Atmore Hall of Fame announces 2023 inductees

Published 9:54 am Monday, April 24, 2023

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The Atmore Hall of Fame committee announced recently the inductees of the 2023 class.

A large number of inductees will be inducted this year because of program not being held due to COVID-19, according to HOF officials.

The 2023 inductees include:

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  • Dean Bushnell

An Atmore native, Bushnell graduated from Escambia County High School in 1982. He began his military service in 1984, enlisting with the airborne infantry at Fort Kobbe, Republic of Panama and later special operations forces at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. In 1992, he earned his commission through officer candidate school as a second lieutenant of infantry.

He served as platoon leader, executive officer and scout platoon leader in Hawaii; and many other roles in leadership within the Army. He retired in 2017 with more than 32 years of military service.

Bushnell serves as a strategic analyst with the Department of Defense. He analyzes the current world environment advising the U.S. Army’s senior leadership on efforts to prevent or prevail in future conflict.

Bushnell’s service included more than five years in intense combat and even longer in contingency and operational deployments including Operation Just Cause in Panama, operations Desert Shield and Storm in Kuwait and Iraq and many others in Nicaragua, southeast Asia, South and Central America, East Africa and Afghanistan.

He held every office title from private to colonel while in the Army. His service awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and many others.

Bushnell and his wife of 34 years, Kathy, reside in Kansas City, Mo. They have one adult child and one grandchild.


  • Sara Davis

Davis is a retired educator of 34 years and is a native of Atmore. She is the wife of Don Davis, pastor of Atmore First Assembly. Davis has three children, Jared, Joshua and Sara Beth Davis McCartney.

After graduating from Escambia County High School, Davis expressed an interest in education. She studied at Jefferson Davis Community College, and graduated with an associate’s degree in 1969. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Livingston University in 1971. Davis began her teaching career in August 1971 at Rachel Patterson Elementary School, where she got married the same year. Davis earned a master’s degree two years later from the University of South Alabama.

Davis was the elementary curriculum supervisor for Escambia County’s elementary schools. Additionally, she was the county’s textbook coordinator for five years until retirement.

She helped the county implement the first jump start program, which provides six weeks of pre-kindergarten skills in the summer before entering kindergarten in the fall. She also purchased the accelerated reader program for every elementary school in the county.

Davis also implemented the first 4-year-old program in the county school system as well as for the Poarch Creek Indians.

Davis is the daughter of the late A.C. and Mattie Lou Kirkland Murph.

  • Lori Stinson
  • W.J. Grissett
  • Bill Vickery


  • Mickey Cannon
  • James Barnett


  • James R. Gohagin

Gohagin, a class of 1966 graduate of ECHS, was a U.S. Army specialist who was killed in action 1 mile from Vietnam’s border with Laos on May 13, 1969, according to a letter to the nominating committee from Bonnie Latino.

Latino wrote Gohagin died after completing his tour of duty in Vietnam. He extended his stay for one month after his lieutenant asked him to stay and train incoming troops.

Gohagin’s brothers, Milford and Carlos, told Latino that on the night of an-early morning attack, another soldier and Gohagin were inside a Conex, a metal or tin shed.

Gohagin was requesting air support, providing coordinates, when a north Vietnamese warrior opened the door and threw in an explosive device. Seconds later, a second enemy threw in another explosive device.

Gohagin was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

Gohagin’s memory was honored with a chair at the Strand Theatre, which was donated by the ECHS Class of 1966.


  • Sam J. Cassity
  • John Watkins
  • Douglas Webb
  • Stanley Childress

The hall of fame banquet will be held Sat., May 6, at The Club, at 6 p.m.

Tickets, which may be purchased at the Atmore News or by any of the HOF committee members, are $25 each.

Committee members are Bill C. Madison, Charlotte Boye, Larry Forney, Ann Gordon, Anthony Marshall, Dr. Ulysses McBride, Mal McGhee and Sherry Digmon.