Aleane Tuck Battle was known as the “Carmel Cake” Lady. She was a consummate baker whose creations included yeast breads, pies and cakes. Though she was gifted at making almost any baked goods, she was best known for her Carmel cakes. Aleane filled request for Carmel cakes for Sunday dinners, holiday meals, birthday parties, funeral repasts, barbecues, and sweet teeth. These requests crossed state lines from Alabama to Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington, D. C., Florida, Texas, Georgia and Massachusetts. Her cakes traveled in cake tins, cardboard boxes, suitcases and by cars, buses, planes and the postal service. The Carmel frosting on her cakes was classic and no secret, it could be found in recipe books, but it was her technique and utensils that made her confections extraordinary. She had a gift and knew how to use it.
Though she was known as a baker, she was also a great cook. She once made a meal for Robert F. Kennedy, who was attending a private presidential campaign fundraising event for which she cooked most of a quail meal. After the meal, Kennedy insisted on meeting the cook of the enjoyable meal. He walked to the kitchen, shook her hand, thanked her and made her promise to vote for him. Kennedy was assassinated a few weeks later while fundraising in California.
Aleane began working in 1935 at 13 years old for Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Ford. Mrs. Ford hired Aleane to help care for the Ford’s two young sons, Byron and Jim Lane. This employment spanned the lifetimes of both J.B. and Jocelyn Ford, it formed relationships thru generations of their descendants. She grew up as she cared for the Ford boys while they grew up. When the Ford boys became of age that they no longer needed close supervision, Aleane took a full time position as a cafeteria cook at Avondale School. She also continued to work part time for the Fords. Over time, as their families grew and moved away, Mrs. Ford and Aleane depended on one another. They would talk every night to ensure that each was safely home. When an injury no longer allowed Mrs. Ford mobility, Aleane sat with her every day. They gave each other comfort until Mrs. Ford’s end.
Employment at the Avondale School allowed Aleane to use her cooking skills that she learned from her mother, Hattie. She would use her mother’s recipes to make peach cobblers, cornbread muffins, apple pies and yeast rolls. Her cooking was so tasty that the kids even ate the vegetables. Upon her retirement, she received an award for fifty years of service to the Alexander City School System.
Aleane was the ninth child born to Hattie Burton Tuck and Arthur Tuck. Her siblings were Anna Bell (Tucker), Levis Olivia (McClendon), Eunice Phyllis (Lovejoy), Frank, Oscar, Willie Clyde, Charlie Hastings, Lonnie Mae (McIntyre), Thomas, Mary Ruth (Boleware) and Donald. She is survived by her youngest sister, Jeanette Tuck Boddie.
Mourning their loss are her oldest daughter, Patricia Milliner Maxwell. Her grandchildren: Candice Maxwell-Kineard, Andre Donovan Coutard and Amber Coutard Eugene (Erol). Great grandchildren: Chakura Kineard, Gemari Kineard, Isaiah Donovan Eugene, Emeline Elaine Eugene, and her son-in-law, Andre Coutard.
Aleane’s youngest daughter, Sylvia Elaine Battle Coutard preceded her in death.
Constant in her life, The Fords— Byron and his wife, Mae, Jim Lane and his wife Nancy and their families also mourn Aleane.
Aleane oldest nephew, Ralph Tuck is senior to a host of nieces and nephews—The Tuckers, Grubbs, Marburys, Tucks, McIntyres, Martins, Bolewares and the Boddies who will miss her. Especially close and caring for their aunt Aleane during her last years, were her nieces and nephews—Wanda Boleware, Sue Boleware Holley, Everett Boleware, Gloria Boleware, Randy Boddie, Alesia Boddie and great nephew, Larry Marbury.
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