(GRAHAM) To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
On Feb. 14, 2023, Kenneth Spratlin, 75, of Woodland was surrounded by his loved ones as he went home to Heaven following a lengthy battle with prostate and bladder cancer. He was received into his eternal home by Jesus, his Lord and Savior, and many loved ones.
Kenneth was born in Bowdon, Ga., on Sept. 16, 1947, the son of the late Archie and Mary Johnson Spratlin. He had a happy childhood, enjoying the benefits of growing up in the country, and loved farming-poultry, cattle and vegetables.
Kenneth went to work for Southwire Company, in Carrollton, Ga., on Dec. 10, 1969. During his 41-year career, he worked in building maintenance which entailed welding, fabrication, concrete finishing, and putting in foundations for machinery. His nickname at Southwire was Dude.
Kenneth and Gita Entrekin West, the love of his life, were joined in marriage on Feb. 24, 1990. The Lord made them for each other and they based the foundation of their home on Him. Kenneth and Gita were a faithful, loving team and enjoyed taking short trips to the mountains of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. For their 19th anniversary, Gita took him to her birthplace in Heidelberg, Germany. They visited the places where Gita lived, went to church and school. He really liked eating different types of schnitzel each day while they were there. They were always ready to sing together or in groups. Kenneth was the “sound man” for Gita when she played the piano. Cooking together and trying new recipes was always fun.
During this time, they faithfully walked through Kenneth’s cancer journeys. Gita seldom left his side during the past four years.
On Aug. 13, 1989, Kenneth received a new name when he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior – Child of God. He was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Graham, Alabama. “Bro. Kenneth” was active in all areas of church life. Over the years, he served as a member of the building and grounds committee, the sign committee, Sunday School Director, Sunday School teacher, choir member and music director for 25+ years, Brotherhood Director, Building Committee member for the addition of the Fellowship Hall, the baptistry and the Sunday School rooms, several Pastor Search Committees and Nominating committees. As a Sunday School teacher, he and Gita especially enjoyed working with the youth, teaching, leading them to Jesus, taking the young’uns to Bible conferences in the mountains, introducing new restaurants (Mexican in January and Chinese in August), and working with the Youth Choir. After his retirement, the late Ricky Arrington gave him another name, the Shiloh Taxi. If you needed to go to the doctor, replace a batter in the smoke alarm or just needed a visit, Ricky told folks to call the Shiloh Taxi. He was also blessed by working on several mission trips and building groups for churches in Alabama.
Kenneth was the Executive Committee representative to the Randolph Baptist Association until his health failed in 2020. He was an active member of several committees, the music director, and served as Vice Moderator for the Association from 1998-2000. Then he became Moderator and served until 2003. He looked forward to joining with other churches to assist families, reaching others for Christ during the Tent Revival in 1993, and spending time in fellowship with Baptist churches in Randolph County. Serving the Friendship House in Oxford, through the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home was his favorite project. From collecting and delivering paper products to the home to providing smoked turkeys at Thanksgiving Kenneth looked forward to sharing with the children.
For about 28 years, Kenneth delighted in playing Santa Claus by phone. He called many children. This past Christmas, he called the little daughter of the first young man he ever called.
Survivors include his loving and devoted wife, Gita; children, Sally and Joe Alcock and Wade and Lucy Spratlin, all of Atlanta; grandchildren, Waverly and Daphne Alcock and Andy and William Spratlin. Survivors also include Kenneth’s sisters and their families: Rhonda and Barrett Lawler of Cullman and Lynn Spratlin and Kyle Short of Woodland; Marriage and church added more family members: Michael and Amanda Entrekin, brother & sister-in-love of Bowdon, Ga.; honorary daughter, Shondae Brown of Woodland; niece, Candace Brown and Kevin Hull of Ephesus; nephews, Joseph Entrekin of Carrollton, Timothy and Jessica Entrekin of LaGrange; bonus nephews, Benjamin, Dillan and Mason Arrington; bonus nieces, Olivia Arrington and Tiff West; great-nephews, Jacob and Andrew Brown and William “Will” Entrekin. Margaret Jackson and Kay Johnson were his honorary sisters. Rita Carroll, caregiver since Sept. 2020 became a family member, too. Kenneth was also blessed with many young’uns and their families from Shiloh. He was a wonderful husband, son, dad, brother, Opa, P-Paw, Uncle Kenneth, Bro. Kenneth, and Mr. Kenneth. Most of all, Kenneth was an enthusiastic and devoted follower of Christ.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by Gita’s parents, Bill & Sara Entrekin, who loved him dearly. Kenneth looked forward to meeting Gita’s son, Jonathan David West, when he arrived in Heaven.
Funeral services were held at Shiloh on Saturday, Feb. 18, with Bro. David Daniel and Bro. Tony Morris officiating and Bro. Fred Cooke and Bro. Tyler Worthy officiating the graveside services. Eric Payne led a special prayer. Burial followed in the adjoining cemetery.
Pallbearers were Byron Lovvorn, Eddie Traylor, Jim Triplett, Daren Kiser, Doug Skidmore and Michael Arrington. Honorary Pallbearers were the following: Representing the late Bobby Williams, traveling partner and fixer of all things, his son, Bo; the late Tommy Traylor, Kenneth’s prayer partner, is represented by his son-in-law, Travis Heard; Marty Arrington is representing Ricky Arrington, Kenneth’s brother-in-Christ; and Billy Beddingfield, neighbor, friend and fixer of many things. Mr. Kenneth’s church young’uns also served as honorary pallbearers.
Musicians were Margaret Abrams, Susan Gibbs and Gita Spratlin. Vocalists were Jan Adams, Joyce Reeves and Bob Matthews.
The family is so thankful for the ministry and care shown to them by Compassus Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Compassus Hospice at 4455 Hwy 431, Roanoke, AL 36274, or the Randolph Baptist Association Ramp Builders at P.O. Box 287, Wedowee, AL 36278.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.benefieldfhwedowee.com.
Benefield Funeral Home, Wedowee.