(1935 – 1976)
It seemed from the very beginning that Bobby Futral was destined to have an outstanding agricultural career, probably one in the Extension Service. As a youngster growing up on a dairy farm in Tallapoosa County, he took naturally to 4-H and Extension, building a reputation early in life as an exceptional young man with a bright future: County 4-H Club president, state 4-H dairy judging winner, a junior leader that County Agent Fletcher Farrington and Extension 4-H Agent Hoyt Webb could count on, and, later, an Auburn graduate.
Little wonder that District Agent Tom Lumpkin hired Bobby at the first opportunity. “You can look the state over and you won’t find another Bobby Futral,” said Mr. Farrington’s letter of recommendation. The years since proved the undeniable truth of that statement. The people of Chilton County today will tell you that what Mr. Farrington said was an understatement, for, during Bobby’s more than 17 years there, they saw him lead an Extension educational program that was without doubt one of the most effective in the entire nation.
No one was more admired and respected by coworkers and clientele alike. His career will continue to touch the lives of thousands of people for years to come. William Robert (Bobby) Futral died September 15, 1976, in Chilton County Hospital following a heart attack. He would have been 41 on October 24.
He graduated from Hackneyville High School in 1954 and earned the B.S. and M.S. degrees in agricultural science from Auburn in 1958 and 1965, respectively.
He joined Extension as an assistant county agent on March 2, 1959, and was promoted to County Extension Chairman on August 15, 1966. He served as president of the Alabama Association of County Agricultural Agents and among his many honors was the Distinguished Service Award presented by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
As a lasting tribute to this man and his life’s work, the name of William Robert (Bobby) Futral is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 76