And today, Tommy C. Tramell celebrates his 80th birthday, and will probably do one of the things he likes best, working in his bountiful gardens off East Street South in Talladega.
Friends and family will spend the day commemorating the occasion with him, and have a few surprises planned, said daughter Tina Tramell Stephens of Orange Beach.
Tramell graduated from Birmingham Business College in 1953, as “Mr. BBC.”
He moved to Anchorage, Ak. in 1958 and worked for Alaska Western Life Insurance as an underwriter.
Tramell married while in Alaska in1959, to Shirley Green Tramell, now his wife of 52 years. Mrs. Tramell is also from Alabama.
Their first child was born in 1962 in Anchorage, Ak.
The Tramells returned to Alabama in 1968 and he started his own business, Tramell Paving & Grading. He later added Tramell Septic Service & Tramell Seal Coating. He retired from his paving and septic service about 10 years ago, but continued his seal coating.
His hobbies are reading & gardening. His garden consists of one and a half acres where he grows corn, okra, beans, peas, tomatoes, squash, peppers and watermelons.
This year, Tramell has two fields of corn and has hand planted 96 tomato plants.
“It isn’t unusual for a man to till a garden of this size, but he does this with one arm, and at age 80,” Stephens said. “He lost his right arm at age 6 and is always telling folks ‘You only need one arm to do anything, except wrap a sandwich with Saran Wrap.’”
Tramell received the Talladega High School Distinguished Alumni award in 1982. He and his wife are members of Ridgeview Baptist Church.
Tramell was the pitcher for the church softball team and for the Old Timers team.
The Tramell’s have three other children, Tana Tramell Studdard of Frisco, Texas; Todd Tramell of Talladega who worked along with his father for some 15 years and Tracy Tramell Rudder of Columbus, Ga.
They have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.