Susan Rae (Looney) Anderson, 67, of Opelika, Alabama, passed away on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, surrounded by family.
She was born to parents John Looney and Roberta Amrani on March 16, 1956, in Arlington, Virginia.
She spent most of her childhood enjoying the great outdoors with brothers Greg Looney and Jack Looney, before she graduated from Falls Church High School in 1974. She went on to study Forest Management at Virginia Tech and graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
Susan met Scott Anderson in the fall of 1974 through a mutual friend at Viriginia Tech. They were married on Aug. 29, 1979, in Falls Church, Virginia. From there, they moved to South Dakota where Susan pursued a career in forestry until pausing to start a family. Together they raised two children: John Marshall (JM) and Eric. After several more moves to Pennsylvania and New York, they settled in Opelika.
While continuing to nurture her sons and an ever-growing circle of friends, Susan also decided to make a change: earning a master’s degree in elementary education from Troy University in 2002. After a short stint teaching, she finished her career working for 13 years as a research compliance specialist for Auburn University until retiring in 2016.
And those were just her day jobs. She was active in many charitable endeavors such as Jean Dean Reading is Fundamental, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Craig County Historical Society, and the Horseshoe Bend Library Board. For almost a decade, Susan wrote a beloved slice-of-life column for the Opelika-Auburn News and the Lafayette Sun. She was also devoted to her Sunday School class of several decades at First Baptist Church Opelika.
In her free time, Susan loved making and crafting. She was an incredibly talented painter and quilter, who also liked to dabble in whatever crafts caught her fancy. She enjoyed cooking and baking, particularly “old family recipes,” although she never met a recipe that she didn’t tinker with. She never lost her love for the great outdoors, enjoying many happy hours in her garden and on camping trips with her family. She had an adventurous spirit, even traveling to Ireland with friends in March of 2022. She was something of an amateur archivist, passionately pursuing her family genealogy and preserving and even cataloguing various family heirlooms and relics. Any other spare moment was spent reading the Bible and other books.
The greatest comfort to those Susan leaves behind are the stories about her from the many people she collected into her circle of friends and family. She touched more people than she knew, and their stories about her compassionate, no-nonsense care are a testament to her dedication to her faith in God and her own principles. She was a true “community builder,” and her community misses her dearly.
Susan is survived by her husband Scott Anderson; sons John Marshall Anderson and Eric Anderson; daughter-in-law Emily Anderson; grandsons Peter Anderson and Henry Anderson; brothers Greg Looney and Jack Looney; sisters-in-law Linda Looney, Connie Strickland and Kay Milshaw; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

Dr. Charles White passed away Jan. 27, 2024.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home, with visitation beginning at 1 p.m. Burial will follow in Town Creek Cemetery.
Dr. White grew up in Wabash, Indiana, where he earned the Eagle Scout rank. He received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Purdue University (1955) and master’s (1957) and Ph.D. (1962) in industrial engineering. He worked as an engineer for Armour & Company in Chicago until he was recruited by Auburn University in 1965, where he served approximately 30 years as a tenured professor in the College of Engineering until retiring in 1994.
Dr. White served actively in the U.S. Air Force and reserves for 37 years, retiring in 1993 at the rank of Brigadier General. He enjoyed family activities and arranged many vacations and trips. His interest in Civil War history provided the basis for trips to Civil War monuments, cemeteries, prisons, battlefields and museums.
Dr. White and his wife rescued stray puppies that came to their home over the years, and his favorite was Pepper, his constant companion. He was a loyal fan of Purdue’s Boilermakers football team.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Thelma White of Wabash, Indiana. He is survived by his wife Bonnie, daughter Wendy, son Justin, stepson Brendan and wife Holly Burks and three grandchildren, Anna Cate, Claire and Owen.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Veterinary Clinic at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University.

JoAnn E. McClendon, 90, of Lilburn, Georgia, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. Her final days were spent surrounded by family at Arbor Springs Health and Rehab in Opelika. She was born in Decatur, Georgia, on Oct. 4, 1933, to Joe and Hilda Esco. She was a graduate of Decatur Girls High School in 1950. She was a bookkeeper at Taurus Volkswagen and Roswell Auto Parts for many years. Once she became a grandmother, she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. She was a member of Hebron Baptist Church. JoAnn loved sports and University of Georgia football. She was an animal lover and adored her dogs.
JoAnn will be missed by her surviving family. She is survived by her daughter and son in law, Debbie and Bill Perkins of Opelika; brother and sister-in-law, Charlie and Laverne Esco of Winder, Georgia; two grandchildren, Billy Perkins (Kate) of Gallatin, Tennessee, and Katie Wood (Brian) of Opelika; five great-grandchildren, Sadie & Easton Wood, Lily Anne, Mattie Lou and Ford Perkins; brother- and sister-in-law, Michael and Wanda McClendon; sisters-in-law, Louise Arthur and Jennette Fowler; cousin, Betty Patton and several nieces and nephews.
JoAnn is now reunited with her son, Thomas Michael (Mike) Fowler; husband of seven years, Thomas Fowler (father of children); husband of 25 years, Kenneth McClendon; and her parents Joseph and Hilda Esco.
A celebration of her life will be held at Decatur, Ga., Cemetery on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at 11 a.m. This will be a combined graveside service to honor JoAnn and her son Mike Fowler.
JoAnn will be deeply missed by all who loved her. The family would like to thank the staff at Arbor Springs Health & Rehab and Southeast Hospice for the love and care they provided for JoAnn in her final days.

Douglas Theodore Mitchell Sr., 82, of Opelika passed away on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.
Doug was born on June 15, 1941, in Opelika to Ralph and Dot Mitchell. After graduating from Opelika High School, he attended Auburn University, Opelika Trade School and continuing education courses in specialized areas of his various work fields.
Doug was predeceased by his parents and his wife of 56 years, Ann Garrett Mitchell. He is survived by his children, Beverly Mitchell Marlett and Doug (Genna) Mitchell Jr.; his grandchildren, Stephanie Marlett, Joey (Abbie) Marlett, Andrea M. (Bryan) Parrott and Justin (Hayden) Mitchell; two sisters, Joanne M. Scarbrough and Susan M. Henderson; brothers-in-law Ronnie (Corinne) Garrett and Dean (Sharee) Garrett; and sisters-in-law Sandra G. (Lonnie) Cole, Brenda G. Weldon, Linda G. (Chris) Davis and Cynthia G. Orrick.
A funeral service was held at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home in Opelika on Jan. 31, with burial in Garden Hills Cemetery. Memorials can be made to the Barrel of Love Ministry at First Methodist Church, 702 Avenue A, Opelika, AL 36801.
Gary Joe Perkins passed away on Jan. 26, 2024. He was a loving and faithful husband, a dedicated father and a wonderful G to his grandkids. He enjoyed running marathons, managing his business and attending sporting events of all kinds including many games involving the Jackson Aggies and Auburn Tigers.
Gary attended Mississippi State University on a track scholarship before graduating with an accounting and transportation degree in 1966. After being a supervisor at Ciba-Geigy in McIntosh, Alabama, he began a long successful career as a State Farm Insurance agent in Jackson and Chatom. He retired in 2002 and moved to Auburn, where he took up golf and ate breakfast at Chappy’s.
He was proceeded in death by his parents (Robert and Edna Earle) and two brothers (Bobby and Ricky).
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Vann, his two sons Phil Perkins and Russell (Deanna) Perkins. Gary also has five grandchildren: Collin (Savannah), Maria, Grace, Maggie and Natalie; and one great grandchild, Lucie.
There will be a Celebration of Life event for Gary at a later date. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home of Opelika is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers please make any donations to your local humane society in honor of Gary’s two deceased labs (Quentin and Laci) and his surviving lapdog Lulu.

Earl Van “Buck” Buxton III passed away on Jan. 20, 2024, with his wife and family present.
Buck was born in Opelika on July 26, 1957, to Elizabeth and Earl Van Buxton Jr. He graduated from Opelika High School in 1975. He worked over 20 years at Diversified Products, an extended time at Quality Screw & Nut and he was currently working at HL Logistics.
Buck was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Michele (Taylor); daughter, Lauren; sisters, Loretta Buxton Adkins and Wynette Buxton; nieces and nephews, Seth Ward, Candice Walton, Scott Adkins and Steven Adkins; and several great nephews and nieces.
Buck loved family vacations at the beach, Auburn football and basketball, old westerns, and World War II movies, but most of all, spending time with his wife and daughter.
Buck was a member of the 10th Street Church of Christ. Even though his involvement with the church came later in his life, in the last five years, he came to know the love of a family he didn’t know he had.

Jeffery Keith Blackstone, 64, of Valley passed away peacefully on Jan. 22, 2024. Jeff was a loving, caring and thoughtful person, always known for his quick, jovial humor and his willingness to help others in any way that he could. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and a recent great-grandfather.
Jeff attended the Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Police Academy in Jacksonville, Alabama in 1995 before starting his career at the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, from which he retired as Chief Investigator. Most recently, he was employed with J.C. Colley as a truck driver.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Eleanor Rae Cook, and his grandparents, Clarence Jefferson Whitley and Hattie Brown Whitley.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Cassie Blackstone; his children Benjamin Blackstone, Matthew (Karley) Blackstone, Joseph Blackstone, Teila (Chase) Williams, Gabrielle (Russell) Shaver, Jacob Kyle Blackstone; his grandchildren Tyler, Brelyn, Eden, Caitlin, Justin, Mason, Joseph, Meah, Aubrey, Chelsey, Dayton, Brody, Camilyn (CJ); his great grandchild Kaleb; Mother in law Sandra Chewning; Sister in law Barbie (Alan) Belcher; and numerous nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.
A funeral service was held at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home Chapel in Opelika on Jan. 28, followed by a graveside service.

Linda Frances McEwen Schrenkel passed away on Jan. 24, 2024, at the age of 79. She was born to Robert C. and Beatrice Scott McEwen in Akron, Ohio, where she was raised. After moving to Alabama, Linda became a long-time resident of Auburn, where she delighted in spending time with her family, especially with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed gardening, Auburn football and traveling with her friends. Linda was active in her church and in the Central Alabama Emmaus community.
Linda was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her children, Angel (Leslie) Dorman and Jim (Carmen) Schrenkel; her grandchildren Ryan Dorman, Katie (Kullen) Williams, Alex (Zach) Vaughn and Adam Summers; her great-grandchildren, Jonah and Ryder Williams and Henry Vaughn; her sisters, Pat (Tim) Carr and Sue McDonald; brother Tom (Pat) McEwen; and nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff at Auburn Assisted Living for Linda’s care over the past several years, and Arbor Springs and Southeast Hospice for their care of Linda during her last weeks.
A celebration of life was held Jan. 29 at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home in Opelika, with Rev. John Fox officiating, followed by a private family burial.

Frances “Momsie” Stevenson, 90, passed away on Jan. 23, 2024, in Opelika. She was born on June 18, 1933, in Sturkie, Chambers County, Alabama.
Frances was known for her duty, integrity, and loyalty. As the eldest of her siblings during the Depression era, she played a crucial role in raising her younger brothers and sisters. Sheretired as the secretary to the president at Auburn University after having served under two other presidents, the board of trustees and the faculty athletic committee. She taught Sunday school to international students and served as a deacon for First Baptist Church of Auburn.
Frances was preceded in death by her husband, James “Bob” Stevenson, parents, Clatie and Foster Strozier, daughter, Ruth Marie Stevenson and sister, Mae Woods.
She is survived by her children, Amy Hall (Reg) and Mark Stevenson; grandchildren, Mary Virginia Churchill (Daniel), Taylor Reid Stevenson, Shelby Tucker Stevenson (Devyn); and great-grandchildren, Atticus Stroud and Mylo Stevenson; siblings, Henry Thomas “Buck” Strozier (Peggy) of Opelika, John Wheeler Strozier of Opelika, Myrtis Lee Strozier Bish (Ken) of Macon, Georgia, and Robert Foster “Bobby” Strozier of Opelika.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to Arbor Springs Health and Rehab for their attentiveness and loving care.
A funeral service was held Jan. 29 at First Baptist Church of Auburn, with Rev. Dr. Tripp Martin officiating and Frederick-Dean Funeral Home directing. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Auburn First Baptist Church in memory of Frances Stevenson.

Beatrice (Bea) Owen Grantham, 100, of Opelika passed away on Jan. 21, 2024. Born on July 30, 1923, in Talladega, Bea was a beloved mother and grandmother.
She graduated from Russell High School and Baxter Gospel School in Dallas, Texas. She was a top vocalist who travelled and sang with several gospel quartets for many years. She was also a member of Union Grove Baptist Church.
Bea was preceded in death by her husband, Joe L Grantham; parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Owen; brother, JR. Owen; and sister, Ethel Browning.
She is survived by her two sons, Ronald Holman (Skillet) and Preston Terry Holman, and three grandchildren, Allen Holman, Melinda Gray and Sandy Waldo.
A funeral service was held Jan. 24 at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Billy Duncan officiating.

William “Bill” M. McLeroy Jr., 83, of Opelika was born in Lincoln County, Georgia, on November 29, 1940 and passed away at Arbor Lakes on Jan. 21, 2024. He was the epitome of what every husband and father should aspire to be.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Opelika and proudly served his country with honor in the U.S. Army (Vietnam era). During his three decades of work at Ampex, he exemplified hard work, dedication and loyalty.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Amber McLeroy; parents, William and Elsie McLeroy; sisters, Dathia Summerlin and Lyn Mizerany; brother, Morgan McLeroy; and nieces, Julie and Penny. He now joins them in eternal peace, leaving behind a legacy of love and cherished memories.
He is survived by his children, Lee McLeroy (Vickie), April Doss-McLeroy (Candi); grandchildren, Justin McLeroy (Courtney Harris) and Chris McLeroy; great-grandchildren, Hudson, Sawyer and Sutton McLeroy; sister, Diann Collins (Richard); nieces and nephews, Dathia, Morgan, Brandon, Will and Colleen; and many great nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.
A memorial service was held Jan. 29 in the Chapel at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Brantwood Children’s Home in Montgomery or Toys for Tots/FOP Lodge 21 in Opelika.

Stuart Warren Whatley Sr. of Opelika passed away Jan. 18, 2024. He was born on Aug. 12, 1935.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Mary Celia Whatley; his parents, Thomas Jefferson Whatley II and Marjorie Whatley Funchess; and his brothers, Thomas Jefferson Whatley III and Richard Whatley. He is survived by four children, Warren (Cathy) Whatley, Rebecca (Ricky) Holder, Craig (Elizabeth) Whatley and Teresa (Shane) Owens; eight grandchildren, Myles (Alex) McDevitt, Mary Stuart McDevitt, Mary Katherine (Levi) Wilkins, Olivia (Rhett) Rivera, Hunter Whatley, Noah Whatley, Chase Owens and Mason Owens; and one great grandson, Hank Wilkins.
Stuart was raised in the Beauregard community. He graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, with a degree in agricultural science. While enrolled at API, Stuart belonged to Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and was a member of the wrestling team. He served in the Navy National Guard from 1953-1956 during the Korean and Vietnam wars. After a short time as a fertilizer salesman, Stuart returned to Beauregard to run the family’s 755-acre farm.
Stuart and his family were Lee County’s and Alabama’s Outstanding Young Farm Family and a finalist in the national competition in 1970. Stuart was active in many professional organizations, including serving on the board of directors of the American Dairy Association and Alabama State Dairy Committee. He was active in Jaycees and was chairman of annual giving for the Boy Scouts of America in the Beauregard Community. He was a founding member of the Auburn University Tip Off Club and an active member of Trinity Methodist Church in Opelika. After retiring from the diary business, Stuart opened a wholesale greenhouse business in Beauregard supplying the community with beautiful flowers and plants.
A memorial service was held Jan. 25 at Trinity Methodist Church, with Rev. Earl Ballard officiating and Frederick-Dean Funeral Home assisting with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Trinity Methodist Church in Opelika.

Lonnie Joe McKee, 71, of Opelika passed away peacefully on Jan. 17, 2024, at EAMC after a long illness. He worked at Lee OB/GYN for 30 years as a janitor, in maintenance and in supplies. He also worked at Premium Beverage. He loved to watch pro wrestling and Moonshiners on TV.
He was preceded in death by his father, Rev. Charlie Barney McKee, mother, Helen Weaise Berry McKee and brother, Jerry Jerome Berry Sr. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Marie McKee, daughter Bobbie McKee and son Michael McKee, all of Opelika, many nieces, nephews and cousins from Dadeville and Dothan, special cousin Rickey Moore of Dothan, special friend Dr. Kenny Harris of Auburn and three special cats.
No services are scheduled, according to Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home of Opelika.