The world is a lesser place without Dora Nell Humphrey


By Vicki Scott

Last week I was asked to speak at the funeral of Dora Nell Humphrey, who was a special lady. It was an honor I took very seriously. I’d never done a eulogy before, and if I were to mess one up, I would not want it to be one I did for Dora Nell.

I’ve heard that it takes a village to raise a child, and Dora Nell had a huge impact on me and my family. She taught Sunday School, served in the church nursery and with Vacation Bible School, as well as many other areas. Dora Nell set the bar high as an independent lady and a hard worker. She was so good to our children, for which my husband Alan and I will be forever grateful. Dora Nell was a strong lady who would do anything for her family.

One memory I have about Dora Nell was when our kids were teenagers. I remember well the tornadoes that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Lake Martin and surrounding areas on April 27, 2011. I was at home with my daughter Eva in Dadeville when the warnings came out. Eva went into “Mama mode” and called her brother Joseph and Dora Nell’s granddaughter Hannah and her friend Jamie. Eva told them to get over to our house immediately and take cover. She started pulling out quilts to cover everyone with. We brought our hissing cat and barking dog inside for them to continue what they were doing.

The next thing we know, the announcer on the television said, “All those near Stillwaters take cover now.” Almost immediately, a loud boom sounded, and the electricity went out. I saw the kids holding their cell phones in the air in trying to get service. Of course, we were clueless to the devastation happening nearby.

We lived 20 minutes from Dora Nell, and about 10 minutes after hearing the boom, Dora Nell and Hannah’s mother Caron pulled up and jumped out of the car while holding a basset hound that looked like it had been well fed. They wanted to know where Hannah was. Alan arrived home from work shortly after. None of us made the best decisions that day, and I praise God that everyone was okay.

Alan and I moved to Glencoe for a while, and after we moved back to Dadeville, I intended to keep in touch with those persons in our “village” who helped raise our children. Dora Nell thought I was crazy, but she soon warmed up to my intentions. She always thought that I was crazy. One time, I could not get her on the phone, and we went to her house. Dora Nell told me that she was okay and that I did not have to worry about her. After that, if I did not call her, she would call me. I loved it.

When we talked about my grandchildren, Dora Nell would tell me to wait until I had great-grandchildren. She spoke of how she enjoyed eating with Hannah’s daughter Texie. Dora Nell

Dora Nell was part of a lady’s group along with Joanne Meadows, Sue Trussell and Mildred Grizzard. There were probably other members, but those three ladies called and kept up with each other every day. These three ladies worked together in our church going back to when I was baptized many years ago (at least 30 years, for those who are wondering just how long ago).

Talk about a strong small group! I spoke about this with the senior ladies I exercise with, and now it is one of our goals to be that strong for that long!

When Hannah messaged me of her Maw Maw’s passing, I immediately thought of Isaiah 40:31(NLT) and sent it to Hannah, not knowing that this very scripture was on her aunt Wanda’s headstone: “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

To the family of Dora Nell, her body is at rest, but she is not gone. She remains in the lives she touched during her lifetime.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:45)

Fly high, sweet lady!

Vicki Scott may be contacted at

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