The journey of life for Alex Lee Winfrey, Sr., began on June 9, 1949, in Forrest City, Arkansas. He was the eldest of 11 children born to Elmond J. and Mary Ophelia Winfrey. His parents taught him to adhere to high morals, spiritual and educational values.
Alex was a 1967 graduate of Lincoln High School in Forrest City, Arkansas. He furthered his education when he enrolled at Arkansas AM&N College, now UAPB, where he earned a BS degree agriculture specializing in Agronomy in 1971. Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber, chemicals, recreation, or land conservation. Agronomy includes research of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science.
Although few Africa-Americans worked in this profession, Alex was offered a job with the Natural Resources Conservation Services, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. He retired after 35 years of service. He was a man who was no stranger to hard work. He created opportunities for himself after retirement. He worked as a driver for SCAT, the Senior Adult Center in Gurdon, and was the owner of Mossy Rock Variety Store in downtown Gurdon. In 2020, he was elected as city councilman of Okolona.
Alex met and married Barbara Jean Jones on June 10, 1972 and they were blessed with two sons, Lee and Michael. They were married for 46 years until her demise in 2018.
He found love again and married Brenda Faye Piggee on October 13, 2019. This union added two more sons and additional grandchildren.
He made the permanent commitment to serve the Lord and answered his call to preach the gospel. His pastoral assignments included: Holly Grove Baptist Church in Okolona; Antioch Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, and First Baptist Church in Nashville. He was presently serving at the assistant pastor of First Baptist Church in Okolona where Rev. John A. Hill is the pastor. He served as President of Section 4 of the Southwest District Association for many years. His favorite bible passage was John 14:1-4. He attended bible study faithfully, continued to attend Sunday school and worship services regularly.
He was a simple man who enjoyed farming, tending to his cows, and fishing. His grandchildren and great grandchildren added so much joy to his life whether it was playing bean bag baseball, baiting the fishing hook, or sharing a slice of watermelon.
His pilgrimage was modest, but full and fulfilling. On March 2, 2022, he slipped the bonds of this life for a life eternal. His independent spirit, iron will and strong character will never be duplicated, but leaves an impression on the lives of those he touched and enriched along life’s journey. Alex was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Barbara J. Winfrey (2018); his son, Michael Winfrey (2014) and his siblings, Gail Winfrey, Linda Davis, Keith Winfrey, Barry Winfrey, Sandra Johnson, Betty Brown and Frederick Winfrey.
He leaves to continue and cherish his legacy his wife; Brenda Piggee Winfrey, his bonus children Christopher Piggee and Shunn Piggee and their children; his biological son, Alex Lee Winfrey, Jr., (Julie); his sons, Andrew Ridgell, Stephen Winfrey (Laura Wharton), Marcus Winfrey (Robin) and Jaron Winfrey; his daughter, Christy Winfrey and her sons, DeMarcus Winfrey, Joshua Winfrey, Chase Winfrey and Christian Winfrey; his great-grandchildren, Lily Winfrey, Tori Ridgell, Emma Ridgell, Angel Ridgell, Kristopher Ridgell, Benjamin Ridgell, Gabriel McClenahan, Rylee Evans, Timothy English, Eli English, Amelia Sims and Elena Sims; his siblings, Roy (Margaree) Winfrey, Vicky (Oscar) Ellis, Angenett Winfrey; and a sisters-in-law, Joyce Winfrey and Barbara Winfrey. He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and the First Baptist Church of Okolona family.
Submitted by the family
Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2022 at the Williams Funeral Home. Family and friends will celebrate his life at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at First Baptist Church in Okolona with Rev. J. L. Newborn, eulogist. Interment will be at Richmond Hill Cemetery in Arkadelphia.
Bearers of the casket will be Deacon Jerry Harvell, Deacon Marcus Muldrew, Deacon Shufford Day and Deacon Jackie Harvell.