July 28, 1946
March 31, 2024
(age 77)

Aug. 20, 1958
March 28, 2024
(age 65)

Oct. 12, 1948
March 26, 2024
(age 75)

Edward Joseph Loftus, Jr., 78, of Opelika passed away March 28, 2024. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward Joseph Loftus and Marie Connelly Loftus, and a granddaughter, Caitlin Rose Cummings.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane McDade Loftus; children, Rosemary (Alan) Cummings, Ted (Laura) Loftus, Susan (David) Johnston and Jason (Chrisdine) Loftus; sister, Theresa Farrelly; grandchildren, Michael (Carrie) Cummings, Paige Cummings, Jackson Cummings, Emily Johnston, Nick (Isabel) Johnston, Ryan Johnston, Catherine Loftus, Patrick Loftus and Sarah Loftus; great-grandchildren, Drake Cummings and Hank Cummings; and many well-loved nieces and nephews.
Ed was born in Philadelphia on Dec. 1, 1945. He was an athlete and played all sports, and he often received first aid by his parents, who were both nurses. Ed met the love of his life, Mary, in 1964, and they married in 1967. Ed served his country in the Marine Corps for three years. Ed graduated from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and worked for many years as a logistics manager at Ampex Corporation, Murphy Family Farms and Smithfield Farms in North Carolina. Ed and Mary moved to Opelika in 1984.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, April 4, at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home. A visitation will begin one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the EAMC Foundation in memory of Ed. Gifts can be made online at www.eastalabamahealth.org/foundation.

Ellen Jones Andrews, 77, of Auburn passed away at her home on March 30, 2024.
Ellen was born to Gray and Mary Alice Jones in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 20, 1947. She was a very caring, generous lady, a devoted wife and loving mother. If you knew her, you knew how much she loved and cherished her fur babies, especially Pepsi.
Ellen is survived by her daughter, Sharon Andrews (Sam Elkins) of Mt. Gilead, N.C.; sister, Mary Anne Ramseur (Bill) of Lancaster, S.C.; nephew, Bryon S. Sineff; grandchildren, Cullie and Samuel Elkins; and great-nephews Sean and Jackson Sineff.
A funeral service was held on April 2 in the Chapel at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home, with burial following in Garden Hills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family politely asks that you make a donation to the ASPCA to help stop animal cruelty.

Master Gunnery Sgt (E9) Gene R. Gibbs finished his earthly mission March 26, 2024. He loved his God, family and country with a dedication to serve each to his best ability.
He was born in Gary, Indiana, to Ralph Gibbs and Marcella (Watson) Gibbs.
His family moved to Decatur, Georgia, in 1941, where he graduated from Druid Hills High School in 1954 and immediately joined the Marine Corps. From there he went to Parris Island, S.C.,
for boot camp, NAS Memphis for electronics training, Torrance, California, as his first duty station, then on to Hawaii and Japan. Upon returning stateside, he was assigned to Cherry Point, N.C., where he worked on the electronics and countermeasures in VMCJ-2. It was here that he met Darla, who was also a Marine. He asked her to marry him, and because he was a great dancer Darla agreed. They were married July 23, 1960 in Havelock, N.C. After their first daughter was born, they moved back to NAS Memphis where he received advanced electronics training and became an instructor, and their other two daughters were born. After a tour in Vietnam, they moved three times in one year to Beaufort, S.C., Quantico, Virginia, and Camp Pendelton, California. He was decommissioned as an officer after rising to the rank of captain. After the Marine Corps, he started a new career as salesman for Motorola in Phoenix, Arizona. Two years later, Motorola sent him to Wiesbaden, Germany, where he was salesman covering
Europe, Middle East and Africa. Then it was back to Washington, D.C., for 10 months before being assigned to the Atlanta office. He also joined the Marine Reserves to complete his military career with over 24 years of service. After 13 years with Motorola, he and Darla moved to Opelika in 1983 and finally settled down. He owned CommTronics of Alabama, a shop selling and servicing two-way radios. As that industry changed, he went to work at Grand National Golf Course, where he maintained golf carts and did repairs until finally “really” retiring to enjoy family and friends.
Gene was as a volunteer fireman in Beauregard community when he first moved to Opelika. He was a member of the Exchange Club, serving as president at one time. He volunteered at the hospital until the COVID pandemic and was a poll worker for several years.
He and Darla served for two years as the first full time missionaries at Fort Benning (now Fort Moore) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2002-2004. When they weren’t teaching the Gospel to the recruits, they volunteered for the Red Cross and Martin Army Community Hospital.
In addition to his wife, Gene is survived by his children, Ellen McKee, Susan Caylor and Robyn Gilliam (Jack); grandchildren, Danielle Green, Michael Gibbs, Matthew Moore, Megan Caylor, Magen Moore and Chance Caylor; great-grandchildren, Audrey Gibbs, Pelham Torbert, Lydia Green and Talon Moore; sister, Janet Perkins; and brothers, Jerry Gibbs (Linda) and Gary Gibbs (Kathy).
He will be interred at Fort Mitchell with military honors. A celebration of his life will be held on May 4, with Frederick Dean Funeral Home overseeing arrangements. Semper Fi!

Charles Edward Lynn, 88, passed away on March 25, 2024.
He proudly served 22 years in the military, including two years in the Army and 20 years in the Air Force, reaching the rank of master sergeant as an information technology specialist. After military service, Charles returned to Opelika and joined Diversified Products as an IT professional until its closure.
His hobbies included being an avid and active golfer until the age of 84. He enjoyed walking the courses and fully taking in the nature and beauty around him. When his health interfered with his love of the sport, Charles found other ways to be active. He enjoyed tennis and biking, and he loved animals, wildlife, birds and particularly his dogs. He also enjoyed telling his loved ones what to do to fix what ailed them, including the use of holistic remedies he learned from his youth. His love and advice will be missed.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Rosa Lynn Hilyer; son, Kyle Lee Lynn; sisters, Ruby Lee Lynn Willett and Mary Frances Lynn; and brother, Arthur Gene (Bubba) Hilyer.
He is survived by his son, Brett Lynn (Karen); daughter, Tanya Lynn (Herbert Bates III); granddaughter, Kylee Faith Lynn; sisters, Mary Goggans, Patricia Hilyer and Elsie Balcom; step-grandchildren, Brie Morgan, Kalen Bates, Seth Eason, Caleb Eason, Samantha Carpenter; and dear friend, Sandra Cantrell.
A graveside service was held at Garden Hills Cemetery on March 30, with Frederick Dean Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Bethany House, The Cancer Center, EAMC, Arbor Springs Rehabilitation Center of the hospital of your choice.

G. Michael Cronin, 73, of Auburn, passed away at his home on March 27, 2024, following a short battle with cancer.
Michael was born April 29, 1950, in Jacksonville, Florida, to Gerald “Hook” Cronin and Doris Hudson Cronin.
Michael was a member of the Twin City Lodge #76 F&AM, where he served as treasurer. He was also a lifelong Eagle Scout.
He retired from a long, successful sales career in the computer and technology industry, managing territories from the East Coast to South America. Michael graduated from Auburn University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, followed by a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1975 and an MBA from Xavier University in 1978.
Michael had a deep love for all things Auburn, especially football. He was a member of the Samford Society, George Petrie Society and a Auburn Alumni Association.
He loved to travel, especially to Maui and Key West. He had a passion for art and antiques and enjoyed collecting gumball machines. Michael loved to share his passions and enjoyed teaching others about them, especially his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Deborah G. Cronin, of Auburn; daughters, Carey Cronin, Oklahoma City and Katie Cronin Davis (Brandon) of Enterprise; and two grandchildren, Wyatt & Kinley Davis, Enterprise.
A memorial service was held April 2 at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home in Opelika. Donations may be made in Michael’s memory to the Glioblastoma Foundation to help fund future research.

Betty Jean Chadwick Martin, 78, of Opelika passed away on March 24, 2024, to join her beloved husband Ronnie and special daughter Betty (Bo-Bo) after an unexpected and intense hospital stay.
Betty was born Oct. 22, 1945, in Macon County, Alabama, the youngest of six siblings. She married the love of her life directly out of high school. She worked her entire life to help care for her family, from substitute teaching to retiring after more than 37 years from Wrights Market, where she was always known as Ms. Betty.
She loved taking care of her family and having them get together. One of her greatest joys came from being able to help others. She enjoyed making flower arrangements for family and friends.
In addition to her husband and daughter, Betty was preceded in death by a grandson, Scooter, a son, William, and four of her siblings, Frances, Martha, Yancey and David.
She is survived by her grandsons, Justin and Jonathan, daughter Kathy (Terry), granddaughter Betty (Dusty), children of her heart, son Hurbert (Angel), daughter Sheri, niece Rita, numerous nieces, nephews, grand and great grand nieces and nephews, one brother.
A graveside service was held March 28 at Garden Hill Cemetery in Opelika, with Frederick-Dean Funeral Home assisting with arrangements.

Mary Kathleen Pratt Long “Granny Kathleen,” age 95, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at home surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on January 28, 1929, in Columbus, Georgia, and was one of three children.
She was preceded in death by her father, Raleigh Pratt; mother, Elsie Hale; stepfather, Sanford Hale; brother, Reginald Pratt; twin sister, Nadine Pratt; first husband of 39 years, Charles Champion; husband of 32 years, Jay K. Long; son-in-law, Wesley Prince; and grandchildren, Eric Champion and Jacqueline Dumay.
Survivors include her daughters, Karen Prince and Dianna Lynn Foxx; son, Charles Champion (Renee); grandchildren, Robert Prince (Leah), Chris Champion, Amy Spraggins, Ashley McClain-Lyons (Julie), JT McClain (Maggie), Jeremy Prince (Mandy), Matthew Champion (Elan), Jonathan McClain (Jane), Kee McClain (Brooke), Travis Champion and Alana Kathleen Cool (Brent), as well as 22 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.
Granny Kathleen was very proud to have grown up in the Pepperell Mill Village of Opelika. She often told of so many cherished childhood stories of the “good life” she had there. She also attended the Pepperell Baptist Church where she was a very active member and was greatly influenced by the pastor there to attend Bob Jones University in Cleveland, Tennessee. She worked hard to graduate early from Opelika High School and worked after school in the mill to save up enough money to attend BJU. After attending BJU for 2 years she returned home and met Charles Champion, a “handsome sailor.” They married and moved to Hawaii, and she so enjoyed relaying stories of her time there. A few years later they returned to the Opelika area where she worked as a seamstress. She also enjoyed the years she worked as a teacher’s aide and eventually as a librarian.
After the death of her husband, Charles, to whom she was married for 39 years, she remarried Jay K. Long, and they were married for 32 years before he passed.
Granny Kathleen was a devoted Christian mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was incredibly intelligent, loved puzzles, researching family history and genealogy and studying the Bible. An avid reader, she truly loved to learn. She also enjoyed traveling with her family.
Granny Kathleen was known for her radiant smile, her unparalleled walk with the Lord and her commitment to daily prayer for her family as she prayed for them each by name every night. She was a constant source of unconditional love, support, wisdom, advice, guidance, warmth and prayer. She made sure to instill her faith in God into the heart of her family. She is greatly treasured and will be deeply missed.
A funeral service was held March 29 in the Jeffcoat-Trant Chapel, officiated by Dr. Jeff Myers and followed by graveside services at Garden Hills Cemetery.

Kaye Batchelor, 84, of Dadeville went home to be with the Lord on March 20, 2024. She was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, as an only child to Eloise “Honey Bee” Batchelor and Graham Batchelor.
Her favorite accomplishment in life was being voted as Tallahassee’s 122nd May Court Queen by her fellow Leon Lion high school students in 1957. She later attended Belhaven College and made lifelong friends there, as well. She was a huge college football fan, very partial to UGA, where her father was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996. She enjoyed watching FSU, UGA, Auburn AND Alabama with friends and family and was known to not take your call if it was during a game.
She is survived by her daughter, Kasha Givens Brown (Jason) of Auburn and grandsons Bladon and Tucker K. Brown.
A memorial service was held at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home in Opelika on March 25.

Jean Carter Clonts, 83 of Auburn, Alabama, passed away Monday, March 25, 2024. Born on Oct. 18, 1940, she lived in Dadeville, Alabama, for five years with her mother and grandfather while her father was serving in World War II. After the war, the family moved to Opelika.
Jean attended Opelika High School and furthered her education at Auburn University. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Opelika, where she found solace and community.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents, George Richard Carter and Hazel Tillery Carter and by her brother, Richard Ross Carter. She is survived by her loving husband, Howard Clonts (married 62 years) of Auburn and daughters, Lynne Ninas (Larry) and Connie Cambron (Rodney). She is also survived by four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Jean was a thoughtful and caring person who enjoyed bridge, Bible study, needlework, puzzles and reading. The memorial service was held at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Eric Montgomery Ford passed away on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. He was 59 years old.
Eric was born in Athens, Georgia, on July 6, 1964, to Ralph Montgomery Ford and Jo Leslie Wharton Sandefur Ford Heath. Eric grew up and lived his life in Auburn, Alabama.
He is survived by his wife Jody Lynn Boda Ford, his mother Jo Leslie Wharton Sandefur Ford Heath, his brothers Jay Sandefur and Robert Ford and his sister Peggy Browning.
Eric was loved by many in the community for his many talents in music and art. He was a loyal friend who would help anyone in need. He was a wonderful man, husband, son, brother and friend. He is gone too soon, and will be terribly missed.