Gene Cole Pickens, 95, of Mount Hope passed away Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at his home. Visitation will be from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Thursday, June 30 at Rock Springs Presbyterian Church. The funeral service will follow at 1:00 PM at the church with Rev. Larry H. Lee and Rev. Debbie Williams officiating. Burial will be at the adjoining Rock Springs Cemetery.
Born on April 4, 1927 to W. A. and Lillian Russelle Pickens, Gene graduated from Mt. Hope High School, served in the US Navy, and then graduated from the University of Alabama in 1951. He served on a number of boards in the community, county, and state, such as Alabama Farmers Co-op, Lawrence County Farmers Federation, Farm Service Agency and was a trustee of Mt. Hope School. As one of the founders and board members of the West Lawrence Water Co-op, Gene was instrumental in getting rural water to the Mt. Hope Community. He served as an Elder, Deacon, Trustee, Treasurer, and Sunday School Teacher - all at Rock Springs Presbyterian Church.
Gene enjoyed playing dominoes with his buddies and beating the grandchildren and great-grandchildren in card games and checkers. He also enjoyed sharing his garden with the Mt. Hope community. Gene enjoyed watching all Alabama sports and the Atlanta Braves.
Survivors include his children, Allen Pickens (Karen) and Deborah Pickens; grandchildren, Karla Gillespie (Eric) and Keri Murphy (Ben); great-grandchildren, Mattie Rae Gillespie, Cole Murphy, William Murphy, and Ellie Wren Gillespie; and a whole "herd" of nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Gene is preceded in death by his father, W. A. Pickens; mother, Lillian Russelle Pickens; eight brothers and three sisters; wife, Mattie Carolyn Young Pickens (1955) and wife, Ena Mae Pace Pickens (2018); and an infant son.
Pallbearers will be Eric Gillespie, Ben Murphy, Sam Gholston, Odell Gholston, Randy Pickens, Dale Mitchell, Cole Murphy, and William Murphy. Honorary pallbearers are Harold Martin, John Holley, John Gamble, and Marty Counts.
The family extends special thanks to Hospice of the Valley, especially Autumn Cross and Gary Owens; and special caregivers, Betty Martin, Brandie Smith, Connie Horton, and Elaine Terry.
Gene was a loving husband, father, granddaddy and "Great". He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the Mt. Hope Community.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Rock Springs Cemetery Fund or Hospice of the Valley.