Alabaster remembers Larry Stewart

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster officials remembered a man they called a “selfless servant” during a City Council meeting a little more than a week after the 57-year-old man’s death.

Longtime Alabaster resident Larry Donnell Stewart died at his home Dec. 26, 2011, after battling a lengthy illness, Alabaster officials said during the Jan. 3 meeting.

“He truly cared about the city. He was a caring man,” said Alabaster Mayor David Frings, noting he served with Stewart on the city’s first business and marketing committee several years ago. “I knew him for a long time. He had a very giving heart, and he was always looking for something for someone else.

“He was a great man, and he will be missed,” Frings added.

Frings said Stewart was active in many municipal organizations, including the Alabaster Beautification Board and the Arise Citizens’ Policy Project.

Stewart’s funeral was held Dec. 31, 2011, at Kingwood Church before he was laid to rest at Shelby Memory Gardens in Calera.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Sophie Martin said Stewart was active in Alabaster’s Simmsville community off Shelby County 11.

“Every neighborhood cleanup we had, he was there. In fact, he organized most of them,” Martin said. “Every Simmsville action committee we had, he was there.”

Ward 2 Councilman Bob Hicks said Stewart did much of his community service work “behind the scenes,” and said he was grateful for Stewart’s impact on Alabaster.

“He did a lot of things we didn’t even know about,” Hicks said.

In other business, the council also donated $900 to the Thompson High School math department to use for what THS Principal Dr. Danny Steele called an “automated student response system.”

With the system, students in several of the school’s classes will be able to use remote controls to answer math problems displayed on the classes’ smart boards. After the students answer the problems, the teacher will be able to instantly review the students’ performances.

“Teachers are usually relegated to a quiz or a test to review student performance,” Steele said. “You can put a quiz on the screen, the kids all click their answers and a chart appears immediately on the screen telling you how many got it right and how many got it wrong.”

Stele said the system will allow teachers to better understand which areas they need to focus on in each class.

“This is without a doubt a great investment,” Steele said. “We are profoundly grateful for the city’s assistance.”