Shirley Williamson Cotten 1941-2012


Shirley Ann Williamson Cotten, age 71, of Edgewood Drive of Brewton, passed away on Friday afternoon June 22, in a Penscola, Fla. hospital after a brief illness.

She was a native of Grove Hill and a long time resident of Brewton. Cotten was a long time member of the First Baptist Church of Brewton, a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a cheerleader sponsor at T. R. Miller High School and a retired home economics teacher from T. R. Miller High School with 25 years of service.

Survivors include her husband, Frank Cotten of Brewton; son, Robbie (Margaret) Cotten, daughter, Kim (Wesley) Brittain and four grandchildren: Kayla Cotten, Madison Cotten, Hunter Brittan and Anna Kate Brittan; two sisters: Cheryll (Roy) Patrick of Mendenhall, Miss. and Betty Joe Williamson of Opelika, two sister-in-laws, Lois Jones Williamson of Knoxville, Tenn. and Susan W. Whitfield of Duluth, Ga.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carter B. Williamson of Grove Hill and two brothers, Percy L. Williamson and Larry Williamson and two sisters, Kay Williamson and Judy W. Etheredge.

Vistation was held Sunday afternoon June 24,  from 1 p.m. until 3 p. m. at the First Baptist Church of Brewton, followed by the funeral service with Bro. John Finkles and Bro. Jack Fitts officiating.  Interment followed in Union Cemtery Brewton, with Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Brewton, directing.



Dr. A. Cleveland Harrison 1924-2012


Dr. A. Cleveland Harrison, Emeritus Professor of Theatre at Auburn University, has died. Born Aug. 17, 1924, in McRae, Ark., Dr. Harrison died of acute leukemia early in the evening of June 16, 2012. His humor, his intellect and his extraordinary creativity will be keenly missed by all but never forgotten by those that knew and loved him.

Dr. Harrison came to Auburn in 1970 from the University of Arkansas, at Fayetteville, where he served for over 13 years in the undergraduate and graduate programs as supervisor of the basic speech program, director of the basic fine arts program, and chairman of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art. Dr. Harrison joined the  faculty of Auburn’s School of Architecture and Fine Arts to direct the revision of the theatre curriculum and the design of the new fine arts theatre building which is in use today.

During the next 21 years, Dr. Harrison served first as head professor and as senior professor, building performance and technical curricula and faculty and technical staff for the program, which culminated in the department’s membership in the National Association of Schools of Theater. Throughout the first 10 years of his tenure, the department produced nine full-length plays each semester, with him directing at least two each year while administering the department and teaching the exclusively academic courses in the curriculum. Additionally, among the roles he acted on Auburn’s stage were Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons, Clarence Day in Life with Father, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and Lazar Wolfe in Fiddler on the Roof.

Dr. Harrison’ educational background included a Ph.D. in drama and theatre from the University of Kansas, an MA in play directing from the University of Arkansas, and an MA in communication, and BS in English and speech from The Ohio State University. His primary research was in19th-century American and English drama, especially the works of the English-American playwright-director-actor Dion Boucicault, whose theories of dramaturgy were the subject of his dissertation.

Dr. Harrison’s academic essays appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, The Speech Teacher, Theatre Journal, Southern Speech Communication Journal, and the Journal of Aesthetic Education;  and his one-act play, The Ladies of Fashion, an adaptation in verse of Moliere’s Les Precieuses Ridicules, was published by Chandler Publications of San Francisco.

After his retirement in 1991, the Alabama Conference of Theater and Speech awarded him the Theater Hall of Fame Award “for distinguished contributions and enduring dedication as a past pioneer in Alabama Theater.”

With his retirement underway, Dr. Harrison made frequent and award winning contributions to publications of the Pulaski County Historical Society. His highly praised memoirs Unsung Valor: A GI’s Story of World War II (2000) received the Forrest C. Pogue Prize of the Eisenhower Center of American Studies in 2001, and his second autobiographical work, A Little Rock Boyhood: Growing Up in the Great Depression (2010), was released in April of 2010. Both memoirs can be found on and other popular book ordering sites.

Dr. Harrison is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Marian, his children, Kathleen and Lee Harrison, as well as Kathleen’s two sons, his grandsons, Robin and Sasha Hart.

A memorial service was held on June 24, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory was in charge of arrangements.



Annie Lee Works



A funeral service for Annie Lee Works, 86, of Opelika was held at 12 p.m. on June 23, 2012, at St. Luke A.M.E. Church with interment in Rosemere Cemetery. Rev. Richard Carter Jr. officiated.

Works passed in Tampa, Fla. She was a member of St. Luke A.M.E. Church. Until her health declined, she was an active member of several clubs and organizations. While residing in Tampa, Fla., she became a watch-care member of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church. A grandson, Samuel Clifford Cooper, preceded in death.

Her remains laid in state at the church one hour prior to the service.

Survivors include her three children, Calvin J. (Mildred) Cooper, Montgomery, Loretta C. Jackson and Sylvia M. Cooper (Richard) Ayjmanj both of Tampa, Fla.; grandchildren, Tamala (Eric) Amissah, Washington, D.C., Andrea Lizzie Jackson (special caregiver), Tampa, Fla. and Carly Marie Jackson, Tallahassee, Fla.; great grandchildren, Anna, Adam, AJ and Abigail Amissah; first cousins, Annie Lois Swanson-Tate and Willie James Willis both of Milwaukee, Wisc.; a sister-in-law, Anna L. Wright;  a special caregiver, Polly DeNeal Frederick, Opelika;  a host of nieces, nephews and cousins; the St. Luke church family and Tampa friends.

Peterson and Williams Funeral Home directed.



Benjamin Shepherd 1955-2012


A funeral service for Benjamin Shepherd, 57, of Auburn will be held today, June 29, at 12 p.m. at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church with interment in Westview Cemetery.  Rev. W. L. Muse will officiate.

Shepherd passed on June 20, at Lafayette Extended Care. He was a member of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.

His remains will lie in state at the church one hour prior to the service.

Survivors include a daughter, Maria D. (Israel) Rodriquez, Chicapee, Mass.; one grandson, Caleb Benjamin Rodriquez, Chicapee, Mass.; four sisters, Deloris Mixon, Washington D.C., Jeanette Ceasar and Marquetta (Geoffrey) Bennett both of Auburn and Patricia (Charles) Warren, Birmingham; three brothers, William Scott, Opelika, Robert Davis Jr., Fayettville, Ga. and Steve Davis, Atlanta; four stepsisters and seven step-brothers all of Auburn; a devoted niece, Kia Mixon, Washington, D.C.; devoted cousins, Walter (Nicole) Hensley, Hyattsville, Md., Jessie “Pap” Neal, Opelika, Cassandra (Leroy) Settles and Sherry (Raymond) Dillard both of Washington, D.C., James (Loretta) Neal, Beauregard, Pastor Sabrina (Bishop Michael) Williams, Lacy, Wash., Bridgett (Jimmy) Oliver, Notasulga, Zephaniah (Rev. Darren) Allen, Gardendale and Tamra (Steve) Lark, Fairburn, Ga.; his stepmother, (who he affectionately called ”Mom”) Mildred V. Davis, Opelika; the love of his life, Judy Marie Jones, Durham, N.C.; two god-sisters, Julia Finley, Opelika and Shirley Okim, Auburn; a god-brother, Robert Rowell, Auburn; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and his church family.

Peterson and Williams Funeral Home directed.



Dr. Mike Lisano -2012

Dr. Mike Lisano was a long-time resident of Auburn and Opelika for more than 40 years, and was a well-known professor of zoology and physiology, and also Associate Dean of the Graduate School, at Auburn University for 30 years.

In 1994, he founded Lisano International, a foreign educational credential evaluation service company. Dr. Lisano was a familiar figure in both Auburn and Opelika, having been a member and officer of the Elk’s Lodge in Opelika for many years, and also having once run for Mayor of Auburn in the early 1980’s. Dr. Lisano lived an accomplished life, receiving a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees from Sam Houston State University. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Bethany House (1171 Gatewood Drive, Auburn AL 36830), Four Paws Rescue (1027 Opelika Road, Auburn AL 36830), the American Cancer Society (3054 McGehee Rd., Montgomery, AL 36111), and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (100 Church Drive, Auburn AL 36830).

Dr. Lisano is survived by his wife, Debbie Lisano; son, Dr. Michael (Hui) Lisano, II of Pasadena, Calif.; daughter, Stefani (Pierre) Thabuis of Annecy, France; son, Jerry (Jenna) Henson of Yorktown, Va.; daughter, Dina (Jamie) Popwell of Fort Worth, Texas; grandchildren, Anna, Tristan, Michael, Alexis, Madison, Morgan and Conner; brother, Jim Lisano of Pasadena, Texas; sister, Gloria (Ken) Craib of Savannah, Ga.; and his beloved basset hound, Scout.

A memorial service was held at 4 p.m. on June 25, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, in Auburn. The family received visitors at 5 p.m.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed.



Jerry Carrington 1952-2012


A funeral service for Jerry “Stick” Carrington, 60, of Auburn was held at 3 p.m. on June 28, at Jeffcoat-Trant Chapel. Reverend Steve Scoggins officiated. Burial was held in Garden Hills Cemetery. Visitation was one hour prior to the service at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home.

Carrington was born on Feb. 28, 1952, in Opelika. He was a lifelong resident of Lee County. He passed away on June 25. He was retired from Uniroyal, Inc. with 22 years service. Following retirement, Jerry worked with the U.S.D.A. National Soils Dynamic Lab as an engineering technician. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Opelika and was a past coach in Opelika’s Dixie Youth softball and baseball organizations. Jerry “Stick” was an avid sportsman and loved bow hunting and fishing. He was preceded in death by his mother, Jean S. Carrington.

Survivors include his wife, Jan Carrington of Auburn; two daughters, Shannon (Carl) Dudley of Opelika, Carol (Jeff) Hart of Auburn; son, Jamie (Sue) Parham of Opelika; father, Charles L. Carrington of Waverly; seven grandchildren; two brothers, Charles (Kat) Carrington of Tallassee, David (Laura) Carrington of Waverly; one niece; one aunt; and several cousins.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed.



James R. Hurst 1931-2012


James R. Hurst, a resident of Opelika for over 50 years, passed away on June 20. James was born in Chambers County, on Aug. 15, 1931. He served in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Naval Reserve. He lived an accomplished life, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees from Auburn University in Agricultural Economics, and a Juris Doctorate from Jones Law Institute in Montgomery. His career spanned both the private Agricultural Industry and over two decades of serving as an Agricultural Economist at Auburn University. “Pops,” as he was affectionately known to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, considered his family as his greatest achievement.

He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Peggy Bibby Hurst; two children, James B. Hurst (Corinne) of Opelika, and Susan H. Thiele, of Atlanta; two grandchildren, James B. Hurst, Jr. of New York, and Ashley Hurst Underwood (Phillip), of Opelika; two great grandchildren, Phillip M. Underwood, III (Tripp) and Turner H. Underwood, of Opelika.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Lon Hurst and Louise Pilkington Hurst, his brother, Jack Wayne Hurst, and his son-in-law, Hans W. Thiele.

Visitation was held on June 23, at 10 a.m. at Frederick’s Funeral Home, with the funeral service to follow at 11 a.m. at Frederick’s Funeral Home.  Rev. Rick Lane of First United Methodist Church of Opelika officiated.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to BigHouse Foundation, PO Box 230, Opelika, AL 36803-0230, Fredericks Funeral Home directed.


William Joseph Polidoro 1918-2012


William “Bill” Joseph Polidoro of Auburn, was born on Nov. 6, 1918, in New York. He passed away June 20, at Bethany House in Auburn. He was an honorable man, a Christian, and worthy of imitation.

He loved and leaves the following: his wife of 69 years, Grace, and their three children: Keren Jones and husband, Frank, of Branson, Mo., Van Polidoro and wife Martina, of Hixon, Tenn. and Ben Polidoro and wife, Shelby, of Auburn. His grandchildren are: Bridget French and husband, Brad, of Charleston, S.C., Kristin Polidoro of Springhill, Tenn. and Amanda Demyan and husband, Christian, of Auburn. Great grandchildren are Owen “Bill” French and Kate French of Charleston, S.C. Bill especially loved his honorary son, John Dale Rector of Auburn.

His surviving sisters are Angelina Sweeney of Columbus, Ga., Susan Higgins of College Point, N.Y. and Rose Cervasio of Flushing, N.Y. Uncle Bill has many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews spread from coast to coast.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: For Paws Rescue, 1027 Opelika Road, Auburn, Lions Club Sight Project, or your favorite charity.

Visitation was at 2 p.m., on June 23, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home, Opelika with the celebration service to follow at 3 p.m.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directed.



Carolyn Whatley 1920-2012


Carolyn Whatley, a lifelong resident of Opelika died peacefully on June 19. She was 92.

A funeral service was held at 1 p.m. on June 23, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home. Hugh E. Shirah officiated. Graveside services were held immediately following the funeral at Garden Hills Cemetery.  The family received friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 22, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home.

Carolyn was born in West Point, Ga. Her family moved to Opelika when she was a small child. At the age of 12, Carolyn was baptized at Watoola Methodist Church where she proudly served as a member for the remainder of her life. She was an avid gardener, a great cook with the spiritual gift of Southern hospitality. She was a retiree of First National Bank of Opelika. In 1957, at the age of 37, she and her high school sweetheart Bruce Whatley were married. They were devoted to each other.

She was preceded in death by her beloved Bruce in 2005. Also, sister Sara Hill and brother Pete Barnes. Surviving relatives include sister Betty Rodriguez of Pompano Beach, Fla.; daughter Jo Hamilton and husband Bo of Arlington, Texas; son David Malone and wife Sandy of Opelika; four grandchildren; eight great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Gladys Whatley Blanton Scholarship Fund.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed.



Linda Elaine Chance 1947-2012


A funeral service for Linda Elaine Chance, 64, of Opelika, was at 2 p.m. on June 24, at Jeffcoat-Trant Chapel. Reverend Steve Scoggins officiated. Burial was held in Garden Hills Cemetery. Visitation was Saturday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home.

Chance was born on Oct. 29, 1947, in Dothan where she grew up, and has lived most of her life in Opelika. She was a member of Opelika First Baptist Church. She had worked at Diversified Products for 20 years, and was retired from Auburn University.

Survivors include her husband, Bernard Chance of Opelika; three children, Melissa (Mark) Still of Madison, Carla (Danny) King of Opelika, Chris Chance of Las Vegas, Nev.; mother, Elaine Roberts of Dothan; brother, Freddie Roberts of Sandy Hook, Mississippi; and five grandchildren.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed.



Richard C. Yarbrough, Jr. 1921-2012


A funeral service for Richard C. Yarbrough, Jr., 91, of Opelika was held at 11 a.m. on June 28, at Jeffcoat-Trant Chapel. Reverends Dan Pezet and Mark Lilly officiated. Burial was held in Garden Hills Cemetery. Visitation was Thursday one hour prior to the service at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home.

Yarbrough was born on May 8, 1921, in Elmore County. He passed away on June 24, at Bethany House in Auburn. Yarbrough was retired from Southern Natural Gas Co. with 40 years service and a number of years as district superintendant. He was a charter member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. Richard was an avid golfer and a member of Saugahatchee Country Club. He was a World War II Veteran and served in the European Theater. He was a devoted husband and father who will be missed greatly. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sarah Yarbrough; brother, Collins Yarbrough; sister, Pauline Ward and parents, Margaret and Richard C. Yarbrough.

Survivors include his sons, Richard C. (Wanda) Yarbrough, III of Calera, Ted Alan (Debbie) Yarbrough of Valley; nephew, Mike Yarbrough; nieces, Ann (Sonny) Brooks of Greenville, Mildred (James) Crew of Millbrook; three grandsons, and seven great grandchildren.

The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to Bethany House 1171 Gatewood Dr., Building 100 Auburn, AL 36830.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed.