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Johns-Ridout's Funeral Parlors

2116 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL

OBITUARY

April Autrey Deal

June 3, 1953September 30, 2019

April Autrey Deal, age 66, of Vestavia Hills, Alabama passed away September 30, 2019. She was born June 3, 1953 in Greenville, Alabama. April loved her work at the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was a member of Independent Presbyterian Church and was affiliated with many organizations throughout the years. In her recent years, she served on the YWCA Board of Directors, Planned Giving Coordinator at the YWCA, YWCA Purse and Passion fundraiser co-chair and Steering committee, and Red Mountain Theatre Company Board member. She was a graduate of Judson College. April was wellknown and respected throughout the national meetings and conventions industry. She served in supervisory capacities with associations, such as Girls, Inc., the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, and the Religious Conference Management Association. She also held volunteer positions with the National Baptist Convention of the USA, Inc. and the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (now Destination International). She was an advocate for women, children and families in need of assistance. April was loved and respected by many. April was preceded in death by her parents, Ellen Spencer Autrey and Albert Benjamin Autrey and her husband, Dr. William Brown Deal. She is survived by her daughters: Kimberly Deal Wolpert (spouse-Dr. Jim Wolpert) and Kathleen Deal LeDuc (spouse-Brian LeDuc), grandchildren: Matt (spouse-Margaret), Chris and Andrew Wolpert, sister: Emily Autrey Cooper (spouse-Sam Cooper) and nieces: Shae Cooper Harrell (spouse-Trent Harrell and children-Tanner Harrell, Olivia Harrell) Blake Cooper Kizlauskas (spouse-Andy Kizlauskas) A visitation will be held Friday, October 4, 2019 at Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Avenue Birmingham, Alabama 35205 beginning at 2pm followed by a Celebration of Life at 3pm. If desired, friends may make memorial contributions to the YWCA, which was an organization near and dear to April’s heart. YWCA 309 23rd Street North Birmingham, Alabama 35203.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

April Autrey Deal

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Cara Tobias

October 14, 2019

April, I know you are aware of the fullness of your contributions now. We shared a tiny portion at the start of our careers via occasional industry events, and annually at the Religious Convention Management Association meeting. Your intelligence, humility, gentle demeanor in a go-get-em atmosphere, holds the hospitality business to a higher standard. Thank you, lovely lady! Cara/ Travel Portland

Heidi Soltys

October 7, 2019

This. Woman. My Mentor, my friend. A true Southern lady who was adored by many. A class act. An advocate for the less fortunate, and a cheerleader for the city of Birmingham.
She was the one who hired me at the Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau back in 1994. She is the reason I love my job. Everything I’ve learned, I learned from April. She introduced me to all the “big leagues” in the industry and I was so proud to work for her. Even today, in almost every work situation, I’ll ask myself “how would April handle this?” I always wanted to be like her, though I realized long ago that no one could ever measure up to her greatness.
We traveled together and walked many new cities exploring together. To this day I contribute my love for walking to her. And I kid you not - I have never been to a trade show or convention where someone didn’t ask about her. Everyone knew and respected her. She made everyone feel special. She was very intelligent and always had a “word for the week.” Many we didn’t recognize and sometimes laughed at. Yet at times I still find myself using words like “perusal” and “plethora” in work email correspondence because of her.
Even though retired, she remained involved in the community and continued to work with us part time. And every time we spoke, she asked about Ed and my children. For she knew them well and was there from the start. She helped Ed plan a surprise 1 year anniversary trip for me to St. John and even took over all my appointments that week so I could go. When he picked me up from the CVB , she was waiting by the door, giggling with excitement as we left. I think she was more excited than I was! She was there when my babies were born and helped give baby showers for both. She was there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Words can not express how much this lady has meant to me over the years. I love you April. Your memory, your teachings, and your legacy will forever live on. ❤️

Dean Jones

October 4, 2019

I first met April many moons ago when planning an event in Birmingham. She made the process easy and made me want to bring my business to Birmingham. She was the definition of class. She exuded joy and kindness. Years later, she always made an effort to connect with me when she knew I'd be in town - always with a smile and a hug.

On behalf of the entire faith-based hospitality community, we are saddened by April's early departure from this earth, but are comforted by the hope of her eternal future. She will be missed and until then.....

Dean Jones and the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA)

Vicki Palefsky

October 3, 2019

Together again...forever dancing

Tiffany Nabors

October 3, 2019

My dearest April,
Words simply can not convey the deep impact your presence has had on me. As we discussed so many times, the meeting of our souls was nothing short of divine, and I feel so lucky to have shared the time we did. Though relatively short, it was wholly encompassing, and I (and my children) will miss our visits immensely. Indeed, love is only real and never dies, therefore, the only option now is peace. Rest well. Love always, Tiffany & Co ❤

Rene Spain

October 2, 2019

I am stunned. April was always a delight to be around. She was a “true Judson Lady” inside and out. I love you, April.

Anne Martin

October 1, 2019

Now who will give my eulogy? A precious soul who began as my Bonnie’s friend and classmate became a part of my life sustenance. Lord heal our pain. Anne Ruth Stone Martin

Dallas Snider

October 1, 2019

I am so sorry to hear about the lost of our Beautiful April Autrey Deal. I actually thought about her today and just learned that she passed away today. She was and is a beautiful soul and Spirit. It was April that prompted the question that budded the relationship between me and my husband. "Is he your boyfriend?" We were on the way to Montgomery on business for the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. Later I thought I better clarify this with Tad. I recall telling him what April asked me and asked him how I should reply. He said, "Well, I guess I am." If it hadn't been for April's question, who knows if we would be married today. She will be missed by many and until we meet again- Blessings! Rev. Dr. Dallas

Jenny Posey Baars

September 30, 2019

I like many friends loved April. She had so many friends growing up and into high school. April was part of our church group growing up at Dexter Avenue Methodist Church. She wanted to join the church and get baptized but wanted to be immersed. Being a Methodist church did not have a baptismal for immersion so our minister found a Baptist church which let us use theirs after their service on Sunday night. Our whole youth group and church family migrated to the Baptist church, think on Atlanta Hwy. Our minister conducted the service there and was such a beautiful service and
memory for all of us. April was beautiful inside and out. She will be missed by so many!

Dianah Putman

September 30, 2019

One of the kind, so special and touched so many lives with her wonderful gifts. Will be missed by so many of us.

FROM THE FAMILY