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franklin county times

Maudie Darby Bedford

Born Jan. 8, 1957, Maudie Darby Bedford was welcomed into the arms of Jesus March 20, 2022.  

She was predeceased by her father, Elton H. Darby, and her sister, Vickie Darby Crenshaw. 

She is survived by her husband, Roger H. Bedford Jr., and their son, Roger H. Bedford III. She is also survived by her mother, Mary Jane Darby; sisters, Jane (Johnny) Dill and Lulu (Richard) Todd; brothers, E. Hall (Stacy) Darby and E. Herbert (Linda) Darby Jr.; and Uncle James A. (Jim) Hall.

She had many beloved nieces and nephews and one great-nephew.  

A native of Florence, Maudie graduated in the Class of 1975 from Bradshaw High School, where she enjoyed being a Bruin cheerleader. She attended the University of Alabama, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.  

She and Roger made their home in Russellville, and they were active members of First Baptist Church. 

Maudie was a strong supporter of her husband Roger through his health issues and political career. She worked tirelessly in support of his campaigns, both statewide in 1996 as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate and through his many years of service to the people of Alabama in the Alabama State Senate. Her staunch support for his work for the people of Alabama was inspiring. 

Maudie was general manager of WVNA AM/FM radio station for many years and was a strong supporter of small business development across the state. She was past president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association and served as president and CEO of the Southern Development Council until her death. Under her direction, the SDC grew to become the only Alabama-based Small Business Administration Accredited Certified Development Company.  

Maudie served on various boards and foundations, including Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Following her remission from breast cancer, Maudie worked to raise funds for breast cancer survivor research at the UAB Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic. Always giving of herself to benefit others, she used her own cancer experience to help women “Walking Down the Road to Wellness.”

Maudie embodied hospitality. She opened her home for countless celebrations, and no one was a stranger. When friends were hurting, Maudie made her love tangible: She cooked for them and comforted them in many ways. She once described cooking as what she did best. Her homegrown produce often starred in her gourmet meals; in the summer, at least one of the 28 different kinds of tomatoes she grew found its way to a dinner plate on a daily basis, and pantries of friends and loved ones were enriched by the gifts of her homemade jams, jellies and tomato ketchup.  

Maudie loved the hours she spent in her garden, playing tennis and bridge and caring for her constant companions: Labs Max and Bruni and very beloved rescue dog, Bear.  

Maudie’s greatest joy in this life was her son, Roge, and she was fiercely proud of the man he has become. Cheering on Roge and the Golden Tigers as a Tiger Mom gave her so much joy. She was a passionate supporter of all Crimson Tide sports – even more so when her son started working under Alabama head coach Nick Saban. She was a second mom to many of Roge’s fraternity brothers, friends and colleagues.

The pallbearers will be John Bedford, Johnny Dill, Richard Todd, John Dill, Gator Todd, Ike Rogers, Russell Thorn and Jimmy Todd. Honorary pallbearers were Bob Rogers, Lawson Bedford and Jim Hall.

The family would like to thank Dr. Robert Wolff, Dr. Martin Heslin, Dr. David Hinton and Dr. Phillip Bobo and their staffs for their care. A special thanks to her angel here on earth, Christy Whitehead, and her beloved brother-in-law, John Bedford, who was there for her tirelessly and was everyone’s “rock.”

Visitation will be Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the funeral following at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Russellville. She will be laid to rest at Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens in Florence following the service.  

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Research or JJ Cares, a fund to help animals, c/o North Alabama Animal Hospital.

Pinkard Funeral Home of Russellville is assisting the family.