Richard Rudolph Thigpen – Obituary

By  | May 14, 2017 | Filed under: Obituaries, Spry Funeral Home

Richard Rudolph Thigpen, 82, peacefully passed away at Huntsville Hospital on May 10, 2017, after a brief illness.

Mr. Thigpen was born Oct. 9, 1934, in Florence to Grace Mildred Hamm Thigpen and John Avery Thigpen. Rudy’s birth was somewhat of a local news sensation at the time due to it taking place in a small efficiency apartment upstairs inside the Lauderdale County courthouse building where his parents lived as his father was employed there as a janitor.

In his youth, Rudy worked alongside his father and brothers in the family janitorial business, J.A. Thigpen and Sons. They cleaned several buildings in downtown Florence, including the First National Bank and the U.S. Post Office. Rudy graduated from Coffee High School in 1953 and University of Alabama in 1957. He worked at Reynolds Alloys in Sheffield and then was employed as an engineer by Wyle Laboratories of Huntsville for over 30 years. He moved with his wife and children to live in Colorado Springs, Colorado for about ten years before returning to live in Madison in 1985.

Rudy’s interests included fishing, college football, and spending time with his grandchildren, grandniece and grandnephews. He enjoyed going out to lunch with his friends and was always on the alert for a good bargain. Rudy loved to tinker in his garage and was prone to squirreling things away out there. He was well-prepared to help if anyone needed anything: boxes, duct tape, aluminum pans, binder clips, hummingbird feeders, batteries (any size), flashlights, etc. He was devoted to caring for his family, friends, and neighbors.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Grace and Avery Thigpen; his brothers, John Michael (Mickey) Thigpen and Donald Adrian Thigpen; and his son, Morrison (Mo) Avery Thigpen.

Survivors include his wife, Alice Morrison Thigpen; his daughter, Millie Allred (Steve); his grandchildren, Jordan Claire and Joseph Allred; his sister, Barbara Dell Morris (Hillard); and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Spry Funeral Home of Huntsville. A celebration of his life will be held for family and friends at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Huntsville Hospital Foundation at

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