Submitted by Ed Godbold (, JUN 2005

From Florala, Alabama Newspaper

The Grim Reaper has beckoned again, calling another of the city's most beloved and respected citizens, in the person of Joe Mitchell Pilcher, who departed this life in the early hours of Wednesday morning, after an illness of several days.
The end came peacefully at 5 A.M. after an all night battle for his life on the part of Uncle Joe, and an all night vigil on the part of those who so tenderly ministered to him. The end was not unexpected, for it had been feared that he could not survive the malady that sapped his life away. He had been in bad health for several years, though he did not seem to take it seriously. Announcement of his death was received in Florala and other communities with feeling of deep sorrow by relatives and friends.
Mr. Pilcher had reached the age of 72. He had been a resident of this city for 24 years, with his devoted wife, both of whom have endeared themselves to every citizen of Florala. "Uncle Joe" as he was known to his friends, had a very active life. As the evening of life came on, he did not do as the average man, take life more easily, but continued to work until his physical condition would not permit it. He had continued to work until just a few days before his death. He was a distributor of road machinery, covering a wide territory.
At one time he was sheriff of Henry County, Alabama. He conducted a mercantile business in Slocomb for a number of years, later coming to Florala, and engaging in business here. He conducted the Pilcher Mercantile Company, where the Florala Fair is now located. He was County Commissioner in this county at one time. He had lived in Florala for the past 24 years, during which time he had made a veritable host of friends here and where ever his work had led him.
Uncle Joe was a very devout man, giving much time and thought to his religious life. He was a most zealous member of the Methodist Church. He never allowed anything to detract from his church affiliations. He was, for many years , a teacher of the men's Bible Class. The church has lost a most faithful and loyal member. The community has lost a most loyal friend.
Uncle Joe and his devoted wife had only a short while ago, celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Yet during all these years of wedded life, he had not ceased to be the perfect lover that he was in his younger days.
He continued to lavish his devotion upon his companion until his death. His untimely death brought to an end a most beautiful companionship leaving a place in the life of his sweetheart that can never be filled. He was a most fond and affectionate father.
Uncle Joe had many good traits, he never forgot a friend. He would go out of his way any time for a friend, and would deprive himself of his own pleasure to befriend those who might be in need. He was the benefactor of many unfortunates, especially at the Yuletide. His unfortunate friends never gave up hope of receiving their Christmas packages, even if Uncle Joe did not show up until a late hour, for they knew he never forgot. He was ever ready to help those who needed assistance, often when he did not know those he was befriending very well. He was a leader in all worthwhile undertakings.
He was firmly for whatever he stood for, and was equally as firmly against anything that did not savor of good. Much more could be said eulogizing this grand old man, but suffice it to say that he was known, respected and loved by his legion of friends and that he had no enemies. He was loved because he loved. He was respected because he stood foursquare. Being human, he made his mistakes, but he was ever ready to correct them.
To the wife, one son, and three daughters is left a priceless heritage by this beloved husband and father.
Funeral services were held on Thursday morning from the First Methodist Church in Florala, with the Rev. C.C. Wilkerson, Rev. T.G. Jones and Rev. R.K. Jones, officiating. Rev. T. G. Jones opened the services with scripture reading and prayer. Rev. Wilkerson talked on Mr. Pilcher's spiritual life in the church, and his faithfulness to his church. Rev. R.K. Jones made a short talk and concluded with reading the 23rd Psalm. Services were concluded at the grave in a Dothan cemetery where burial took place at two o'clock. Evans Funeral Home in charge.
The choir composed of Mrs. A.C. Sellars, Mrs. T.G. Jones, Mrs. Effie Bell, Mrs. J.J. Johnson, Mrs. Philmore Carter, Mrs. Fred Martin, Miss Vera Whiddon, Mr. Frank Petry, and Mr. Ben S. Woodham sang "When They Ring Those Golden Bells" and "Face to Face" Mrs. S.H. Williams, pianist.
Active pallbearers were: Dr. C.H. McFall, Mr. H.C. Gregory, Mr. A.M. Pearson, Mr. A.F. Buce, Mr. W.T. Wilson, Mr. W.R. Young. Honorary pallbearers were: Mr. Fred Martin, T.A. Goodwin, J.J. Johnston, J.L. Burford, H.H. Tootacher, E.C. Palmer, E.M. Cannon, Chris Sherlock, J.F. Davis, H.J. Brogden, Tom E. Head, Breck Gantt, R.S. Jeffcoat, Judge John Brock and Dr. Bush.
Survivors are: the wife, one son, Gene, of Florala, three daughters, Mrs. Lewis Godbold, Montgomery, Mrs. N.L. Taylor, Gadsden, Mrs. Robert Hayes of New Brocton And five grandchildren and one brother, John Pilcher, of St. Andrews, Fla.


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