TALLADEGA — Hall of Heroes co-founder, author and former business owner Bobbye Trammell died Thursday, shortly after celebrating her 90th birthday.
Her funeral service will be Sunday at 2 p.m. at Bemiston United Methodist Church with Rev. Glenn Horn officiating. Entombment will follow at Pine Hill Memorial Park Mausoleum in Talladega. The family will receive friends Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at Usrey Funeral Home.
In a 150-word biography submitted to Readers Digest in 2011, she wrote, “I was born in a cotton mill village to a family of six children on July 12, 1931. My family worked in the plant, and (we) went to school in Bemiston and (I) graduated from Talladega High School in 1949. World War II started in 1941 and I had three brothers to serve. The oldest was killed on June 1, 1945, in the south Pacific. (In) February, 1953, I married Glenn Trammell and raised two sons. He died on Oct. 3, 2003, and in his honor, and all servicemen and women, I founded the Hall of Heroes. In 1955, I started working for (the U.S. Department of Agriculture) and was awarded the state and national Employee of the Year and retired in 1987. On July 12, 2011, I qualified to run for mayor of Talladega on my 80th birthday.”
She did not win that election, but her legacy is secure nonetheless.
According to her obituary, she ran a successful small business for many years. The obituary also says she was a lifelong Methodist and served Bemiston United Methodist Church as treasurer for more than 30 years.
After the death of her husband in 2003, she turned her time and her passion to the improvement of her city. In 2004, she and other citizens founded the Talladega County Hall of Heroes, which continues to honor the memory and service of all Talladega County’s veterans.” Her book on the history of Talladega’s Bemiston community remains in print more than a decade after it was first published.
She first proposed the Hall of Heroes in 2003 or 2004. The original idea was to put up photographs and brief biographical sketches of anyone from Talladega County who had served the country in uniform in wartime. The hall was originally in the new wing of the Armstrong-Osborne Public Library, but within a few years outgrew that space. The late Robert Weaver donated the Wood-Weaver Shoe Store building on the square, which was renovated by a group of volunteers. In its new location, the hall has grown to include not only the portraits of veterans but a vast collection of uniforms from all branches of service, newspaper and magazine clips and military equipment and memorabilia from every era stretching back more than a century. There are also exhibits honoring police, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters and boy and girl scouts.
“If there is anything right about America right now, it was Bobbye Trammell," Hall board member and retired Col. Chuck Keith said. "Her legacy of honoring our military personnel and our first responders will continue, but it was her vision that made it all possible. I am honored to help continue that. She was simply an amazing person who did amazing things, and I will always remember her.”
Business owner Keela Brown was also involved in the Hall of Heroes, but said her relationship with Trammell went back much further.
“I’ve known her all my life,” Brown said. “She was my best friend. She was a mentor and almost an adopted mother to me after I lost my own mother. Her sons used to say that I was her only daughter. You know, a lot of people may not even realize how great a loss this is, because she was so humble, but she could also be very forceful. That was how she was, humble but forceful. My head knows that she is in a better place now, but I’m still waiting for my heart to catch up.”
Added Jimmy Williams, another Hall of Heroes board member: “Her determination is inspiring to everyone who ever met her. I had seen her at council meetings a few times before I really got to know her, and her passion and determination were obvious then. That will be the thing I remember most about her. I wouldn’t say that the Hall of Heroes was a labor of love for her, because I don’t think she ever thought of it as labor. Now her legacy is a source of pride for every one of us.”
Talladega City Council President Betty Spratlin said she had known Trammell “for many years, and she was always an inspiration to me and many others. Her vision — the Hall of Heroes — is a great recognition for the many that have served our country and our community. She was a one-of-a-kind hero herself.”
She is preceded in death by her husband and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Baker, her brothers John Alvin, J.W. and Odell Baker and her sister, Julia Daphne Distler.
She is survived by her sister, Gay Batchelor of Alpine; her sons, Gary Glenn Trammell and wife Darlene of Talladega and Patrick Baker Trammell and wife Suzanne of Vestavia; five grandchildren, Wesley Trammell, Sara Trammell Smith and husband Kevin, Michael Trammell, Wyatt Trammell and Meg Trammell; two great-grandchildren, Emma and Trevor Smith, numerous nieces and nephews and every veteran of Talladega County, according to her obituary.
The past and present board of directors for the Hall of Heroes will serve as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hall of Heroes, 112 Court Square East, Talladega 35160.
Online condolences may be offered at www.usreyfuneralhome.com.