COMMUNITY COLUMN: Thorsby must press on

Published 11:03 am Friday, January 4, 2013

By Tracia Bussey

After taking a short break for the holidays, this columnist is ready to get back to the business of writing an article about Thorsby each week.

To begin, I feel it fitting to mention the town’s great loss of her beloved mayor, Dearl Hilyer. Mr. Hilyer’s passing in October was such an unexpected event that many people still find it difficult to accept his absence, myself included. I considered Mr. Hilyer a fellow community servant, good friend and leader. We had many talks and discussions about ideas and plans for Thorsby, and I can honestly say, the man was not afraid to work tirelessly to see those ideas become realities.

He always seemed to find time to talk without making a person feel they were too much of a bother. His bright smile, congenial personality and strong Christian faith were only a few of his leadership qualities that stood out. I think it is going to take the town a while to recover from this loss.

On a positive note, we do have a new mayor, Mrs. Jean Nelson, who happens to be Thorsby’s first female to hold such a prestigious position. Mrs. Nelson is a long-time town council member and was the mayor pro tem during Mr. Hilyer’s term as mayor. She will carry on with the business of leading Thorsby during the next four years.

There are also three new council members: Roger Marcus, Randall Higgins and Nicole Hilyer, who together with Neal Benson and Marvin Crumpton will be working hard for the town they all love.

Let the ringing in of the new year come with hope, expectancy and promise for Thorsby, treasuring all that’s been gained as well as all that’s been lost. We are, after all, shaped and molded by our experiences; however, it is our choice to be bitter or better. May we be the latter!

–Tracia Bussey is a community columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. She can be reached at