Antoinette “Toni” Gilman Reynolds; March 29, 2013Published 12:13pm Thursday, April 11, 2013
The large and extended family of Antoinette “Toni” Gilman Reynolds is saddened to announce the death of their matriarch on March 29, 2013. She fought a relatively brief but wearying battle with lung cancer that ended surrounded by her family. Toni was not finished improving the world and our community but she has left us the maxim: Use your heart and take action.
She was married for 57 years to William Stanley Reynolds, who died in January of 2006.
She is survived by her sister, Kay Wilkey of San Diego; six children, Drew (Lynne), Ann Bush (Mike) of Prospect, Tenn., John (Sharon) of Greenville, S.C., Richard (Bonnie) of Houston, Texas, Laura McCown (Rusty), and Katherine Russell (Tom) of Greenville, S.C.; 15 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
She was born in Miami, Fla., grew up in Norfolk, Va., and moved to Huntsville from Birmingham in 1962. She was a graduate in History from William and Mary College and was married at Wren Chapel in Williamsburg, Va.
Toni was a lifetime volunteer and advocate for Huntsville. She served on the Board of the International Services Council for 45 years hosting numerous State Department visitors. The National Council of International Visitors awarded her National Volunteer of the Year in 2012 and her family was selected Madison County Family of the Year in 1974. She helped start Hospice Family Care in 1977, was a member of Rotary, the Republican Women’s Club, Church Women United, Interfaith Mission Service, TARCOG, Silver Haired Legislature, Huntsville Leadership, Library Board, Dental Auxiliary, DAR, Senior Center Board, Meals on Wheels, and many others too numerous to list. She and Bill were founding members of Valley United Methodist Church. She participated in numerous multi-cultural service initiates as part of building a more diverse community. She was the first woman president of the Greenwyche Neighborhood Association and helped organize Community Watch in the 70s.
She believed in life-long learning. She received a counseling degree from Alabama A&M in 1972, worked in the school system for years and was elected as the first woman to the Huntsville City School Board in 1976. She was President of Ollie, on Learning Quest Board, State Vocational Board, State Community Education Board, took courses at Hudson Alpha Institute.
She played bridge regularly and was a Life Master. She enjoyed researching genealogy, discussing current events, and was an avid reader. She enjoyed traveling, golf, doing her embroidery/ knitting while watching sports especially baseball. She left all of her family with a love of others, travel, learning and a desire to make their community a better place.
Visitation was from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 1 at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. A memorial service was at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 at Valley United Methodist Church with a reception following. (www.laughlinservice.com)
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice Family Care or to the Heritage Room at the Huntsville Madison County Library.