Published 6:12 am Monday, December 8, 2008
Sterling Fancher: Devoted husband
By MaryClaire Foster
(This week The Atmore Advance visited with 89-year-old Sterling Fancher at his home.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in Mississippi on June 4, 1919.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Frank and Pearl Fancher of Philadelphia, Miss. They were farmers.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I have five sisters, two half sisters and two half brothers.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: I received my undergraduate degree from Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss. and my masters in school administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Q: What did you do for a living?
A: I was a school teacher for 32 years. I worked at Ernest Ward for about 25 of those years. I coached basketball and was a guidance counselor for most of that time.
Q: Why did you want to be in education?
A: I wanted to coach basketball originally, and you had to teach to do that.
Q: What did you like about your job?
A: I enjoyed trying to help students with their problems and helping to try and keep them out of trouble.
Q: Have you done a lot of traveling?
A: Yes, when we were younger we went all around Florida and out west. We went to Tucson, Ariz., the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, Pike’s Peak and several other places. I also went to New York City.
Q: Did you ever marry? If so, what is your spouse’s name?
A: Yes. My wife’s name was Mildred Cotton.
Q: How did you and your spouse meet?
A: We were both teachers and we met at a faculty meeting. We were engaged a month later and married two and a half months after that.We were married for 57 and a half years.
Q: What advice do you give couples on having a happy marriage?
A: First, love each other, next, respect each other, then be able to compromise and don’t disrespect each other.
Q: Do you have any children?
A: I have a daughter, Julie Hardy and two sons, Eddie and Bill Fancher.
Q: Do you have any grandchildren?
A: I have two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Q:Where do you attend church?
A: First Baptist Atmore.
Q: What have you been doing since your retirement?
A: I’m a member of the city’s Utilities Board. I was the chairman of the preschool committee at church. I also used to take care of the flowers in front of city hall. I did that for 10 years.
Q: What was one of the happiest times in your life?
A: When my wife and I decided to get married.
Q: What advice would you give people on living a long life?
A: Live with someone you ‘re happy with and love, take care of your body with exercise and by not smoking or drinking.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact the Atmore Advance at 368-2123 or e-mail us at newsroom@atmoreadvance. com).