Four Men Who Impacted the Community Pass Away
The description of a person considered to have impacted a community is someone who goes above and beyond what is expected of them as a citizen. They are pillars who are particularly active, respected and influential in their societal sphere. They have an impact on the lives of others. Four men who each fit the description passed from among us in recent days.
John G. Allen was a 1943 Holt High School graduate. He served in the army in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. John began as a production worker at B.F. Goodrich in 1946. By 1970 he was the plant manager until 1989 when he became the State Industrial Relations Director. Among his accomplishments were Chairmanship of Associated Industries of Alabama, President of the Tuscaloosa Chamber of Commerce and founding board member of Central Bank. He was 96.
Roy Frank Bell was one of 11 children born to a Presbyterian minister and his wife in Pennsylvania. Bell received his BA from Tusculum College. After earning a Masters Degree at the University of Tennessee he began a long career in Social Work. First he spent time as a case worker, social worker and Assistant Professor at UT School of Social Work. In 1968 he joined the faculty at the University of Alabama which eventually led to him to being the first social worker at the Capstone Medical center. His work led him to being instrumental in the founding of the North River Mental health Association. He was 84.
Born in Pickens County, Woody Latham passed away at the age of 79 after a career in public service and business. he was a former Northport City Councilman and longtime owner of Woody's and Southland Restaurant. He was the first to admit he made mistakes but also said learned some lessons the hard way. Woody was an affable entrepreneur who always attempted to make his restaurants a family experience.
Lewis Monroe Manderson, Jr., was born in Cordova AL. He served as a B-24 tail gunner in Europe during WWII. The 95 year old attended the University of Alabama on the GI BIll and made Tuscaloosa his home. He was founder of what became the fourth largest outdoor advertising company in the world, Creative Displays. Manderson and his wife Faye endowed the University of Alabama Manderson Graduate School of Business. They also endowed the Manderson Cancer Center at DCH Regional Medical Center. Later they gifted development and construction of The Park at Manderson Landing along the Black Warrior River bank on the north side of the UA campus. Manderson acquired Ted Turner's Turner Outdoor, Inc. in Atlanta and moved there with Faye in the 1980s.
Allen, Bell, Latham and Manderson, Jr. came from varying backgrounds and impacted Tuscaloosa/Northport in varying ways. Each left their mark on the area and we are better off for them having been here.