GILBERT KENDRIC ALFORD, SR.
1901 LA – 1997 LA
Baton Rouge, LA—Saturday, 19 July 1997
Alford Sr., Gilbert K.—A retired county agent
with LSU Extension Service and resident of Gonzales, he died at 1:17 p.m.
Tuesday, July 15, 1997, at Columbia Riverview Medical Center, Gonzales. He was
95 and a native of Washington Parish. Visiting was held at Ourso Funeral Home,
Gonzales, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. until religious services at 10
a.m. Friday, conducted by the Rev. Randall Jenkins. Interment in Lusk Cemetery.
Survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Betty and
Reubin Wells, Gonzales [AAFA #0980]; a son and daughter-in-law, Gilbert Jr. and
Mary Alford, Florissant, MO [AAFA #0019]; five grandchildren, 10
great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Preceded in death by wife Inez Newsom Alford;
and parents, Jeptha and Laura Jane Warner Alford.
Pallbearers will be Jessie, Sherri, Tim and
Reubin Wells, Benjamin Banks and Pete Brammer.
AAFA CORRECTION: The list of pallbearers changed and the
funeral home was not able to contact Betty Alford Wells to get the changes
before submitting the obituary to the newspaper. The correct list of
pallbearers: Grandchildren: April Alford Ernst [AAFA #0269], Mary Alford Tedder
Davis [AAFA #0270], Timothy Wells; grandson-in-law Scott Ernst;
great-grandchildren Jessica Tedder [AAFA #1227], Benjamin Banks, Sherri Banks
Wells; great-grandson-in-law Jesse Wells.
Photo from Lusk Cemetery,
Gonzales, Ascension Parish, LA—www.findagrave.com
Permission granted by
the photographer, Cathleen L. Luytjes
AAFA NOTES: SSDI
records show that Gilbert K. Alford (SS# issued in LA) was born 9 Nov 1901,
last residence Gonzales, Ascension Parish, LA.
We included the obituaries of his wife, Mattie
Inez Newsom Alford; his father, Jeptha Martin Alford; his siblings Roxie Udine
Alford Penton, and Gussie Alford Fortinberry; and his half-siblings Nola Alford
Smith, Wiley Banton Alford, Alonzo Seaborn Alford, and Iddo Lampton Alford in Louisiana
Obituaries. We included the obituary of his brother Lora Warner Alford in South
Carolina Obituaries; and of his sister Frankie Leoda Alford Smith in
Gilbert Kendric Alford was born in Washington
Parish, LA, the son of Jeptha Martin Alford and his second wife, Laura Jane
Warner. See “Jeptha
Martin Alford, 1862–1948”, AAFA ACTION, March 1993, pp. 37–40.
Gilbert Sr.’s son, Gilbert K. Alford, Jr., one
of AAFA’s founders, wrote the following biography of his father:
Gilbert Kendric Alford,
Senior, son of Jeptha Martin Alford and Laura Jane Warner, was born November 9,
1901, at home on a farm near Mt. Hermon, Washington Parish, LA. He was the
seventh child, fourth son, of his father and the second child and first son of
his mother. He had five half-siblings and four siblings.
He grew up on the farm,
known always as “G.K.” and attended Washington Parish Public schools, as did
all his siblings. Upon graduation from high school he went to Baton Rouge to
attend Louisiana State University. Working at the Louisiana Creamery, a large
local dairy that delivered much of the milk in Baton Rouge, he entered the
College of Agriculture and worked his way through college. It’s thought that he
was only the second Alford to graduate from LSU. His younger brother, Lora
Warner “L.W.” Alford, entered LSU a year later.
While in school he met
Mattie Inez Newsom at the First Baptist Church. From nearby Pointe Coupee
Parish, she was attending a business college in Baton Rouge. They were married
in First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge on May 26, 1924.
Gilbert graduated from LSU
in 1925 and with the depression was unable to get a job locally. He and Inez
moved to North, Orangeburg County, South Carolina, were he had found employment
as the Agricultural Extension Service Agent—better known as the “county agent.”
The Extension Service is a joint endeavor between the state universities and
the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On January 1, 1926 their
first child, Gilbert Kendric Alford, Jr., was born Later that year, Gilbert Sr.’s
younger brother, L.W., graduated and he too went to South Carolina and became a
Gilbert immediately began
planning to work himself back home. In 1928 he was offered the job of county
agent in Hampton, Calhoun County, Arkansas. Since Arkansas was a state much
closer to Louisiana than South Carolina, he took the job. On September 3, 1928
their second child was born, Betty Jean Alford.
Gilbert remained in Hampton
for five years and then was offered what appeared to be a better job as county
agent in Sheridan, Grant County, Arkansas. He moved there and remained for five
years. While living in Arkansas there was hardly a year that passed in which
the family did not journey to Mt. Hermon for a family reunion.
In 1938 he got the break he
had been looking for. He was offered the job as agriculture teacher in
Columbia, Caldwell Parish, LA. Was it coincidental that the principal was a
Bankston from Washington Parish, Louisiana? He remained there for two years
during which time he had to paddle his own son—one of his students—for eating
peanuts in class.
In 1940 he got another
break. The Federal Department of Agriculture, with which he had been affiliated
in South Carolina, offered him the job of chief of the Farm Security
Administration office in Ferriday, Concordia Parish, Louisiana. The office he
supervised and the job he did involved the management of large government-owned
plantations in the Parish. Surely there was no connection, but it is
interesting to note that the principal—later superintendent—of schools in
Ferriday, Concordia Parish, was a good ole Bateman boy from Washington Parish.
He remained at that job
until 1944. At almost the same time he was offered the job as assistant county
agent in Ascension Parish, and his son received his notice to report to the
Army. In fact Gilbert Sr. had to report for duty before Gilbert Jr., so the “family”
remained in Ferriday until after the induction and then Inez and Betty Jean
moved on to Gonzales in Ascension Parish.
He purchased 10 acres of
land in Gonzales—the first land he had ever owned. He tore down and rebuilt an
old house that was on the place and built a new house. He also built a house
for his daughter Betty Jean and her new husband. Later he sold a lot to his
younger sister Lexie and helped her build a house.
In the 1950’s he was offered
a job as county agent or assistant agent in Amite, Tangipahoa Parish, adjoining
his native Washington Parish. Although he took the job, they did not make a
permanent move, which was just as well. Sometime later he was offered the job
as county agent in adjoining St. Helena Parish. He took that job where he
remained until he retired. During these years he was faithful in regular
attendance at a family reunion held near Tylertown, Walthall County,
Mississippi, by one of his nieces.
Gilbert, who had no military
service, was a member of Gonzales Baptist Church and a mason. He was very busy
with his job, but in his spare time he would repair his properties, take care
of his garden, and tend to his cattle. He enjoyed being outdoors and was
physically active. He and Inez loved to travel and visited every state with
extended trips to Alaska and Mexico. In his old age he had to give it all up
and be content to putter around the house and yard.
He bought and lived in
several houses in Greensburg, St. Helena Parish, before settling on 80 acres
that he purchased on the edge of town. He tore down and rebuilt the house that
was on the property and built a new retirement home. However, far removed from
hospitals and much of civilization, he and Inez thought it best to move back to
Gonzales. This they did, purchasing a lot next to his daughter’s new home,
where they built the home where both he and Inez lived until their deaths.
He and his wife lived
happily together for 69 years before Inez died April 23, 1993—just about a
month before their 70th anniversary. Gilbert died July 15 1997, in Gonzales,
Ascension Parish, LA. They are buried in the Lusk (Baptist) Cemetery, Gonzales.
Although they were never in a retirement or nursing home, both were bedridden
in their latter years. Thanks to the care and attention given by their
daughter, Betty Jean and her family, they were able to spend their last days at
His lineage: Gilbert Kendric 1901 LA1,
Jeptha Martin 1862 LA2, John Seaborn 1807 LA3, Jacob 1761
NC4, Julius 1717 VA5, James 1687 VA6, John
1645 VA 7.