Local leader Luttrell dies at 91
Randolph B. Luttrell, Sr. (Randy) was born on March 26, 1912 in Brewton. He was one of five children born to Randolph and Georgia Luttrell. He died on May 9, 2003 in Mobile at the age of 91.
Luttrell attended T.R. Miller High School and graduated in 1930. During and following high school, he worked for his grandfather at Luttrell's Hardware Company. While still working at Luttrell's Hardware Company, he enrolled in higher accounting courses through LaSalle Extension University out of Chicago. He completed his last course on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
He married Betty Grace Kelly on December 24, 1935. She worked by his side for many years until their retirement. They were blessed with the arrival of their first child, Betty Kelly in 1940. Rusty, his son was born after the war in 1947.
He received his draft papers on February 14, 1944 and enlisted in the Navy that same month. Following boot camp, he attended Purdue University for additional training that eventually earned him the rank of Electrician Mate Third Class. His training was completed in September and he was assigned to the Destroyer Escort (DE 423) Dufilho. He participated in the historic rescue of survivors from the USS Indianapolis. He was honorably discharged on January 7, 1946.
Following his return from service, he co-founded, with Les McCoy, Bateson's Furniture that same year. In 1965, he became president and CEO until his retirement in February 2000.
He was a Charter member of the Brewton Lion's Club and the Atmore Rotary Club. He served as President (1952-53) and District Treasurer (1955-56) of the Atmore Rotary Club. His leadership engendered the respect of his fellow Rotarians and he was named a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest award that can be bestowed upon a Rotary member by his fellow Rotarians. He served on the Escambia County School Board for ten years and two of those years as Chairman. He fully supported the Atmore Chamber of Commerce and contributed his leadership as Vice-President (1965). Additionally, he was one of the first chartered directors of the Atmore United Way and was a member of the local VFW chapter.
His involvement with the Boy Scout organization has impacted many. He founded pack 26, which later became Boy Scout Troop 26. He enjoyed the role of Scout Master with the Boy Scouts and was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, a prestigious honor provided to adults in leadership roles with the Boy Scout organization. Some of his greatest memories were those he experienced on the Colorado Springs Jamboree of 1960.
The organization that was his greatest love was the First United Methodist Church. He was an active member of the church, the Men's Club, the Hodnette Men's Bible Class, and for many years a faithful choir member. In the past, he has served as Church Lay Leader, Church School Superintendent, member of the Board of Trustees, and Chairman of the Board. In 1996, he was recognized with a 50 year Dedicated Service Award.
His daughter, Betty Kelly, inherited her father's love of the church and dedicated her own life to the ministry of the Methodist Church.
Services for Luttrell were held Monday, May 12, 2003 at 11 a.m. from the First United Methodist Church with the Dr.'s Doug Newton and Wesley Kendall officiating. Active pallbearers included Kelly Kendall and Guy Kendall (grandsons), Giles Chapman, Howard Shell, Jim Kyzer, John Garrard, Tom Kelly, and Bill Spears. Honorary pallbearers included the Men's Bible Class, VFW, the Rotary Club and three young gentlemen who recently earned their Eagle Scout recognition, David Keel, Matt Jensen and Robert Hardy.
He is survived by his wife; Betty Grace Luttrell of Atmore, two children; Betty Kelly Kendall of Grand Junction, Colorado and Rusty Luttrell of Atmore, his sister; Lucille Howell of Atmore. Grandchildren include; Guy Wayne Kendall, Kelly Christopher Kendall and Caitlyn Grace Luttrell. Great Grandchildren include Rebecca, Katherine, Joshua and Britten.