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Clarence Albert "al" Padgett


1926 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Clarence Albert "al" Padgett Obituary
Clarence Albert "Al" Padgett, Jr.

July 14, 1926 - July 29, 2014

Faith, family, friends, sports and music enriched the life of Al Padgett. Al was born and raised in Marianna and became a star wingback for the Marianna High Bulldogs. He was awarded a full football scholarship to the University of Tennessee but shortly afterward drafted into the Army and served with the U.S. occupation forces in Japan. Back home, Al attended Florida State University, where he majored in physical education, minored in journalism, and played starting shortstop on FSU's first baseball team. He married Suzanne McCaskill and returned to his hometown to teach English and coach both football and basketball at Marianna High.

Al's career in journalism started as Editor of the Jackson County Floridan and continued as Sports Editor for the Pensacola News Journal. His daily column "The Wise Ol' Al" was peppered with human interest and always closed with "Good Morning Wherever You Are" to someone he knew. Al never hesitated to use his local fame to promote causes that he believed in - especially quality education and the civil rights movement. As a Methodist lay witness, he was invited to speak in churches throughout North Florida and Alabama to share his strong belief that life was good with Jesus as your best friend.

Al was recruited into the insurance business and joined American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) in its startup years. When offered the opportunity to lead AFLAC's expansion into the state of Massachusetts, the Padgett family of five children picked up and moved to Wellesley. Exactly one year later, mission accomplished, they moved back to warmer weather this time to Tallahassee, where Al has lived since. He passionately took up tennis as his "main sport" and later passionately took up golf as his "main sport". His devotion to the 'Noles and the Chicago Cubs was equally enthusiastic.

Much to everyone's surprise, Al developed a strong interest in music later in life. He practiced faithfully, but by his own admission was more of an entertainer than a musician. He especially enjoyed performing with The East Hill Baptist Church and North Florida Parkinson's Choirs and in Dr. Alice-Ann Darrow's "Rock of Ages" annual concerts. A lifelong goal was accomplished in 2012 when he published "A Near-Memoir Novelette: Written by the Seat of My Pants!", stories from his life in the Florida Panhandle.

Thirty-five years ago, Al and Billie Lee Sauls were married. Together they have traveled, laughed and cried with their eight children and eight grandchildren, both of their mothers always invited and usually present! The combined circle of family and friends grew over the course of their marriage. That circle has been as strong and present as ever in the last few months and meant the world to Al and his close family - his wife Billie; Hal Padgett; Susan and Dave Shipman; Sarah, Larry and Larry "Peanut" Meisner; David, Janine, Jeffrey and Rebecca Padgett; Bonnie and Richard Bevis; Wendy, Dan and Casey Johnson; Cindy Elliott and Heather Grant; and Angie, Chris, Holden and Jameson Adams. Al is together in heaven with his parents, Clarence Albert and Ann Stanley Padgett, Billie's Mom "Peanut" Sauls and son "Bucky", and his grandchildren Chris Blackburn and Jenny Johnson.

The family will be at East Hill Baptist Church to receive friends on Friday, August 1, 2014, at 1:30 pm. The celebration of Al's life will begin at 2:30 pm. Expressions in Al's memory will be kindly received by East Hill Baptist Church (912 Miccosukee Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32308) and The National Parkinson Foundation North Florida (P.O. Box 14722, Tallahassee, FL 32317-4722).

Kelly Barber of Bevis Funeral Home (www.bevisfh.com, 850.385.2193) is assisting the family with arrangements.

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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on July 31, 2014
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