5 inducted into Atmore Area Hall of Fame

Published 8:47 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Five noteworthy Atmore citizens were inducted into the Atmore Area Hall of Fame on Saturday night, in an induction ceremony held at The Club on State Highway 21.

The inductees were Floyd Adams, Rev. Albert Kennington, the late Mary Joyner Grissett, the late Dickie Dickinson and the late Eldred Pritchett.

Adams spent 38 years in public education, including 37 as a coach. From 1984 through 1994, he was the head baseball coach at Jefferson Davis Community College, collecting a record of 303-149. His team was nationally ranked in six of his 10 seasons at JDCC.

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Adams has won a variety of coaching awards, but Saturday night he said none of them were his proudest achievement.

“[My mentors] allowed me to accomplish my No. 1 goal in coaching, which was to help boys become mature young men,” he said. “I’m greatly honored and humbled to be a part of this prestigious class. God has blessed me throughout life, and I am very thankful for this.”

Dickinson was a successful businessman who owned and operated Dickinson Furniture, often offering after-school and summer employment to many of Atmore’s youth. He also served 22 years on the Escambia County Board of Education, including 16 as president of the board.

“His goal was that he wanted every child in Escambia County to have the best education they could possibly get,” said Mickey Cannon, Dickinson’s son-in-law. “He was a wonderful man; he was just a very special person.”

Grissett was remembered as a standout citizen and educator. She spent 27 years as a teacher, and was named the county system’s Teacher of the Year in 1985-86. She was also an active community member, serving with the American Legion Auxiliary, Friends of Education and the Rotary Club.

Grissett was the 1991 Citizen of the Year. Saturday, Hall of Fame committee member Charlotte Boyle said there were not enough words to describe her accomplishments.

“Books could be written on her contributions that she made in the field of education, as well as what she did for our community,” Boyle said.

Grissett’s son Scott said that his mother was willing to help anyone.

“It didn’t matter what you were involved in,” he said. “Whether it was helping a young man or young woman prepare for the ACT, or helping a group of students study for a Shakespeare play … if it was important to you and you asked Momma for help, she was there.”

Kennington was honored as a teacher, minister and friend. He taught high school for seven years, including six at Escambia County High School. After his career as an educator, Kennington joined the Episcopal Church and was eventually ordained as a priest.

He served several churches from 1975 through 2007, before retiring from full-time ministry and moving to Fairhope. However, in January of this year, he began a new ministry as vicar of Immanuel Episcopal Church in Bay Minette.

“I thank the committee for this singular honor,” Kennington said. “It’s an overwhelming feeling.”

Pritchett taught history at Escambia County Training School and ECHS, and later served as the assistant principal at Escambia County Middle School. He was also an administrator at Jefferson Davis Community College, and spent 29 years in education.

Pritchett was also an active businessman, as owner and operator of Pritchett’s Print Shop for a number of years. He served his community as a member of the Atmore City Council, from 1974 through 1992, and was elected again as mayor pro-tem in November 2008.

“Our father always worked hard to make Atmore a better place,” said his daughter, Rita. “He loved the people who worked here and lived here.”

The five plaques will now be hung in the Atmore Area Hall of Fame, located at the Atmore Public Library.

Hall of Fame committee members were James Barnett, Charlotte Boyle, Billy Branum, Mickey Cannon, Sherry Digmon, Larry Forney, Meg Jones, Billy Madison, Anthony Marshall, Dr. Ullysses McBride, Mal McGhee, Lucy King Swift, Mavis Torrence and chairman Lou Vickery.