Mark Carroll Espy, Sr., a resident of Headland, died early Tuesday afternoon, October 16, 2012, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 68.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, October 19, 2012, in the Worship Center of the First Baptist Church of Headland with Dr. Cecil Sanders, Jr. and Dr. Mike Shirah officiating. Burial will follow in the Headland Baptist Cemetery. Holman-Headland Mortuary is in charge of funeral arrangements. The family will receive friends from 4:00 until 7:00 P.M. Thursday in the Worship Center of the First Baptist Church and also from 10:00 until 10:45 A.M. prior to the funeral services at the church.
Because of Mark's love of, lifelong membership and devotion to the First Baptist Church of Headland, he would like in lieu of flowers for memorial contributions to be made to the First Baptist Church "Bridge To Tomorrow" Building Fund, 301 East Church Street, Headland, AL 36345.
Mr. Espy was a lifelong resident of Headland, son of the late Major Watt Espy, Sr. and Edith Vann Espy. He was a 1962 graduate of Headland High School and was also a graduate of Marion Institute where he received an Associate Arts Degree. Mr. Espy received a B.S. Degree in Agricultural Administration from Auburn University in 1965 and a Banking Certificate from the School of Banking of the South at LSU in 1973.
Mr. Espy began his banking career with Headland National Bank in 1966, serving in many capacities. He became President and CEO in 1986 and recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, remaining as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Espy was President and a board member of Espy Mercantile, Inc. and also a board member of the E & W Building Materials Co., Inc. Mr. Espy was a board member of the Alabama 4-H Foundation, a member for forty six years and twice past President of the Headland Kiwanis Club, a member and past President of the Henry County Cattlemen's Association and a former regional Vice-President of the Alabama Cattlemen's Association. Mr. Espy formerly served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Samford University for ten years. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for Life Insurance Company of Alabama since 1989. Mr. Espy was a past member of the Board of Directors for Community Bankers Association of Alabama and a past Chairman of the Agriculture Committee of Alabama Bankers Association. Mr. Espy served on the Henry County Board of the Wiregrass United Way since its inception and one year as its Board Chairman. He was also actively involved with Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society and other area wide charities. In earlier years, he served in the Headland Athletic Association, coached T-Ball, Dixie Youth Baseball and Pee Wee Football.
Mr. Espy had a lifelong love of Auburn University and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Henry County Auburn Club. He served as National Director from 1993 to 1996 of the Auburn Alumni Association and was a Charter Board Member of the Auburn Agricultural Alumni Association. Mr. Espy was a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association. His love for horses began as a youth and was rekindled after his grandchildren took an interest. Many happy days were spent with family and friends riding at the farm.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Espy was preceded in death by a sister, Mila Espy Woods and a half-brother, Major Watt Espy, Jr.
Surviving relatives include his devoted wife, Regina Outlaw Stevens Espy, two daughters, Leslie Espy Cook and husband, Jeff, and Keisha Stevens Williams and husband, Jeffrey, all of Headland; four sons, Mark Espy, Jr., Asheville, N.C.; Luke Stevens and wife, Heather, Headland; Miles Espy, Sr. and wife, Eve, Leesburg, GA; Allen Espy and wife, Kade, Asheville, N.C.; a sister, Marilyn Espy McClendon and husband, Don, Headland; a brother-in-law, Billy Woods and wife, Suzanne, Dothan; eight grandchildren, Sarah Beth Parker, Zach Parker, Kennedy Williams, Alexandria (Alex) Stevens, Will Stevens, Emily Espy, Miles Espy, Jr. and Michael Espy; two step-grandchildren, Haley Cook and Jameson Cook; a step-great-grandchild, Madi Cook Hopper; his devoted canine companion, "Babee"; and several nieces and nephews.
Serving as active pallbearers will be grandsons, Zach Parker, Miles Espy, Jr., Michael Espy, Will Stevens, Jameson Cook and nephews, Will Woods and Jeff McClendon. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be members of the Board of Directors and past and present employees of the Headland National Bank; members of the Donnie Smith Sunday School Class and the Headland Kiwanis Club.
The family would like to express their appreciation to Covenant Hospice, especially Tasha Tyree, R.N. for the loving care and kindness shown to Mr. Espy during his illness.