Since I was a kid I always go to the OBIT section first. I have always found reading about people's lives interesting. One Obit struck me as different and got me thinking about what Bishop Duca of the Diocese of Shreveport said and his push on Evangelicalism. That is how that should be a BIG part of each of our faiths and it starts before we get to any sort of program with our lives.
Thus this interesting Obit today:
Retired TSgt Lynn Alexander (USAF) SHREVEPORT, LA - A Funeral Mass honoring the life of Retired TSgt Lynn Alexander (USAF) will be held at The Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans, 939 Jordan Street, Shreveport, Louisiana 71101, Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, 6915 West 70th Street, Shreveport, Louisiana 71129 . Vigil will be held at Friday August 5, 2011 at 6:30 PM, Winnfield Funeral Home 3701 Hollywood Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana 71109 .
Retired TSgt Lynn Alexander (USAF) died July 27, 2011 while visiting his daughter in Jacksonville Ar. He was born April 1, 1921 in Shreveport, Louisiana, the son of Willie Mae Allen and Mack Alexander, he grew up in LaChute, Louisiana. He met the love of his life the former Mattie Pearl Thomas, of Forbing Louisiana, they were married June 15, 1947, and in this union they were blessed with seven childred, six girls and one boy. Retired TSgt Lynn Alexander (USAF) joined the Army Air Forces (formally the Army Air Corps) in 1940 and when Army Air Forces dissolved in 1947, with the creation of the Air Force, Alex enlisted in the Air Force in 1947. He served 25 years during World War II, Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War, with tours of duties in France, Turkey, Germany and stationed in various cities throughout the United States, he also served under Major General Kenneth D. Burns and Major General William E. Eubank Jr. as their personal Chef. After retiring from the military, he immediately began to work at the NCO Club at Barksdale Air Force Base, where he retired as Head Chef after 30 years of service.
He was a devoted father, husband, and grandfather, and he taught by example the meaning and importance of love of family and of God. He was affectingly known as Alex or Sgt. He loved being active physically and mentally, he would take long walks around the neighborhood and was consistent in reading the daily newspaper in the mornings with a cup of coffee, he loved to keep up with current events. He loved to tell stories of his past, the military, growing up in LaChute, Louisiana, and how he met and fell in love with his wife. He accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Mt Pleasant Baptist Church in LaChute, Louisiana. He reaffirmed his faith in Christ and on March 24, 2011 was re-baptized as a Catholic.
He is preceded in death by his wife Mattie Pearl Thomas Alexander, Daughters: Rhonda Jean Alexander, and Judith Carol Alexander Singleton. His mother Willie Mae Allen Sewell, father Mack Alexander, sister Johnnie Mae Sewell, brother Thomas Singleton and grandson Robert Hanson Jr. and a host of Aunts and Uncles.
He leaves to cherish his memories, his Daughters: Mardess Lynetta Alexander, Myrna Dee Alexander Penn, Joyce Marie Alexander-Marshall, Linda Ellis Alexander, one son Lynn Alexander Jr.; his brother James Grant (Chicago IL), his Uncle, Clinton Haynes, his Aunt Adell Claiborne (Los Angeles, CA); two Sons-In Law: Dave L. Marshall and L.D. Singleton. His grandchildren: Ret. TSgt Towondna Bernadette Thompson (North Carolina), Raymond Lynn Alexander (Dallas, TX), Contessa Michele Alexander (McKinney, TX), CQuvator Evette Alexander-Williams( Rowlett, TX), Anson Alexander Penn (Dallas, TX), Sean Christopher Singleton (Carrolton, TX), Ontario Lynn Alexander (Los Angeles, CA), Fabian T. Thomas, Antonio Thomas, LaTasha Thomas and Tracey Maurice Cook (New Jersey). 15 great grand children, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and a host of life long friends and neighbors.
Now this is unusual. First you usually don't see Baptists after a long huge life in their final year become Catholic. Second the fact that he is African American makes this even more unusual. I would love to know why he was re baptized. Did his Baptist Faith Community just baptize him in the name of "Jesus" or could he not recall and to be on the safe side we just re Baptized him?
However I am really interested in the how and perhaps WHO the Holy Spirit had used to help MR Alexander to become a Catholic in his final year.
Was his now dead wife an lifelong Catholic? Was it the example of of one his children or grandchildren. Was it a friend he made in his last days? Who knows maybe it was someone whose Catholic Faith had impressed him during World War II? Maybe it was just his observation of Catholics over the years? Or perhaps he just came upon a piece of Catholic Apologetic or heard a Priest that got him thinking. Maybe he just flipped on EWTN one day. Maybe it was the Faith he say in local Parish? Maybe someone asked him one day if they just wanted to go to Mass with them?
Who knows but that is an interesting part of the story that the Obit does not give us. Anyway I highly suspect it was someone or maybe a combination of people that we see a lifelong Baptist become a Catholic in his final year and have his funeral Mass at the Cathedral.
Perhaps the people who had this influence on him never knew.
Anyway a cool obit for the day.
Update- I have no idea whats up with the blog today and why you can't
see all this post.