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Kitty Lorene Hester

Kitty Lorene Hester, 90, who married her high school sweetheart Oscar Nelson Hester before he shipped off to war in 1943, passed away Nov. 13, 2015.

Known by her family and close friends as “Miss Kitty,” nothing pleased her more than spending time with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Besides her love of time spent with them, she loved to cook and entertain. No one ever left Miss Kitty’s hungry. Through the years, fresh vegetables, cakes, sugar cookies and fried apple pies were always ready to greet visitors. Hungry college students far from home were blessed to find a place at Miss Kitty’s table.

Many others knew her as the lady who greeted them with a smile at the children’s department at J.C. Penney when it was on University Blvd. in downtown Tuscaloosa, or as the lunchroom lady who made those fantastic rolls at Vestavia and Huntington Place Elementary.

She was born in Belgreen on Jan. 13, 1925 to Thad and Eva Sumerel, Kitty was the 12th of 13 children and learned early how to hold her own. Her frequent partner in mischief was her older sister, Marie and together they taught themselves how to baptize cats, cut neighbors hair with a string and quickly wear out unwanted shoes by holding a calf’s tail while being dragged on a gravel road.

In adolescence, Kitty chose to obey the gospel and was baptized into Christ at Belgreen Church of Christ. During WWII she worked in the U.S. Navy shipyards in Charleston, SC. In 1949, Kitty and Nelson, moved to Tuscaloosa where he attended the University of Alabama, making their family a lifelong Crimson Tide fans.

Kitty is survived by three of her four children: Mary E. O’Neal of Tallahasse, Fla., James Roger Hester of Coker and Joel T. Hester of Franklin, Tenn. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her oldest son, Kenneth Nelson Hester and her husband, Oscar Nelson Hester.

The Pallbearers will be Clay Hester, Clint Hester, Keith Watson, Scrott Crafton, Dylan Hester and David Hester.

A special thank you goes out to her friends at Sansing Country Home in Carrollton, for all they did for Kitty during her final two years of life and to Hospice of West Alabama for helping her through her final days. We love you, Clay, Florea and Sharon.

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