Celia Shuptrine Alison, 88, died Thursday, December 12, 2019, at home in Selma, Alabama. She was born September 7, 1931 in Oakdale, Louisiana, to the late Ruth Feagin Shuptrine and Cecil Fontaine Shuptrine. As a girl she lived in Mississippi and Louisiana where her father was building roads, including parts of the Natchez Trace. Her summers were spent with her paternal grandparents on the family farm in Safford, Alabama. The family returned to Selma in 1942. Celia graduated from Albert G. Parrish High School and earned a BA degree in physics and mathematics from Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. IBM recruited her, but instead she married Dr. James Fairly Alison Jr. of Selma in September 1953.Their honeymoon was the drive to Fairbanks, Alaska, where Jimmie completed his service in the Air Force.
After his residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and the birth of their eldest daughter, Olivia, they returned to Selma, where Jimmie practiced pediatrics. In 1965, Celia took over Shuptrine Cattle Company and managed it nearly 20 years. A lifelong equestrian, Celia grew up showing Tennessee Walking Horses, and she rode in field trials until well into her 70s. She was an accomplished gardener and flower arranger, serving for decades on both the flower guild at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the garden committee for Sturdivant Hall. She also enjoyed golf, travel, and genealogy. An active member of the community, she worked on numerous boards and committees including The Salvation Army, the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, The National Society of The Colonial Dames in America, the Alabama Charolais Association, the Alabama Women’s Golf Association, the Central Alabama Shooting Dog Association, and One Selma.
She is predeceased by her parents, her sister Ruth Shuptrine Pettersen, and her husband of 64 years. She is survived by her sister Mabel Shuptrine Baldwin of Richmond, VA; her children Olivia Evans Alison, Celia Fontaine Alison, and James Fairly Alison III (Susan), all of Birmingham; her grandchildren James Parker Alison and Anne Fairly Alison; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family thanks her special caregivers, Sallie Howard, Lena Craig, and Bessie Ferguson, for their loving attention. Funeral will be held Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Selma: visitation at 1 p.m., service at 2. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, stpaulsselma.dioala.org; The Salvation Army, 2014 Franklin St., Selma 36701; or the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, selmalibrary.org.
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