To mark his last week in office, a reception was held Friday, November 2, for retiring Mayor Howard Shell and his wife Nannette.
Several friends took part in a short program that was moderated by Walt Butler and Phil Johnson with Atmore News and “atmore” magazine. The table centerpiece was an arrangement of flowers, greenery, turnip greens and roots – the mayor wrote often about Nannette’s turnips in “atmore.”
In his invocation, the Rev. Jim Reece asked the Lord’s blessings on the Shells as they enter this part of their lives.
Congressman Jo Bonner thanked everyone for coming out to honor the couple. He said he was grateful for chance to work with Howard Shell through the years.
“I can tell you this community, this county, this region have been blessed by his life,” Congressman Bonner said. “He is a servant leader…He has built a good foundation for the city.”
The congressman presented the mayor with a flag that has flown over the nation’s Capitol. He also gave him also a copy of the Congressional Record in which he had thanked Mayor Shell for his years of service.
Dr. Ullysses McBride said he has known the mayor for 25 years. He spoke of Mayor’s Shell attitude while in office – in seeing things and asking why, but the mayor saw things and asked why not. Dr. McBride said he was delighted to have had the opportunity to know the mayor.
Mayor-elect Jim Staff agreed with others in that Mayor Shell has built a good foundation for the city.
Jim Searcy, Executive Director of Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance, presented Mayor Shell with a plaque for his service on board of the Coastal Gateway since its inception.
On behalf of the Greater Escambia Council for the Arts, Phil Johnson thanked the mayor for his support through the years.
The mayor made several remarks about his time in office, the challenges, the friends. But perhaps none of the comments were more meaningful than, “It has been a pleasure…A special thank you to Nannette. She spent these years in office too.”
Howard Shell was elected to the Atmore City Council in 1984 and served on the council until he was appointed mayor in 1986 to complete the late Patricia McKenzie’s term. He was elected in 1988 and served until 1996. He was re-elected in 2000 and served until November 6, 2012.
Special appreciation to the Shells’ daughter, Nancy Shell Fayard, Cathy Coley with Coley Petals & Parties, and Lillie Johnson for their help and contributions for the reception.