Obituaries, Saturday, May 4, 2024

Published 7:45 pm Friday, May 3, 2024

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Eugene Omasta

Eugene Omasta

Eugene Omasta, age 89, from Troy, Alabama died on Sunday, April 28, 2024.  Funeral services were held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Friday, May 3, 2024.  Gene was born in Pennsylvania on July 18, 1934, to Joseph and Stephanie Omasta whose parents immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia.  He began his education in a one room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania through eighth grade. After high school, he proudly served in the US Navy before going on to graduate with his Bachelors and Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Auburn University. He concluded his academic journey with a PhD in Physics from the University of Iowa.  A dedicated and passionate professor, his students at Troy University awarded him the Ingall’s Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. He served as State Director of the Alabama Junior Academy of Science, and President of the Alabama Academy of Science.  Gene played an active role in various ministries in the community and at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He served on the church vestry, the jail ministry team, Habitat for Humanity, the Pike County American Heart Association, as well as President of the Pike Teachers Credit Union. Outside of his professional life, he enjoyed playing the accordion, sailing, and traveling with his wife, friends, and family. Eugene is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Kathrine “Kathy” Nichols Omasta; brother, Joseph Omasta (Dee); sister, Rose Marie De Szendeffy (Stephen); children, Debra Cox (Gary) and Mark Omasta (Amy); 5 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Larry Omasta; and grandson, Angelo.  Teaching was his passion.  Sailing was his past time, and his family was his life. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Habitat for Humanity or the Pike County American Heart Association.  The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Omasta family.

Francine Lee Moman Sharp

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December 29, 1940 – April 16, 2024

Birmingham, ALABAMA — Francine Lee Moman Sharp, age 83, former staff writer with The Troy Progress and The Troy Messenger publications, died peacefully Tuesday,  April 16, 2024, at tthe Wilsonville, Alabama home she and her late husband, Joe Frank Sharp, built together.

Fran was born on December 29, 1940 in California to Ed and Evelyn Moman. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Ron Moman; and her husband of over 50 years, Joe. She leaves behind her sons, Jon Frank Sharp and Jason Eric Sharp (Misty); her siblings, Donna Hay (the late Joe Hay), Rick Moman (Dale), and Moya Layne (the late Joe Layne); brother-in-law, Jack Sharp; her grandsons, Todd Franklin Sharp and Parker Andrew Sharp; as well as her canine companion Max, extended family, and many dear lifelong friends.

After moving from California to Alabama with her family, Fran worked at the University of Alabama Birmingham Medical School where she met and started dating Joe. After borrowing Joe’s car and nearly getting him arrested for unpaid parking tickets, Fran decided Joe was a keeper and the two were married. 

The couple later moved to Selma, Alabama with their two young sons and Fran began teaching her boys about the world and all the interesting people in it. Fran always had a book nearby and loved reading to her boys. She helped found and worked at the Montessori School in Selma and started a Cub Scouts den to be more active in teaching her sons and their friends.

Fran loved a story and was a master storyteller. She was equally gifted as a listener and empathizer. She fed her love for stories by working at The Troy Progress and The Troy Messenger in addition to writing for several other publications as a freelance writer. She won numerous awards for her photography, her columns and human interest articles when she got to hear stories from friends and strangers and share them with her readers. Her editors nicknamed her Erma Grizzard for her quick wit and writing style. She loved to laugh and was always ready for a new adventure.

Fran was a great supporter of her family, friends and anyone in need of a strong voice and determined will. She treated the neighborhood kids like her own, including a robust congratulations for a goal achieved and a gentle correction if you misbehaved. If you were Fran’s friend, you knew she loved you deeply and without condition. She leaves behind a legacy of being the parent, friend and approachable stranger with the smiling face who would always listen patiently and help ease your burden with a thoughtful word or a comforting hug.

The family would like to thank Betty Kitele, Rachel Wanjiru Ngae, Mary Mwangi, and Daphine Mundinyu for the incredible care they showed Mom over these last years; Chief Davey Edwards and his remarkable crew at the Wilsonville Volunteer Fire Department for their tireless efforts helping support Mom; and the good people at Affinity Hospice for their crucial assistance in keeping mom in her home. They are, each and every one, gifts from God and our gratitude knows no bounds.

Mom always said that she wanted, upon her cremation, for her ashes to be distributed to her friends and loved ones in small sachets that we could carry in our pockets such that we could throw them on people she didn’t like. Unfortunately, the health department has informed us that plan is not ok.

A celebratory gathering for Fran of family and friends will be held Saturday, May 4, 2024 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Ridout’s Southern Heritage Funeral Home, 475 Cahaba Valley Road, Pelham, AL 35124.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Fran’s memory may be made to the Alabama Children’s Hospital Foundation at (