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Leon Majors, of Safford, passed gently into the arms of his Savior at 5:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 1st, at Warren Manor in Selma, following a long illness.
Leon was deeply religious and fascinated by the supernatural mysteries found both inside and outside the Bible. He dedicated his life to Christ at Center Chapel in Central Mills where he was baptized into the United Methodist faith as a young man. He remained a lifelong member until the Chapel’s closing in 2016 when his church membership and faithful attendance were transferred to Orrville United Methodist Church; he also was a faithful weekly attendee of Safford Baptist Church throughout his life.
Leon was born September 25, 1945, in Selma, to John Pope (J.P.) and Marie Baker Majors, the youngest of three sons and the sixth generation of Majors born in Dallas County. They moved from Selma to Safford in 1947 and Leon attended Orrville High School from first through twelfth grade, graduating in 1964. He was in the OHS Marching Band and the Chorus where he developed a beautiful baritone singing voice which he gladly raised in praise at worship services throughout his life.
Leon volunteered to serve his country in Vietnam and he was inducted into the U.S. Air Force on February 3, 1967. High aptitude test scores stationed him at Hickam Air Force Base Honolulu as an Oxygen Plant/Cryogenic Fluids Production Specialist throughout his military career and, after rising to the rank of Sergeant E-4, he was honorably discharged on January 31, 1971.
Leon attended Enterprise Junior College, George C. Wallace State Community College in Selma and East Central Community College in Mississippi where he studied math, science and engineering. He had a rare gift for mechanics and he could intuitively understand, build or repair almost any type of machinery. He worked with his late father, mother, uncle Euel Baker and brother Herman Majors at Majors Farms, Ruby Lake Farms and Baker Land and Cattle as a farmer and mechanic for most of his life. Later on, he became a long-distance trucker then a maintenance engineer for the City of Selma. Leon held a private pilot’s license and flew crop dusters for various farmers throughout Dallas and surrounding counties based out of Jewell Flying Service at Skyharbor Airport, Selma. He was an avid reader, he loved watching old Westerns, and he actively pursued many hobbies including coin collecting, woodworking, painting, locksmithing, electronics, resin encasement, and caring for his beloved cats and kittens.
Leon served as Chief Inspector of the Safford Polling Place for many years. He served as secretary and treasurer of the Safford Community Club Board of Directors and as a member of the Center Chapel Historical Society Board of Directors until his death. He was a member of the Orrville Christian Men’s Group, a volunteer firefighter for the Safford Volunteer Fire Department for many years, and he also supervised the annual Safford Barbeque, now in its 72nd year, as long as his health permitted. Leon was the only person ever entrusted with his mother Marie Majors’s secret barbeque sauce recipe —locally famous both as Safford BBQ sauce and as Stadium BBQ sauce (Memorial Stadium, Selma)—which he faithfully continued to cook, can and give away until his death.
Leon was preceded in death by his father J.P. Majors (July 19, 1972), mother Ruth Marie Baker Majors (November 21, 2005), and beloved brother Herman Edward Majors (January 20, 2018). He leaves behind one brother, Paul (Violet) Baker Majors of Birmingham; sister-in-law Linda McBrayer Majors of Orrville; nieces and nephew Melynda Elizabeth Majors of Washington, D.C., Shannon Majors Anderson of Gulf Shores, Christopher (Jennifer) Wylie Majors of Montgomery, Elizabeth (Sean) Majors Bertrand of Macon, Georgia, and Alexis (Blas) Smith Elias of Las Vegas, Nevada; great-nieces and -nephews John Dickson of Gulf Shores, C.J. Majors of Montgomery, Daulton and Amanda Anderson of Gulf Shores, and Canyon and Landis Elias of Las Vegas, Nevada; one remaining uncle, Don Sanders of Mobile; a host of cousins; and very special family friend Ella Mae Pullom Rogers.
A casual, informal memorial service is planned for Sunday, April 22nd, 2:00 p.m., at Orrville United Methodist Church, followed by coffee and donuts in the fellowship hall, The Reverend Travis Barnes, The Reverend Von McQueen and The Reverend Larry Nickles officiating.
Honorary pallbearers will be Lee Jones, David Givhan, Russell Foster, Bart Anderson, Brian Yount, Eugene Bayne, Richard Jones, Pearce Caine, Scott Silvey, Eric Jewell, Ed Hooker, Rod Barnes, David Anderson, J.B. Phillips, Bill Russell, Jimmy Jones, Sam Neely, David Caine, Lebo Jones, Sam Givhan, Sam Houston Givhan, Calvin Bowie, Jeff Jones, Cecil Fields, Hunter Miller, Justin Rhodes, John Henry Kitchens, Snap Dagostin, Ken Busby and Dr. Jack Burns.
In accordance with his wishes, Leon’s ashes will be spread at a private family service at the Majors homestead in Safford at a later date.
The Majors family gratefully recognizes Orrville UMC, Brother Travis Barnes, Virginia Kendrick, Clementine Bowie, Center Chapel UMC, Kay Foster, Elaine Miller, Margaret Miller Rhodes, Safford Baptist Church, Brother Von McQueen, Vanette Caine-Phillips, Katie Blackmon Jones, Lynn Givhan, Maria Silvey Richards, Scott Silvey, O’Mara Cook, Overton Gibson, Suzanne Ingram, Judy McKinney, Judy Jackson, Reid McMilion, Patti Fields McMilion, Josh Wilkerson, Felix Reeves, Florida Blue of Pensacola, Dr. Jack Burns and Selma Medical Associates, Warren Manor and Sava Senior Care, Homestead Hospice, and Lawrence Brown-Service for their kindness, care and support in Leon’s final days.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Leon Majors’s memory to Orrville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 291, Orrville, AL 36767 are suggested.