In memory of Jeff Bohannon
February 3, 1962 – January 5, 2023
Jeffrey Walter Bohannon, age 60, closed his earthly eyes and beheld the wonders of heaven on Thursday evening, January 5, 2023. Having fulfilled God’s divine purpose for his life, Jeff embraced his Heavenly Father and his Savior Jesus Christ, hearing the priceless words promised for all true believers: “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Jeff was born on February 3, 1962, in Gadsden, Alabama. As the first-born son in a family of five children, Jeff’s gentle, loving and jovial spirit proved evident from his earliest childhood years and only shone brighter as he grew older, with his mother describing him as her child “who has the most tender heart.”
After Jeff graduated from Litchfield High School in 1980, he experienced a collection of opportunities most individuals would consider “once in a lifetime.”
A talented and powerful defensive tackle and lineman, Jeff played in the 1980 Alabama All-Star Game and was recruited by several major SEC universities before signing a football scholarship to The University of Alabama under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Jeff was a member of the Crimson Tide team before he later transferred to the University of North Alabama. Jeff joined the United States Army and trained as a field artillery surveyor, where he met friends with whom he remained close the rest of his life.
As a naturally cheerful person with an infectious sense of humor, Jeff always discovered a way to “make life fun,” never ceasing to bring laughter to those around him. An extrovert who never met a stranger, an unquestionable “people person,” Jeff’s cleverness and witty remarks could light up rooms as he greeted people with joy and brought smiles to their faces in return. Deemed a “gentle giant” by many, Jeff’s character proved as great as his stature, and his hugs — which were always warm and safe and full of love — mirrored the kindness of his spirit.
Jeff gave his life to the Lord in 1989 and was ordained as a minister of the gospel of Christ in 1997, spreading the message of God’s miraculous word and unwavering promises for His people. In the past seven months of his life, Jeff completely submitted to God’s leading like never before.
If he knew of challenges a person faced (or even if he did not, but he felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to intercede for others), he would stop immediately and pray for them. He awoke in the middle of the night to intercede for his loved ones and strangers alike, he studied God’s word fervently, he encouraged everyone who crossed his path and reminded them of God’s love for their lives.
Jeff was an incredible exhorter who often told his family and friends, “I am your biggest cheerleader.” He listened to them without judgement. He comforted them and gave them hope that with Christ, all things are truly possible.
In everything Jeff did, he was bold, unafraid and unashamed, loving others with the pure and selfless love of Christ. He loved passionately with his entire being and never missed an opportunity to express to others how deeply he cared for them, how strongly he supported them and how fiercely he — and God — would protect them against all odds.
He spoke to mountains and believed they would move; he fought battles for others when they were too weak to fight for themselves; he treasured the victories of those around him as more precious than his own. Until his last breath, Jeff gave everything of himself to his family and friends, and he considered it an invaluable honor to be a servant to the body of Christ, a faithful husband, a loving father, brother, son and a loyal friend.
Jeff is now reunited with his niece, Pamela Kaye Leak; his father, Walter Amberson Bohannon; his brother, Darin Glenn Bohannon; his grandmother, Christine “Maw Maw” Hicks; his mother and father-in-law, Ruth and Charlie Walker, along with several beloved family members and dear friends who walked this same path before him.
Jeff is forever remembered by his loving wife of almost 29 years and most cherished friend, Becky Bohannon, who he adored with his entire heart and treasured as a blessing from God; his daughter, Katie Bohannon, who he referred to as “Sweet,” and loved beyond measure; his mother, Betty Hicks Bohannon, who he was grateful to call his parent and enjoyed special moments with; his sister Sherrie Hopper and brother-in-law Grant, who he loved unconditionally, sharing so many precious experiences with; his sister Terri McClure and brother-in-law Shaun, alongside his youngest brother Steve Bohannon — all of whom he kept warmly in his heart and prayers.
Jeff’s memory also remains alive in the hearts of his sister and brother-in-law, Dotty and Jeff Davis, and their children Robby and Courtney and their families, who he deeply loved, alongside cherished relatives Sherry, Roger, Jason, Brandon and River Pate, Lisa and Mark Stephens and their families.
Jeff opened his arms, heart and home wholeheartedly to Allison and Cameron Nessler, who he adopted as his second daughter and son, and their precious children Quinn and Blayke, who were lights in Jeff’s life. Jeff doted upon Quinn and Blayke as his own grandchildren, never missing an opportunity to bring laughter to their little lives and remind them they are loved.
These names join a multitude of friends — who Jeff considered his family and treated them as such — whose lives were touched by Jeff, who encouraged and uplifted them time and time again.
Jeff’s family extends their deepest gratitude for the outpouring of love and kindness shown by countless relatives and friends during this time, who avidly pray and comfort them each day. The family is thankful for Gadsden City Pharmacy’s Glenn and Melissa Leslie, Gadsden Foot Clinic’s Dr. Brooke Gorham and Cassie Skruggs, doctors Marian Manankil, Johnny Foster, Debora and Andrew Reiland, and all the first responders and medical professionals who cared for Jeff in past years.
The family also expresses a special “thank you” for the patience and respect of Gadsden first responders, including Derrick Sherrell, Riverview Regional Medical Center professionals, including ER nurse Candice, who treated Jeff Thursday evening. Jeff’s family is appreciative of Katie Ellison for providing flowers for his memorial and the Glencoe-Hokes Bluff Funeral Home staff, especially Cassie Parson and Josh Horton, for their understanding and assistance.
A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held at Glencoe-Hokes Bluff Funeral Home on Saturday, January 14, 2023. His family will receive friends from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m., with his memorial service beginning in the chapel at 2 p.m.
Jeff exuded 2 Corinthians 9:7 as a “cheerful giver.” He considered it a privilege and delight to serve as a blessing and make others happy through giving. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you give to others as the Lord leads — just as Jeff did so happily throughout his life on earth.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
Submitted, with love, by Katie Bohannon.