Annie V. Torain, 94, of Hillsboro died Wednesday, Aug 7 at Parkway Hospital in Decatur. Her funeral will be held at 1:00 PM, Monday, August 12, 2019 at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church. She will be placed in the church one hour prior to Service. Burial will follow at Decatur City Cemetery. Public viewing will be Sunday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM here at Jackson Memory.
Mother Annie Lee Vinson Torain was born on March 21, 1925 to the late Reverend Timothy Vinson, Sr. and Sallie Mae Little Vinson in Colbert County, Alabama. She was the third child and oldest girl of ten children. According to her siblings, she took her role as the oldest daughter to heart by keeping law and order with her other siblings and extended family. She departed this life at the age of 94 on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at Decatur Morgan Hospital, Parkway Campus, Decatur, Alabama.
Annie accepted Christ as her personal Savior at a very young age and joined Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Leighton, Alabama. She later moved her membership to Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in Hillsboro, Alabama. She dedicated her life to serving the Lord by singing in the choir, directing VBS, starting and advising the choirs at Canaan, serving on the Mother’s board, and working with the van ministry.
Annie graduated from Leighton Training School in Leighton, AL in 1945. She then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a certification in Elementary Counseling and a Master’s degree in Library Science from Tennessee State University. She started her career in 1949 at age 24 after graduation as a teacher at the Canaan Missionary Baptist Parochial School. She was the teacher, principal, cook, janitor, and she loaded the wood in the heater to warm the school before the children arrived. She taught children between ages 6 and 13 in the same room. She would utilize older students like Chaney Lee Foster, Katie Pearl Torain and Emma Lou "Poonchie" Byrd, to help teach the younger students. It was sometimes difficult to teach the boys, because they didn't come to class until after the crops had been harvested. She did it all! The hours were long, the work was hard, the pay was low, but the reward was great.
Later in Annie’s career, she taught at Tennessee Valley K-12 School in Hillsboro. She remained there through the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s and then moved to Moulton Middle School to organize and establish the first library after integration in 1969. She dedicated her life to teaching children.
Not only was Annie an avid reader and a great educator, but she was also respected in her community and loved by her family. People often called on her to plan weddings, funerals, to fill out income taxes, write resumes' and to advise their families on important life decisions. She loved her Vinson-Torain family. She felt blessed to be surrounded by an army of nieces, nephews, neighbors and a community that showed love to her daily.
During the time Annie was teaching at Canaan Missionary Baptist Parochial School, she would stay in teacher boarding during the week in the homes of Mr. Willie and Emma Fuqua, Reverend Riley and Dillard Davis, and Mr. James and Robert Lee Foster. On the weekends, she would travel by bus to see her family in Leighton, Alabama. Reverend Richard “Dick” Torain would have his son, Samuel, drive Annie to Wheeler to catch the bus, but Samuel often volunteered to drive her back and forth to Leighton because he wanted to get to know her better. This was the beginning of their friendship and led to their eight-year marriage in February of 1955. To their union no children were born, but she helped raise two nephews, Clyde Eugene Walker and Mose Edward Torain.
Annie was preceded in death by her husband Samuel Torain; her parents, Reverend Timothy Vinson Sr. and Sallie Mae Little Vinson; her siblings Thomas Edison Vinson, Nathaniel Vinson Sr., John Henry Vinson, Matilda Vinson King and Ausber Vinson; and her son by proxy, Clyde Eugene Walker.
Annie leaves to cherish her memory her siblings Margaret (Walter) Freeman of Florence AL, Gertha Lee Whiteside of Detroit, MI, Timothy Vinson Jr. of Sheffield, AL and Cleopatra (Berkeley) Brooks of Hillsboro, AL; loving son by proxy, Mose Edward Torain of Hillsboro, AL; sisters-in-law Dora Jean Vinson of Muscle Shoals, AL and Beatrice Torain Coffey of Hillsboro, AL; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.