HOLT Billie Ruth Pentecost Lankford, age 80, of Holt, died May 2, 2013, at Hospice of West Alabama. Services will be 4:00 p.m. today at Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel Funeral Home with Rev. Belinda Freeman and Rev. Ken Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Tuscaloosa Memorial Park with Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the funeral home.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John William and Flora Pentecost; and four sisters, Martha Jean Little, Helen Wilkerson, Linda Biddy, and Donna Sue Pentecost.
Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Donald E. Lankford; two children, Donald P. Lankford and Melanie Lankford; three granddaughters, Sherry Lankford of Auburn, Holly Eriksen (Kristian) of Holt, and Darla Mata (Ramiro) of Holt; one great-granddaughter, Sommer Eriksen of Holt; special friend, Sharron Muller of Coker; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mrs. Lankford was born on April 20, 1933, in Hokes Bluff and graduated from Hokes Bluff High School, where she was a cheerleader. She married Donald Lankford in 1951. The couple moved to Holt, and Mr. Lankford began work at Reichhold Chemical Inc.
She retired from Holt Elementary School after 25 years and was honored with a surprise assembly for Mrs. Lankford Day. She was known for her extraordinary interest in the children, her creative problem solving methods, and her ability to solicit help for the school from the community. She also directed weddings and enjoyed making floral arrangements and wedding veils.
A Holt civic leader along with her husband, Mrs. Lankford had been PTA president for Holt Elementary School, Boteler Junior High School, and Holt High School. Her PTA involvement also had an impact at the state level.
Involved in every aspect of church life, she was a member of the choir, the administrative board, and the United Methodist Women. She also started the church prayer chain. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Lankford headed the church family life ministries.
In recent years, she became a leader with the OASIS Low Vision Support Group at FOCUS on Senior Citizens. On February 10, 2013, she was honored by her church with Billie Ruth Lankford Day.
Mrs. Lankford was loved by many and will be truly missed. She was known for her heart-warming smile, uplifting voice, and positive words of encouragement to everyone she met.
Pallbearers will be John Little, Jeff Little, Troy Jones, Kristian Eriksen, Ramiro Mata, Eddie Pierce, and Barry Standifer.
Honorary pallbearers are members of Holt United Methodist Church, coworkers and friends from Holt Elementary School, members of OASIS Low Vision Support Group, doctors and nurses at DCH and Hospice of West Alabama, and Dr. Arti Pandy.
The family requests that flowers be sent to the funeral home or that donations be made to Holt United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 40655, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404.