Violet Gail Burks Shelby, age 70 of Montevallo passed away on Thursday, December 27, 2018 at her residence. Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Friday, January 4, 2019 at Bell Sumiton Chapel with burial in Davis Cemetery. Rev. Bruce LeVan will officiate. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 PM Thursday at the funeral home.
Preceding her in death were her father, William Harlston Burks; mother, Willodean Cornelius Burks Cummings; sister, Elizabeth Ann Burks Bynum; stepfather, Aubrey Wheatley, and grandparents.
Survivors include her daughters, Samantha Shelby and Tabitha Holly Shelby; sisters, Brenda Helen Burks Stamps, Belinda Burks Desiderio, Melissa Wright Putzier, and Sharon Wheatley Krock; grandchildren, Savannah Moon Goldstein, and Hailey Abeille Raine Goldstein; grandchild, Victoria Lilly Shelby-Shirley, Cleyera Pearl Shelby-Shirley and Amaryllis Lizza Shelby-Shirley.
We are saddened to announce the passing of our dad, Jeffrey Paul Williams, at the age of 54. Dora High School Class of 1982.
Dad went to be with our heavenly father on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, surrounded by his loving family and friends at his home.
Justice (DHS Class of 2008) makes piano fun for students
BY RICK WATSON
DORA - William Justice of Dora received national recognition in the summer of 2017 from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), which is is a prestigious organization that only recognizes the best of the best teachers. Only six music teachers in Alabama have received this certification.
As a result of this recognition, the Alabama Music Teachers Association will recognize Justice at this year’s conference the first week of June.
Justice is a 2008 graduate of Dora High School and has played music since he was 6 years old. After graduating from Dora, he began his college career at Bevill State Community College. He started teaching piano that same year.
The music he teaches can be eclectic. He has taught kids to play everything from classical music to video game music.
“A lot of kids want to play the music they hear in their video games,” Justice said.
After Bevill State, Justice moved on Birmingham Southern College where she received his bachelor’s degree and then moved to New York where he earned a master’s degree in acting from the New York Film Academy.
After college, he worked in major motion pictures as a double (stands in for actors when they aren’t on the set) and TV. His latest project was on a TV commercial in Huntsville for a trucking company. He enjoyed that work, but his hearts in teaching music.
“I’ve found that I enjoy teaching more than performing,” he said.
One of Justice’s favorite parts of teaching is that first meeting people who want to play music.
“They are often so timid when they first come in. The little ones are usually afraid at first,” Justice said. “They are terrified of me and they are terrified of the piano.”
He said they often think they can’t learn to play. “But after a few months when they play a simple version of 'Lavender’s Blue,' they begin believing in themselves. It’s magic when a young one nails a piece of music in front of their parents,” he said.
Justice records performances of his students. Recently, a 5-year-old boy gave his first recital. When he finished playing his solo, the child knew he’d nailed it.
“He jammed his fists into the air triumphantly,” Justice said with a smile. “That was an awesome moment.”
Statistics show that kids who play music do better in school. Justice encourages them to continue practicing so they won’t become discouraged.
“I try to make teaching fun. When I do that, I can often win the kids over so they won’t fear me” he says. He always advises them to smile while they are playing.
Music is a language in itself. It’s an ability that you have to develop, according to Justice.
Looking toward the future, Justice said that he’s not finished with his education. He would love to get a doctorate in performance studies from the University of Georgia. It covers music as well as acting. Once he gets that degree, he’d like to teach in the school systems in both acting and music. He is an independent teacher, but he would love to become certified to teach both music and acting at the college level.
Justice teaches around Birmingham several days a week, but he made room on his schedule to teach piano at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Dora each Monday from 1 until 9 p.m.
If someone wants to begin taking lessons from Justice, they call his cell phone at 205-470-6932 and make an appointment to get the details. There are no contracts or signup fees, which allows students to stop the lessons if they are not a fit.
Additional information can also be found on Justice’s Facebook page.
2017 All Class Alumni Reunion
I just discovered a cache of pictures sent to me by Brenda Ceciro from the 2017 All Class Reunion Click Below to view the pictures.
2018 Pictures from the 1968 Class of Dora High's 50th reunion and pictures from the All Class Reunion will be posted soon
Exhibit series celebrates county's history
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE
BY JENNIFER COHRON
Residents of Dora and Sumiton came together at the Bankhead House and Heritage Center on Tuesday to reminisce about the special people and places of their dual pasts.
"Celebrating Our Communities: Chapter 2" features culturally significant items from the two East Walker communities.
Examples include an antique cash register used in Glover Drug Store, medical equipment from the office of Sumiton physician and first mayor P.E. Gwin and a Dora High School cheerleader uniform in which all the scores from the football team's undefeated 1959-60 season are handwritten on the skirt.
The exhibit is part of a series that the Bankhead House is hosting over the next six years intended to pay tribute to Walker County's existing towns and cities, as well as communities that no longer exist or are a fraction of their former size.
Last year's inaugural installment in the series focused on Carbon Hill, Eldridge, Kansas, Nauvoo and Townley.
"The Bankhead House and Heritage Center is a gift of the Walker Area Community Foundation. We want to celebrate the past, inspire the future and we want Walker Countians to be proud of where they've come from and where they're going," Paul Kennedy, WACF president, said during an opening reception held Tuesday afternoon.
Jackie Parker, a retired teacher, and Joe Holley, a local historian, helped collect items for the exhibit.
Parker thanked everyone who was so generous with their mementos.
"You invited me up to your attics, down in your basement. You invited me into your storage buildings. You let me look in your trunks. I was amazed," Parker said.
Holley said helping prepare the exhibit for the public has been one of the highlights of his life.
"More than I've contributed is what I've learned about my hometown, my old friends and people who were here before me, though there aren't many of those," Holley joked.
Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis and Dora Mayor Randy Stephens both attended the reception.
"Jackie and Joe put a lot of work in, and it's really paid off. People are really enjoying it. I've seen some things I've never seen before," Ellis said.
Stephens also was impressed with the variety of artifacts included in the exhibit.
"It brings back a lot of memories. A lot of it I remember, and some of it I've just heard about. The two cities have been hand-in-hand for years in progress for East Walker County, and I'm glad the community foundation has put together an exhibit to give people a chance to come by and look at this history," Stephens said.
The exhibit runs through Sept. 14. Admission is free.
The schedule for future "Celebrating Our Communities" exhibits is as follows: Farmstead, Jasper, Manchester, Thach and Saragossa — 2019; America, Corona, Gorgas, Martin, Parrish, Patton and Oakman -- 2020; Barney, Cordova, Gardner's Gin and Quinton — 2021; Boldo, Curry, Empire, Sipsey, South Lowell, Sunlight and Union Chapel — 2022; and Winston County — 2023.
Sliceshows back by popular demand