Lila Deane Chandler Autrey, a resident of Auburn and formerly of Greenville, died Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. She was 89 years old.
Funeral Service was held Sunday, Nov. 17, from the chapel of Dunklin & Daniel Funeral Home at 2 p.m. Burial followed at Fort Dale Cemetery. Visitation was held from at 1 – 2 p.m.
Deane was born on Aug. 3, 1930 in Thorsby to Charles and Fannie (Hall) Chandler. She was the fourth child of six siblings. After her birth, Charles and Fannie moved to Prattville.
Deane was attending Auburn University and majoring in Home Economics when she met Max Autrey, an Auburn football player and Veterinarian student. Max and Deane married. The couple moved to Fort Deposit and set up his vet practice.
For a few of their early married years, Max became a Meat Inspector for the Federal Government which had him and Deane moving to Fort Smith, Ark.; then Springhill, La.; to Birmingham; and then, West Point, Miss.
Max decided to bring his family back to his hometown of Greenville. This is where Max established his veterinarian practice and Deane set up housekeeping to raise their family.
Max and Deane had five children, Jan (Charles) Newton of Greenville, Nick (Kathy) Autrey of Gulf Shores, Mark (Connie) Autrey of Jay, Fla., Bert (Jennie) of Auburn and Pat (Allison) Autrey, of Auburn.
After living two years in the town of Greenville, Max moved Deane and his family to the country where they settled on some family land. Although Deane was a city girl, she threw herself in to becoming a farm wife. She did it beautifully and successfully. The couple loved to entertain and Deane became renowned for her cooking and hospitality.
In Greenville, Max and Deane were very active in the Walnut Street Church of Christ. Deane was a favorite home room mother with the teachers. She was a great supporter of 4-H. She supported the Searcy Homemakers Club. She was a great “sports” mom.
Max and Deane shared a joy for Auburn football and were very active in the Auburn Alumni Association. They had season tickets each year to all the home games and enjoyed the reunions in the A Club box with old football player buddies from their past.
After Max passed in 1995, Deane moved to Auburn and reacquainted herself with many of her Auburn friends. She continued to go to Auburn football games for many years. She became active at the Auburn Church of Christ.
She joined many Auburn social clubs. Later, she moved to Monarch, a retirement home and enjoyed the social activities there. She died at Monarch peacefully in her sleep.
Deane loved everybody. She always had a smile for everyone. Her positive nature was uplifting to all. Her family will miss her very much.
Her grandchildren lovingly called her Deane Deane. She leaves sixteen grandchildren; Ollie, Seth (Jen Motsch), and Lila (Stephen McNair) Newton; George Nick (Lee Branum), Mary Kathryn, and Beth Anne (Spenser McClendon) Autrey; Rhett, Katie, Krista, and Austin Autrey; Jessica (Shannon MacArthur), Melissa (Reed Brownell), Rachel, and Cari Autrey; Ella and Max Autrey.
She also leaves behind twelve beloved great-grandchildren, her adored only living sister, Jackie Chandler Autrey, and many nieces and nephews.
Pall Bearers were Ollie Newton, Seth Newton, Russell Motsch, George Nick Autrey, Rhett Autrey, Austin Autrey, Max Autrey, Sam Brownell and Van Newton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Fort Dale Cemetery Association c/o First Citizens Bank.