In a ceremony held on Friday, Jan. 26, the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners paid tribute to the late Earlene Clemons by renaming the Attapulgus Creek Bridge in her honor.
Chandler tragically lost her life in a head-on collision with a truck on the bridge Jan. 9, 1987.
Chandler was one of 11 siblings. For almost four decades, her family has been reminded of their loss each time they crossed the bridge.
It was Chandlers’ younger sister, Linda Clemons, who advocated for the renaming of the bridge now known as Earlene Clemons Chandler Bridge.
Expressing her joy at carrying forward her sister’s legacy, Linda Clemons also noted, “This was a very dark and sad moment for our family. This was a dark cloud that has hung over for a long time.”
Clemons also said the day of the ceremony marked 38 years since their father died in the pulpit while preaching.
“Today is a day of closure; today is a day of happiness; today is a day of history,” Clemos said.
Gadsden County Commissioner Alonzetta Simpkins expressed the county’s gratitude for being part of this meaningful memorial.
“Today we can take a tragedy, and make it into a fond memory of Mrs. Chandler,” Simpkins said.
Many of Chandler’s family members attended the ceremony, including her siblings, children and grandchildren.
Simpkins said Chandler was a devoted mother and loved her family dearly, and the community will forever remember her.
Erin Hill – Gadsden County News Service