Goodwin L. Myrick of Montgomery, who served as president of Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance Companies from 1978 until his retirement in 1998, died Nov. 15 at his home after a battle with cancer. He was 78.Mr. Myrick presided over a record increase in membership from 217,000 to 400,000 and the most rapid growth in the insurance company’s 57-year history. Total assets of the Alfa group of companies doubled three times under his leadership. The headquarters building doubled twice in size during his 20-year tenure, and the company’s employment grew to more than 2,000 people.Mr. Myrick was named one of the 10 most influential men in the state in 1990 by Business Alabama magazine. In 1992, he was inducted into the Alabama Agricultural Hall of Honor. In 1993, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Troy State University. In 1996, he was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame. Jerry Newby, current president of Alfa, commented: “Mr. Myrick was an outstanding leader of our organization. Our insurance company had unprecedented growth during his term as president. He provided leadership for the tremendous success of the Alabama Farmers Federation over two decades prior to his retirement five years ago. All of us at Alfa express our sympathy and offer our prayers for his family.”Mr. Myrick worked his way up through the Alabama Farmers Federation by starting out as president of the Etowah County Farm Bureau Federation. Later, he was elected to serve on the state board of the Alabama Farmers Federation, and he was elected vice president in 1969. He served 10 terms as president of the state organization.He also is among the fourth generation of Myricks to till the Alabama soil. Born May 9, 1925, in Etowah County, Mr. Myrick grew up a farmer and established his first dairy herd in 1944 with eight cows. His operation eventually involved his sons, and son-in-law and grew to more than 2,000 acres.Mr. Myrick will always be remembered for his love of his Southside and Talladega farms; his sense of humor; his storytelling; his love of family, neighbors and friends; his generosity and compassion for other people in need; and for his 20-year leadership of Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance Companies.He was preceded in death by his parents, Marion and Lillian (“Miss Lilly”) Myrick; his sister, Hazel Myrick Chamblee; and his son, Gary Goodwin Myrick.Mr. Myrick is survived by his wife, Darlene Lyon Myrick of Montgomery; three daughters, Rita Thomas (Frank), Deborah Prince (Russell), Donna Haynes (Tony); one son, Gregory Myrick (Bethany); stepdaughter Debbie Lyon Lewis; stepson Douglas Lyon; brothers, Oscar Myrick (Tommie), Newberne Myrick (Nita); sister, Joy Myrick Powell; fourteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren.In lieu of flowers, the family says donations may be made to one of the following: The Goodwin L. Myrick Library, c/o Southside Library, City of Southside, 2255 Highway 77, Southside, Alabama 35907; The Goodwin L. Myrick/Alfa Auburn University Agriculture Scholarship, 317 South College Street, Auburn, Alabama 36849; or Odyssey Health Care of Montgomery, 1345 Carmichael Way, Montgomery, Alabama 36106.
Goodwin L. Myrick—1925-2003