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Obituary of Joseph M. Pilcher
(as contributed by Ed Godbold)

From Florala, Alabama Newspaper
JOE M. PILCHER, PROMINENT MAN, DIES WEDNESDAY (November 5, 1941)
PROMINENT MANY YEARS IN RELIGIOUS AND CIVIC LIFE OF CITY

    “ 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 mining 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. Toothacher, 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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Joseph Mitchell Pilcher faced many adversities in his life both personal and financial but he

never gave up and he never accepted failure as an option. Each time something didn’t

work out for him he developed a new plan of action and got to work. Rebounding with

zest, enthusiasm and good humor he set an excellent example for his descendants to

follow.