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Nell Hester Bedford

Nell Hester Bedford passed away at the North Alabama Regional Medical Center in Florence Jan. 16 at the age of 83. She had been in relatively good health prior to testing positive with COVID-19, which took her life in less than two weeks.

Nell is survived by her daughter, Kaye (Brad) Botes of Birmingham; grandsons Bradford Botes Jr. of Encinitas, Calif., and Philip Botes of Birmingham; granddaughter Meredith (James) Thompson of Decatur; sister Beth (J.D.) Robinson of Russellville; and a host of beloved nephews, nieces, stepchildren, extended family and friends.

She was predeceased in death by daughter Lea Anne (“BeBe”) Benson, stepson Franklin Bedford, father Woodrow Hester, mother Lila Malone Hester and brother Billy Don Hester.

Nell was born March 18, 1937, in Russellville. She graduated from Russellville High School in 1955 and spent most of her life in or near Russellville, where she had many friends and loved ones.

Nell loved her two daughters dearly and always worked hard to support them. She worked for numerous employers, including Grissom Motor Company, Citizens Bank, First National Bank, the Franklin County Times and as chief clerk of the Franklin County Commission. Nell loved working in the Franklin County Courthouse and was a fixture there for many years. She also served Franklin County as a member of the A.W. Todd Centre Building Authority, which was formed in 1998 to plan the creation of the Centre.

Nell was always active in politics and was a proud member of the Democratic Party. She took pride in and spent countless hours working on the many campaigns of her nephew, Roger Bedford Jr.

After her retirement, Nell moved to Muscle Shoals and remained very active. She always loved maintaining her garden and completed courses to become a Master Gardener. She also served on the board of the Alabama Retired State Employee Association and completed a term as its president in 2020.

Nell made many friends in the Muscle Shoals area but maintained a special friendship with Jimmy Dodson. Jimmy and Nell took many exciting trips with their friends, spent time with each other’s families, supported each other during difficult times and generally just took care of one another. Nell’s family is grateful to Jimmy and his family for their friendship and support.

Nell’s family is also very grateful to her nephew, John Bedford, who loved and cared for her during her later years. Nell loved John like a son and enjoyed spending time with him, his wife Julia, their two children Audrey and Lawson and their “four-legged child,” Sophie.

Although Nell had many friends and stayed busy with work and hobbies, her greatest pride was in her two daughters and her grandchildren. Bradford, Meredith and Philip knew Nell as “Grampsi” and loved her dearly. Although she lived a hundred miles away, she made sure to be present for almost all of their important activities while growing up. She loved to cook for them, taught them to fish off the pier, showered them with gifts and just generally always made them feel that they were important. Most of all, she showed them how to love others.

Nell was a compassionate and loving person. She always put others first and set a loving example for her grandchildren, and all of us, to learn from.

No memorial service or funeral is planned at this time.

Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to either the Old Brick Presbyterian Church, oldbrickpresby.org, or Russellville First Baptist Church, www.rfbclife.com. The family also asks that you wear your masks, maintain social distancing and work together to overcome this terrible pandemic so fewer obituaries such as this must be written.

An online guest registry is available at www.morrisonfuneralhomes.com.

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