Edna Lorene Hamilton Bess, age 78, affectionally known as Miz Lou, passed away peacefully on April 22, 2021, due to COVID-19. She was born on August 1, 1942, in Sylacauga, Alabama, to Floyd and Bertha Hamilton.
Miz Lou loved to love on people. Until her retirement in 2017, she owned and managed Colonel Tom’s Tavern, located in Dadeville, Alabama, for over 30 years. One of her many admirers shared “Miz Lou gave many local musicians their first shot onstage, and helped them develop a following that carried them on to bigger opportunities and venues. She always cheered them on and made them feel extra special when they’d return home to play.” Her happiness from helping musicians came from both her love of people and of music. She loved all genres of music from Metallica to Willie Nelson to Chris Tomlin. Her favorite was Neil Diamond. For years Miz Lou quietly opened her bar on Thanksgiving and Christmas just to provide a free meal for people who were alone on the holidays.
Miz Lou loved to travel with her family. One of her favorite places was Destin, where she would read and snooze while enjoying the beauty and sound of the ocean. She never left the beach until she watched the sunset. She loved traveling to New York City at Christmas time, and she always took an extra suitcase to bring back treasures from Canal Street for her loved ones. Wherever she went she truly never met a stranger. Even in NYC she would introduce herself to people she met in Time Square or sat next to on a subway and invite them to” CTs on beautiful Lake Martin.” She received a few strange looks but most people couldn’t help but smile because she radiated genuine kindness and an infectious laugh.
Her adoring family knew her as Maw-Maw and she was the best momma/maw-maw any family has ever been blessed with. She raised five children that loved her more than life. She raised them to be kind, loving and not to judge others. She always found the best in people that others wouldn’t have given a chance. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” she would say “because you don’t know what they have been through.” She loved celebrating Christmas, looking at rainbows, and keeping all the wild birds fed on her mountain. She loved attending Auburn football games and boating on Lake Martin. She loved to cook, read recipe books, garden, but most of all she loved to spend time with her family. She was a shining light and she was truly beautiful inside and out.
Miz Lou is survived by the love her life, Tom McElroy. Her love for Colonel Tom was legendary and he loved her as deep and wide as Lake Martin, where they spent forty-three beautiful years together. She is survived by her daughters; Wanda Sperow (Tom) Rhonda McLain (Eric), and her sons James Morris and Leonard Bess. She is also survived by Renee Gutierrez (Fred) Zach Gutierrez (Brandy), Brandon Gutierrez (Hannah), Greyson Gutierrez, and Lyza Jane Gutierrez. Miz Lou loved the Gutierrez family as her own. She is preceded in death by her beautiful baby girl, Charmaine Keeble (Jesse).
She is also survived by her loving siblings; Katherine Edwards, Buddy Hamilton (Cindy), Jean Poe (Greg), Mae Connelley, and Judy Bush (John). She loved her brothers and sisters unconditionally. She loved her grandchildren and was so proud to call each and every one of them her pride and joy: Scott Colley (Jessica), Brandon Morris (Julie), Blake Morris (Misty), David McLain (Erin), Parker Bess (Annelise), Andrew McLain (Sarah), Morgan Keeble-Kelly (Shauna), Jordan Bess, Erica McLain, Lorebeth Keeble, Michelle Sperow, and Travis Sperow. Her great grandchildren; Cooper Colley, Piper Morris, Penny Morris, River Morris, Rocky Morris, Kameron McLain, Wayland Bess, Wyatt Sperow, Shane Sperow, Althea Sperow, Thomas Inda, Isaac Hill, and Brody Hill were her biggest blessings. She also has two additional great-grands on the way that she will be looking over as well. She is survived by her many nieces, nephews and their families that she loved so much. . When the Hamiltons are together it is a joyous occasion
She is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers; Milton Hamilton and Charles Hamilton, her sister-in-law Sybil Hamilton, her brother-in-law, Ray Edwards, her brother-in-law, Billy Connelley, her brother in-law, Clifford Morris, her nephew, Ricky Edwards, and her great niece, Tiffany Vick. Our hearts are warmed knowing she is reunited with her family that preceded her in death – she loved them all so much.
To know our momma was to love her. This announcement of her passing doesn’t begin to describe the love she gave and received. We are heartbroken that God called her home but we take great comfort in knowing she is flying high like the heavenly angel she is and the earthly angel she was.
Please join us for a Memorial Service on Wednesday, April 28, 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Dadeville. Flowers may be sent to Alabama Funeral Homes and Cremation Centers, located at 21927 US-280, Camp Hill, AL. 36850. Ifpreferred, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in honor of her daughter, Charmaine Keeble.