Falkner to lead parade

Special to the Reporter

Grand marshal for the 18th annual Liberty Day parade will be Jefferson Dowell &uot;Buck&uot; Falkner.

The parade, which is planned for 5 p.m. this Saturday, is presented by the Columbiana Rotary Club.

Born in 1921 to Curtis J. and Ethel B. Falkner, he grew up in Columbiana after moving from the Sterrett area in 1923. He attended Columbiana Elementary School and Shelby County High School. He attended Rock School House in Westover for one year.

During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served in England until the war was over.

&uot;The best period of my life began on Christmas Eve night in 1941 when I married the beautiful Lorene Juzan from Shelby. We have been happily married for 61 and a half years and have lived in the same house the entire time,&uot; he said.

The couple has two sons, Jefferson Dowell Falkner Jr. and Terry Juan Falkner; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Falkner was the second man hired for the Shelby County (farm to market) road program in 1946.

He worked seven years as the construction superintendent under three county engineers.

&uot;Lorene and I went into the clothing business on April 16, 1953,&uot; he said, referring to Eagles Department Store on Main Street in Columbiana.

After 11 years, they moved across the street and opened Falkner’s Department Store, which stayed in business until 1974, when they leased the building to Dollar General.

From November 1973 to 1978, he worked as city superintendent and entered the real estate business in 1978, representing Gulf States Paper Company from 1980 to 1987.

He worked with several real estate agencies until his retirement in 2001.

Falkner was appointed in 1953 to fill a vacancy on the Columbiana City Council. He served 20 years on the council under four mayors, Wales Wallace, Dr. Cole, Jim Haynes and Bob Bolton, serving as mayor pro tem under all four.

He was elected mayor in 1980 and served until 1988.

&uot;To me, my greatest achievement was being elected by the people of Columbiana seven times. That gives me 33 years at City Hall. That’s a long time,&uot; he said.

For more on Liberty Day, check out the special section inside today’s Shelby County Reporter