traveling, singing and playing the guitar, as well as studying and speaking Spanish.

He was born on April 19, 1939 in Greenwood, Miss. and was preceded in death by his parents Gladys and Pete Gazaway, and his brother, Duane Tucker.

Bill was a graduate of Mississippi State and received his PhD from Texas A&M. He worked in Costa Rica and Nicaragua as a plant pathologist for Standard Fruit Company (Dole) before coming to Auburn in 1975 as an Auburn University Extension Plant Pathologist. He retired in 1999, but continued to work as a consultant.

Bill and Pam were married for 42 years. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Betty Tucker, his nephews, Shane and Neely Tucker, a special cousin Jean Reeves, and many wonderful friends.

A memorial service was held on March 25, at 2 p.m. in the chapel at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home. There was a brief visitation before and after the service. Reverend Gary Spooner officiated. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the United Methodist Children’s Home, 3140 Zelda Court, Montgomery, Al 36106-2607 or to a charity of your choice.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed. www.jeffcoattrant.com



William Randolph Stahl


William Randolph Stahl died peacefully on March 17, 2012, at Oak Park in Auburn.

He is survived by his wife, Laurie, to whom he was married to for 54 years. Bill graduated from the New York College of Photography and used his new skills working from India to China during WWII. In his spare time he made custom furniture or sailed his boat.

Bill is also survived by his two daughters, Mary Angiolillo of New York and Suzanne Oates of Auburn. Mary’s children are Danielle, William and Patrick. Suzanne’s children are Holly and Dana. Bill was a much loved grandfather. Adelaide, his first great grandchild, joined the family in 2010.

Holy Mass for Stahl was held on March 24, 2012, at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Auburn.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the Food Bank of East Alabama.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed. www.jeffcoattrant.com