Community mourns loss of longtime volunteer


LOXLEY, Alabama — Charlene Renfro, longtime Loxley resident and volunteer in the community, died Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the age of 69.

“It was definitely a surprise and a shock,” said Loxley Mayor Billy Middleton. “She was a big part of our community for more than 40 years, serving with the fire department, and of course her son, Tony is a big part of our police department and fire department, serving as chief.”

Renfro was the first female firefighter in Baldwin County with the Loxley Volunteer Fire Department. She was a tee-ball coach in Loxley for many years.

“She was a big part of our department for decades, long before I came to Loxley,” said Ed Vaughn, the town’s deputy fire chief. “As with anyone with a volunteer organization, she was a huge asset for our department. She was family.”

Renfro was a dispatcher for the Robertsdale Police Department and promoted to chief dispatcher for many years. She was also a dispatcher for the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department.

She was an active member of the Ladies Volunteer Auxiliary for Loxley Fire Department for the past six years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John A. and Florence M. Renfro and sister, Diane Baker.

Survivors include a daughter, Theresa Lovell (John) Waller; sons, Raymond “Tony” (Beth) Lovell, Brian (Melissa) Lovell; siblings, John Renfro, Gary Renfro, Mary Lou Renfro, Cyndi Renfro Siembab, Pam Bauman, Debbie Renfro, Jeff Renfro; grandchildren, Randall Devine, Dustin Devine, Christopher Devine, Raegan Lovell, Walker Bannister, Victoria Jones, Justice Lovell, Zachary Lovell and Rani Wilson; eight great grandchildren and countless nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held Thursday, Feb. 28 at Mack Funeral Home in Robertsdale. The family requests memorials be made to Loxley Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 32, Loxley, AL 36551.

Arrangements were made by Mack Funeral Home & Crematory.

Information provided by Mack Funeral Home with additional reporting by Onlooker co-editor John Underwood.