Rebecca Denton Black Richardson


Rebecca (Becki) Denton Black Richardson, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away on Dec. 3, 2023, at the age of 72, in Opelika, Alabama. Born on Aug. 29, 1951, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Rebecca was a loving and compassionate person who dedicated herself to spreading joy and making others smile. She had a heart for travel and adventure, ensuring that her children and grandchildren experienced the beauty our country had to offer. Rebecca was also an avid animal lover, always ready to lend a helping hand to our furry friends.

Rebecca is survived by her devoted husband, Steve Richardson of Auburn, Alabama, her loving son, David Richardson of Auburn, Alabama, her caring son, Stewart Black of Auburn, Alabama, and her cherished daughter-in-law Brandi Black of Auburn, Alabama. She will be also be remembered by her three adoring grandchildren, Hailey, Peyton, and Bradley Black, all of Auburn, Alabama. Additionally, Rebecca is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. William Denton of Birmingham, Alabama.

Rebecca was preceded in death by her father, William Denton, and her mother, Rebecca Ann Denton. Their memories will forever be treasured by those whose lives they touched.

A memorial service to celebrate Rebecca’s life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home & Crematory in Opelika, Alabama. Visitation will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the parlor, followed by the memorial service at 1 p.m. in the Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the charity of your choice in Rebecca’s honor.

The compassionate staff at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home & Crematory in Opelika, Alabama, is assisting the family with the arrangements.


Donald “Don” Franklin Lawrence, 86, of Opelika, passed away Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, at East Alabama Medical Center. A celebration of life service will be held Thursday, Dec. 7, at First Methodist Church, with the Rev. Timothy Thompson officiating. Burial will follow at Garden Hills Cemetery with Don’s six grandsons serving as pallbearers.
Don was born in Maplesville, Alabama, the 10th of 12 children born to Choba and Irene Lawrence. He spent his early years working at the family farm, local feed store and meat market.
Following high school graduation, Don moved to a garage apartment in Opelika to start school at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) in Auburn. Just days after arriving, he caught the eye of Betty Jo Gray, a teenage girl visiting Don’s landlord, and for Betty it was love at first sight. Even before she knew who he was, she told her mother and sister that he was taken. The two did, indeed, fall in love and were married a year later, on June 21, 1959. The couple had three children and Don juggled fatherhood, work and school as he could afford tuition. Ten years after beginning classes, Don graduated from AU in 1967 with a degree in business.
He spent most of his adult life in Opelika, working for Alagasco, Diversified Products and PowerGuard. He ended his career working at First Methodist Church, where he was a long-time member. He served on several church committees, participated in JOY (Just Older Youth) Fellowship and was a charter member of the Thoroughman Sunday School Class. In the community, Don was a member of a supper club of friends and the local group of ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out).
He had a great wit, a hilarious sense of humor and loved to play guitar and sing silly songs. He was a gentle soul with a servant’s heart, always finding ways to help others, especially his sisters. He was an avid hunter (hunting turkeys was his favorite) and a huge fan of the Atlanta Braves and the Auburn Tigers.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 58 years, Betty (2018); and siblings Branson, Evelyn, Lovice, Choba Jr., Inez, Nettie, Vernel and Geneva.
He is survived by his sons, Joel (Jan) Lawrence of Salem and Tommy (Heidi) Lawrence of Parker, Texas; one daughter, Leigh Ann (Dave) Michalek of Henderson, Texas; 10 grandchildren, Chance, Caleb and Clarke Lawrence of Salem, Nicole (Marc) Dube of Brentwood, Tennessee, Coby (Ajay) Michalek of Dripping Springs, Texas, Kacie (Will) Grinnan of San Antonio, Texas, Ryan (Mallory) Lawrence of Shawnee, Kansas, Austin Lawrence of Sachse, Texas, and Dillon and Meghan Lawrence of Plano, Texas; nine great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Augusta L’Ecuyer Harris, Bettye Mitchell and Barbara Rush.
The family would like to extend their gratitude for the prayers and support of friends, the CVICU staff at East Alabama Medical Center and care-angel Monique Brooks.
To make a financial gift in memory of Don, the family suggests the Food Bank of East Alabama (355 Industry Dr., Auburn, AL 36832).
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory is handling arrangements.