The board of trustees and staff of the Presbyterian Home for Children and the children and families they serve are mourning the unexpected passing of Felicia Ayers Storey, the Home’s Senior Vice President of Program Operations and Services on Feb. 18.
“She will be missed dearly by each one of us, particularly our children,” the Home’s President and CEO Doug Marshall said. “Felicia is now looking into the eyes of Jesus and leaves us determined to honor and cherish her memory and legacy as we carry on our shared calling in the days ahead without her at our side. Felicia was truly a priceless treasure during her journey on this earth.”
Storey accomplished much professionally and personally as she shaped the lives of some of the most vulnerable citizens of the state – at risk children and families. She spent her entire professional career of 37 years at the Home, starting as a social worker and working up to senior vice president of program operations and services and even interim president.
“The foundation and structure of my career, my life purpose, is the ministry of service to children, adolescents, young adults and families who are led through the doors of the Presbyterian Home for Children,” Storey said in 2021.
“Ms. Storey’s efforts as a helping professional and as an administrator touched the lives of thousands of the state’s most vulnerable citizens with love and compassion,” Marshall said. “Now our Senior Leadership Team and our Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees have the sad duty of putting in place an interim plan to fulfill her responsibilities at the Home.”
The Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, Alabama is one of few organizations in the state caring for Alabama’s homeless boys and girls, along with their female caregivers in its Secure Dwellings Program. In its Moderate Residential Care Therapeutic Program, the Home also serves teenage girls who may have experienced extreme trauma and or neglect in their lives. The Home also works with and helps support young female adults in crisis through its Transition to Adult Living Program and families in crisis over a seven-county area through its In-Home Intensive Services, Family Bridges.
The Presbyterian Home for Children achieved an essential national accreditation from the Council on Accreditation in 2020, the culmination of almost two years of work under Storey’s leadership, and which followed a national accreditation by the EAGLE Accreditation Commission under the United Methodist Association, the only faith-based accreditation body in the country for the ministry to children.
Storey was well known and highly respected in the state as a leader in social services over her distinguished career. She graduated with a Master of Social Work, Children, Youth & Families from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa after obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a Minor in English from The University of Montevallo. Storey has served as a field instructor for The University of Alabama and Jacksonville State University in addition to being Adjunct Faculty for Talladega College. She is a Licensed Master Level Alabama Social Worker (LMSW) along with being a Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard On Site Official and Trainer.
Presbyterian Home for Children is a member agency in long-standing of the Alabama Association of Child Care Agencies, and Storey was an officer and a member of the steering committee of that organization. Her professional volunteer activities include being current secretary and past treasurer for the Alabama Residential Child Care Association, past president and vice-president of the Alabama South-Eastern Child Care Association, and she has held multiple leadership positions with The University of Alabama Social Work Society.
In addition to serving in the ministry of the Presbyterian Home for Children, she was a member of Mt. Canaan Missionary Baptist Church of Talladega, where she, along with her husband James, served in several leadership roles.
Storey was recognized as one of the Women Who Shape the State for 2020. The award program, sponsored by Alabama Media Group, highlights women that are impacting their cities, regions or the entire state of Alabama in the areas of philanthropy, commerce, public service, nonprofit, small business and advocacy.
She has also named one of central Alabama’s Top 50 Over 50 by Positive Maturity. The exclusive list celebrates members of the community who know how to dream, laugh, contribute and achieve on many levels, which are all key elements of staying young while growing up.
“Recently I was asked why I do what I do. It’s because I love the Home, the residents/clients and the ministry,” Storey said last year. “One of my adult ‘kids’ just recently dropped in. He keeps coming Home because of the love he feels here. I’m his Mom who will nurture and love him always. That’s who we are. It’s what we do and what I know best professionally.”
Marshall said, “As the president of the Home, I can testify that her professionalism, her heart for service and her friendship touched my life and lives of everyone she worked with.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Terry’s Metropolitan Mortuary in Talladega.