Araminta Reeder Hussey, a Tuscaloosa resident since 1954, passed peacefully in the early morning of September 2, 2019, after complications from a stroke three months prior, and following a valiant recovery at Hospice of West Alabama and the Tuscaloosa VA Valor Rehabilitation Unit. She happily celebrated her 87th birthday on August 28th with cake and generous amounts of ice cream.
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A Celebration of Life and Resurrection was held Sunday, September 15 at 11:00AM at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa, followed by a graveside Committal service at the Roxana Cemetery (near Camp Hill, AL) at 4:00PM.
Araminta was born and raised on her family’s homestead in Roxana, attended the local grammar school and graduated from Auburn High in 1951. Surprising everyone, she enlisted in the Women’s Air Force and was stationed in San Antonio, Biloxi (MS) and Roslyn, NY, training in communications. She was discharged honorably in November 1953 when the Korean Conflict ended, and enrolled at the University of Alabama under the GI bill to study English and journalism. In 1957 she married John V. Hussey, Jr., beginning a family the following year; although the couple divorced in 1981, in 1991 they returned to being caretakers for each other until John’s final illness in 2004-2005.
Araminta’s love and lifetime work was the outdoors. Beginning in adolescence, after her mother’s untimely passing, and continuing into her late 70s, she spent long hours walking through the Alabama woods, finding peace through observing plants and wildlife, and was a self-taught horticulturalist and ornithologist. Her own suburban yard, which she kept in the manner of a natural wooded habitat and tended daily for nearly 60 years, held dozens of species of native Southern wildflowers and plants, attracting insects, butterflies and birds not commonly found in the neighborhood. She maintained her trees, flowers and vegetable gardens with organic growing techniques decades before ‘organic’ became mainstream.
Her other passion was the life of the mind. When indoors Araminta was found reading, particularly fiction, poetry, literary and political magazines, and in her younger years philosophy and history, and is believed have read most of the non-scientific books in the Tuscaloosa Public Library over several decades as a loyal patron. She was an astute observer of political history, frequently commenting with wit on useful and useless arguments in politics and theology. Though her lifelong studies included exploration of Judaism and Eastern religions, in the second half of life she found a community of loving friends at St. Luke United Methodist Church, the denomination of her childhood.
Of close family, she is survived by her sister, Minnie Lee Barker, of Camp Hill, AL, three children, Geoffrey, Patrick and Sarah, six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, and by her church family at St. Luke. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her former husband, John, and brother, Luther (“Buddy”) Reeder.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Araminta’s name to The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife or the United Methodist Children’s Home (Montgomery) are requested.
Final arrangements entrusted to the Rollins family and Staff of Rollins' Mortuary.