Rhea Waldrep, 87, of Town Creek passed away Monday, November 14, 2022 at North Alabama Medical Center. Visitation will be from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Monday, November 21, 2022 at Lawrence Funeral Home. The funeral service will follow at 2:00 PM at the funeral home with Phil Waldrep and Victor Brackin officiating. Burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery.
Born on August 9, 1935 to Curtis and Mae Terry Moran, Rhea lost her mother at the age of 6. Along with her sister, at the age of 4 she moved in with their grandparents and were "joined at the hip" during their childhood. They had a very humble life, walking 2 miles each day to catch the school bus regardless how cold or rainy it was. Rhea attended church regularly learning right from wrong and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into her life at the age of 11. When she was 12 years old, her father returned from the war and partnered with her grandfather to work a cattle farm. In a tragic accident, Rhea's grandfather was killed when the mules ran away with the hay rake he was riding. Afterwards, her father bought a house in Hillsboro and married Virginia Gay. After the move, they changed schools and were able to catch the bus right at their front door. Rhea attended the school in Courtland then on to Hazlewood where she graduated in 1953. She was elected Miss Hazlewood and Class Favorite her senior year.
After graduating, Rhea started to work at the Alabama Hosery Mill and then got married soon after. Her husband, Paul Waldrep, worked at Reynolds and made the long drive each day. While working at the Hosery Mill, Rhea attended Albright Business School at night earning her business certificate. When the mill closed down, Rhea and Paul built a house together in Town Creek to be closer to his widowed mother. Their first child, Mikey Ray was born right after that in 1956. Due to unforseen complications, Mikey developed brain damage and was never able to walk or talk. Regardless of this, he was a blessing to their family and was loved dearly. When Mikey was two and half, his brother, Ronnie was born. Remembered as a "live wire", Ronnie was as healthy and active as he could be. At the age of seven and a half, Mikey passed away. Ten months later, God blessed Paul and Rhea with a daughter, Alicia Moran who filled a big gap after the loss of Mikey.
Over the years, Rhea lived a very active and full life. She played fast pitch softball for ten years in the Decatur League, and was the All State Fast Pitcher in 1960. She was invited to play in the South Eastern Original by the host team.
Throughout her working career, Rhea was a secretary at Mutual Savings for several years before becoming the first hired secretary for First Baptist Church. She also owned and operated Town Creek Carpet then worked at Pondarosa Furniture as a very successful Sales person for 20 years.
Rhea also traveled the world touring several cities including Paris France, Athens Greece, Geneva Switzerland, London England, several parts of Old Mexico, and all over the Holy Land. She also visited Canada, Alaska, Hawaii (three times), Holland, Jamaica, Italy, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and all over the US. Rhea loved to cook, especially on holidays and special occasions. She was known for many of her special recipes, including her rolls, pies, salads, and desserts of all kinds.
Rhea was a true, classy Southern Lady who lived a full and happy life. As a born again believer, we know we will be able to see her again someday. Knowing she loved all of her family and many friends, always remember her words, "Don't weep over me. Celebrate my Home Going!"
Survivors include her son, Ronnie Waldrep; grandchildren, Moranda Hollis (Ben), Brianna Bigbee (Cole), Sierra Stone (Kurt), Harley Waldrep, and Weston Waldrep; great-grandchildren, Bryson Hollis, Breckin Hollis, Payson Bigbee, Prescott Bigbee, and Cooper Stone; sister, Rebecca Arnold; and several nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Rhea is preceded in death by her husband, Paul Waldrep; parents, Curtis and Mae Moran; daughter, Lisa Waldrep; son, Mikey Waldrep; sisters, Faye Brackin, and Barbara Moss; step-brother, Kenneth Hamilton; and step-mother, Virginia Moran.
Pallbearers will be Ben Hollis, Bryson Hollis, Breckin Hollis, Cole Bigbee, Kurt Stone, Weston Waldrep, Sam Mathis, Trey Mathis, Hunter Mathis, Jimmy Moss, Joseph Bradford, Jerry Morgan, Timmy McNally, Benny Green, Tim Waldrep, and Ricky Waldrep.
The family extends special thanks to her close friends, Pebble Sue Simmons, Lee Russell, Juanita King, Beth Murray, Dr. Williams and Dr. Lango.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Kruzn For A Kure Foundation, at www.kruznforakure.org.