Sunday, December 21, 2008

Julia Shepherd Johnson

Julia Shepherd Johnson died December 18, 2008, at home. Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Monday at First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa. Visitation will be one hour prior to services in the Lee Classroom at the church.

Judy is survived by her husband, Larry W. Johnson, and a daughter, Kathryn Elizabeth Johnson; brothers, James Shepherd and Holley (Shirley) Shepherd of Berry, Ala., Macon (Joan) Shepherd of Northport, Ala.; a sister, Mary (Daniel) Moore of Pelham, Ala., and nieces and nephews.

Her parents, Julian and Czarina Shepherd of Berry, Ala., preceded her in death.

She was a Library Media Specialist at Bryant High School. She had served in similar positions at Echols Middle School and Buhl Elementary. She was an educator for over 30 years in Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia. She had earned the National Board Certification in 2003.

Judy graduated from Florence State University and earned a master's degree from the University of Mississippi. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, the Covenant Sunday School Class, and the United Methodist Women. She was involved as a parent volunteer at Verner Elementary, Tuscaloosa Middle School, and Tuscaloosa Academy. Judy loved reading, gardening, the Alabama Gulf Coast, and entertaining friends and family in her gracious and generous style.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Covenant Class, First United Methodist Church, 800 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 or the Help and Hope Fund, DCH Cancer Center, 809 University Boulevard East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 or Hospice of West Alabama, 3851 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404.


Dr. Jerry Edward Sisson


Dr. Jerry Edward Sisson, age 72, of Trussville, AL, died December 19, 2008. A United Methodist minister for 48 years, Dr. Sisson presently served Canterbury United Methodist Church as Pastor Emeritus.

Born in Gadsden, Alabama, Dr. Sisson attended Gadsden public schools, graduated from Gadsden High School (1954), Birmingham-Southern College (1958), and Candler School of Theology, Emory University (1961).

He loved Christ and the Church, serving the following churches in the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC): as Associate Pastor of First UMC, Gadsden (1959-61); as Senior Pastor of Glencoe UMC, Glencoe (1961-63); St. John's UMC, Birmingham (1963-66); First UMC, Arab (1966-69); First UMC, Fayette (1969-73); Forest Lake UMC, Tuscaloosa (1973-78); First UMC, Scottsboro (1978-82); First UMC, Huntsville (1982-87); Canterbury UMC, Birmingham (1987-97). He was also appointed as the District Superintendent of the Birmingham-West District of the North Alabama Conference (1997-2002) and the Administrative Assistant to the Episcopal Office and Lay Ministry (2002-2004).

He loved Birmingham-Southern College and has been a Trustee since 1987 and was Chairman of the Board from 1998-2001. Dr. Sisson also served on the Pastoral Advisory Board, nurtured pre-ministry students and graduates in seminary, and endowed a scholarship for United Methodist students. In 1988, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Birmingham-Southern College.

Dr. Sisson gave leadership within the Church in many capacities including Pastoral Care and Counseling, United Methodist Children's Home, Goodwill Industries, and the Board of Ordained Ministry.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 21 years, Martha Ann Jacoway Sisson and his parents, Edward Frances Sisson and Mae McElwee Sisson.

He is survived by his wife, Laura Boyer Sisson; children, Thomas Edward (Leigh Ann) Sisson of Birmingham, Jayne Elizabeth (Richard) Randall of Huntsville, James Bryan (Tracy) Sisson of Fayette; and grandchildren, Thomas Miller Sisson, Ann Alexander Sisson, John Edward Sisson, Andrew Hampton Sisson all of Birmingham, Ann Elizabeth Randall, Kathryn Rosa Randall, Joshua Alan Randall, Amy Caroline Randall all of Huntsville, Josie Cochran Sisson and Martha Riley Sisson of Fayette.

Dr. Sisson authored two books; You Have A Beautiful Face, She Said (2003) and For the Quiet Times (2005).

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be directed to Canterbury United Methodist Church or the Jerry and Laura Sisson Scholarship Fund at Birmingham-Southern College.

The family will receive friends at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Canterbury Hall from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, December 22, 2008. The Service of Celebration will be in the sanctuary on Tuesday, at 11:00 a.m.

Rideouts Funeral Home of Trussville are in charge of arrangements.