Obituaries

Charlie Ayers, Jr.
Mr. Charlie Ayers, Jr., 79, of Northport, formerly of Detroit, Mich., passed away on November 2, 2019 at Hospice of West Alabama. Services were at 12 p.m. Monday, November 11, 2019 at Weeping Mary Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Cedar Oak Memorial Park with Van Hoose & Steele Funeral Home directing.
He was born in Coatopa, however he was raised in Tuscaloosa, and attended school in the Tuscaloosa City School System. Mr. Ayers graduated from Druid High School in 1959 where he lettered in football. In the course of his educational endeavors, he received numerous awards for his athletic abilities in baseball as well as football which enabled him to receive a full paid scholarship to Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. Upon receiving his dual degree in Mathematics and Physical Education & Health, he relocated to Detroit, Mich. where he gained employment with Great Lakes Steel. After a short stay with the steel company, Mr. Ayers became employed with United Insurance Company as an Insurance Agent and later as a Staff Manager for over thirty years while utilizing his leadership, time management, negotiating, analytical and marketing skills. As a result of his skill set, he was highly regarded with great respect and recognition, and also received many awards and accolades for his people skills and talents; resulting in many yearly bonuses and company trips for his exemplary performance. He also co-owned and managed Cleve’s Lounge in southwest Detroit, Mich. with his brother, Cleveland Ayers, for many years. He was a member of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, Mich. under the leadership of Rev T. Chapman and was a member of the Security Team at the church. He was also an award winning pool player and avid gardener who was known for his meticulous lawn. His social affiliations over the years included his passionate ties to Tuscaloosa as President and member of the Detroit Chapter of the Tuscaloosa Reunion Club. He was a member of the Metropolitan Elks Lodge #962, The River Rats Pool League, Tuesday’s Bid Whist/Spades Club, Wild Game Club and a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.
He was preceded in death by his father, Mr. Charlie Ayers Sr.; mother, Mrs. Eunice Fenderson Ayers; sister, Mary Ayers; brothers, Cleveland Ayers and James Ayers.
Survivors include his caring and devoted wife Mrs. Lillie Blackmon Ayers; two devoted children: daughter Tonja L. Ayers “The Shoe Lady” and son Tony D. Ayers; three grandchildren Antoine Lamont Ayers, Jacquelyn D. Samuel and Antonio D. Samuel; and one great-grandson of Detroit, Mich.; brothers Readies Ayers (Bessie) of Detroit, Mich., Amos Ayers (Selma) of St. Petersburg, Fla., Perry Ayers (Laura) of Honolulu, Hawaii and Jimmy Ayers of Tuscaloosa; sisters Earlean Ayers and Margaret Ayers both of Tuscaloosa; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Kathleen Waller Banks
Kathleen Waller Banks, 87, of Eutaw, passed away Friday, November 8, 2019, at Forest Manor Nursing Home in Tuscaloosa. Services were 3 p.m. Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Eutaw, with Rev. Dan Thornton officiating.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, Alexander and Lucile Crawford Waller of Greensboro; and her sister, Martha Erickson (Dick) of Mobile.
She was married to the late Philip Barbour Minor Banks of Eutaw and is survived by her daughter, Lucile Banks (Michael Case) of Eutaw; son, Philip Barbour Minor Banks, Jr. (Catherine) of Dallas, Texas; and grandchildren, Ruth and Philip, III, “Trey.” She leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews, as well as, great nieces and nephews. Mrs. Banks was lovingly cared for by Wanda Finch of Northport who became a second daughter to her.
Kathleen graduated from The University of Alabama where she was a member of Kappa Delta sorority. She was very involved in her church, St. Stephens, and served as President of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of Alabama. Kathleen was kind, funny, a wonderful friend who loved playing bridge and was an excellent shot. She was a diehard Alabama football fan and while living at Capstone Village she always wrote thank you notes to Coach Saban each year at the end of football season. Having been in heaven only 15 hours before the LSU game, she clearly wasn’t there long enough to help on Saturday, but we feel certain she is already working on the Iron Bowl.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Saint Stephens Episcopal Church in Eutaw or Hospice of West Alabama.

Ernest W. Collins, III
Ernest W. Collins, III, 72, of Eutaw, passed away on November 10, 2019 at DCH Regional Medical Center. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel Funeral Home with Jay Seal officiating. Burial will follow in Tuscaloosa Memorial Park. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the funeral home.
He was preceded in death by his mother Mary Louise “Bebe” Williams Collins; father Mayor Ernest Wilson “Rainy” Collins, Jr.; sisters Carolyn Collins Ingle and Louise Collins.
Survivors include his wife of 23 years Debbie Presley Collins; daughters Laura Collins Lee and Holly Kate Collins; son Roger Dale Bunn; granddaughters, Ivie Kate Lee, Rainy Gene Lee; niece Meredith Ingle; nephew Chip Ingle; and adopted grandchildren Abby Jackson, Trey (Samuel) R. Jackson, III.
Ernest was born in Tuscaloosa on August 19, 1947. He graduated with a degree from the University of Alabama and later taught at Westlawn Junior High School. He also managed the Dollar Hide Hunting Club. His passions were Alabama Football, hunting, and going to the beach with his family. Ernest loved people and telling tall tales. His wit, smile, and kind spirit were well-known.
Pallbearers will be Sammy Jackson, Ed Lee, Mike Morrison, Will Morrison, Dale Pate and Daniel Pate. In special memory of Ernest, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society and Hospice of West Alabama.

Rodney Earl Gaines
Service for Rodney Earl Gaines was held Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Shiloh C. M. E. Church with Rev. Luther Edwards officiating.
Rodney was born to Charlie and Cecilia Coleman Gaines on October 3, 1986 in Waukegan, Ill. He departed this earthly life on October 22, 2019 in Tuscaloosa. He was preceded in death by: his grandparents, Robert Coleman, Lillie Gaines, Thomas Crowell; great grandparents, Charlie Ed Grant, Sr., LG Grant; and uncle, Charlie Ed Grant, Jr.
Rodney accepted Christ at a young age and joined Shady Grove C. M. E. Church. He later became a member of Shiloh C. M. E. Church.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his mother Cecilia Coleman Gaines (Steve Rush); his father Charlie Gaines, Sr.; one sister Jamara Coleman; one brother Charlie Gaines, Jr.; a grandmother Geneva Crowell; two uncles Kelvin Coleman, Darren Grant; one great uncle Willie Ed (Bessie) Grant; two great aunts Ruthie Grant, Mary Merrida Grant; a host of other relatives and friends.
The Celebration of Life was rendered by Weatherly-Studdard Memorial Funeral Home of Butler.

Annie B. Hodges Garner
Mrs. Annie B. Hodges Garner, 85, of Aliceville, passed away on Monday, November 4, 2019 at her residence. Visitation was Friday, November 8, 2019 from 1-6 p.m. at Lavender’s Funeral Service. The home going celebration was Saturday, November 9, 2019, 11 a.m. at Dancy First Baptist Church, 797 Hwy. 17 S., Aliceville. The body lay in state in the church one hour prior to the service. Internment was in Dancy First Baptist Cemetery. Rev. Robert Jackson, pastor of Dancy First Baptist Church, was the eulogist. Lavender’s Funeral Service, Aliceville, 205-373-2420, directed.
Survivors are the Garner, Hodges, Hurst, Ruffin, and Williams families.

Melvin Jolly
Funeral wervices for Melvin Jolly were 1 p.m. Saturday, November 9, 2019, at Pine Grove C. M. E. Church, Dollarhide. Burial followed in the adjoining church cemetery. Smith’s Mortuary, Boligee directed. Visitation was Friday, November 8, 2019, at the mortuary. The body lay in state one hour prior to services at the church.

Mary Ruth “Sutie” Sanders
Mrs. Mary Ruth “Sutie” Sanders, 74, of Aliceville, passed away on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa. Visitation was Friday, November 8, 2019 from 2-6 p.m. at Lavender’s Funeral Service. The home going celebration wasSaturday, November 9, 2019, 11 a.m. at Emory Chapel C. M. E. Church, 7079 Co. Rd. 13, Aliceville. The body lay in state in the church one hour prior to the service. Internment was in Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Rev. John Samuels, Jr. is the pastor of Emory Chapel C. M. E. Church. Bishop William Reese, Sr., pastor of New Life Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, was be the eulogist. Lavender’s Funeral Service, Aliceville, 205-373-2420, directed.
Survivors are the Sanders, Lockett, Brown, Gaskins, Hutchins, Jernigan, Larkin, McCoy, Miles, and Patton families.