By Margie Holloway
Special to The North Jefferson News
Kermit E. Dooley has lived in Gardendale for 67 years.
He began his residence here at the ripe age of 2 years old when Gardendale was not an incorporated city.
Life began for him in the area of what are now Minor Road and Dooley Road. Recalling his heritage in this area included his family having a garden, livestock and a well. They lived off of their land, as for some time there was no power in this area.
His father was Harvey T. Dooley and was a founding member of Gardendale’s volunteer fire department. His father and Melvin Dingler built a jail for Gardendale, which was moved to Trafford and is still in use to this day. His father also played a large part in the beginning heritage of Gardendale and knew what it took to make a city.
Dooley’s school days involved attending Gardendale grammar school and Mortimer Jordan High School. He remembers Miss Minnie Nation —his first grade teacher — well.
He is second vice president of the Gardendale Historical Society, Inc. He loves Gardendale and this is easily sensed when talking with him. Just ask him a question and you will get an answer and it will be very interesting.
Taking you on an up-to-date trip of his life is interesting, too. After graduation from MJHS, he worked for service stations and then went on to become a time study engineer for Southern Line Motors and McGraw Edison Company. He later worked for Electrical Equipment Company in the industrial chemical sales department.
In the 1970s, he followed in his father’s footsteps as a reserve police and volunteer fireman. Though now retired, he works all the time. He is also a representative for the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance.
Dooley has a wonderful family and he enjoys being with them. He married his childhood sweetheart, Joyce Elaine Parks. They have been married 47 years and have two sons, James and Shaun. Dooley and his wife also have eight grandchildren. He is very proud of each one of them and they keep him busy attending all their activities, which is a favorite pastime.
His favorite part of living in Gardendale is being friends with the people that he knows, which is most of the town. He loves meeting new people and sharing the history of our city. Watching the community grow and seeing the city work together only brings a smile to his face.
If you do run into Kermit Dooley, ask him a question. He will be happy to share his knowledge with you and you will walk away knowing something others may not.
That is always fun.