HOLLIS HAROLD “HAL” ALFORD
1929 MS – 1995 FL
Hal Alford, AAFA’s Second President, 1991–1992
McComb, Pike Co., MS—Thursday, 9 March 1995
LONGWOOD, FLA.—H. Harold Alford, 66, of Orlando, died of cancer March 7 1995. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. Friday at Forest City Chapel in Altamonte, Fla., until services there at 11 a.m. Friday.
Mr. Alford was born in Pike County and moved to Central Florida in 1976. He was a member of Calvary Assembly of God Church. He was a regional estate planning specialist for Southern Farm Bureau for more than 30 years. He was a member of the Central Florida Estate Planning Council and the Central Florida Chapter of American Society of CLY and ChFC.
He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. He served in the Air Force Reserves after the war.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Jo Alford of Longwood; one son and daughter-in-law, Victor [AAFA #0225] and Lora Alford of Altamonte; one daughter and son-in-law, Cissy and Scott Vanlue of Longwood; one sister, Mrs. Leon C. Jones [Dorothy Jean Alford Jones, AAFA #0286] of Richmond, Va.; and two grandchildren
AAFA NOTES: SSDI records show that H. Harold Alford (SS# issued in LA) was born 2 Jan 1929, last residence Longwood, Seminole Co., FL.
We included the obituary of his sister Dorothy Jean Alford Jones, AAFA #0286, in Virginia Obituaries.
Hal was the son of Hollis Victor Alford and Ethel McMillan. He married Barbara Jo Lewis on 25 February 1960 in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill Co., GA. They had two children: Victor Harold Alford (AAFA #0225) and Hollis Anne Alford. Hal is buried at Highland Memory Gardens in Forest City, Seminole Co., FL.
Written by Gil Alford:
His parents’ family in Pike County, like most in that period, were poor and made their living farming. Hal worked hard on the farm to help the family survive and for a diversion he collected arrowheads from the fields. At age 16, and after finishing the 11th grade, Hal hitchhiked to Mississippi State University, with a cardboard suitcase and $100. At college he was a chemistry minor and a dairy sciences major. He worked his way through college by doing all kinds of side work but mainly by working in the cafeteria.
Hal was underage for service in World War II. He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving as a captain in the U. S. Air Force and served in the Air Force Reserves after the war. He served in Alaska doing intelligence work.
When he returned from service he went to work as manager of an ice cream packing plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After that, in the early 1960’s, he went to work for Allstate Insurance Company in Georgia. From there he moved to Farm Bureau Insurance and to McComb, Mississippi near his birthplace, and then to Raymond, Mississippi near Jackson. In 1966 he became the Louisiana state sales manager and moved to Baton Rouge. After a few years it was back to Jackson, Mississippi to be state sales manager for that state. While in Louisiana Hal won many awards including a key to the city of Baton Rouge.
Hal moved to Florida in 1976. He was a regional estate planning specialist for Southern Farm Bureau for more than 30 years. He was a member of the Central Florida Estate Planning Council and the Central Florida Chapter of American Society of CLY and ChFC. He had some real estate holdings and was quite involved in maintaining occupancy in all of them.
He was always involved in his Church and its choir even though he was extremely busy. He tried to attend as many functions as possible and to involve his children in the band and other activities. He was an avid reader—especially his Bible, which family members say has annotations and highlighting on just about every page. He was a member of Calvary Assembly of God Church.
Hal had few outside interests—occasional fishing or hunting—and did not become interested in his family history until after he was introduced to AAFA by his son, Victor, at the 1989 meeting in Houston, TX. Hal and Victor have attended most AAFA meetings. Hal, his wife, Barbara Jo Lewis Alford, son Vic , and sister Dorothy Alford Jones of Richmond, VA—and many in her family—have been very active in AAFA.
Dorothy’s daughter, Jean, was the first AAFA North Carolina State representative and coordinated the 1990 Raleigh meeting.
Hal was elected President of AAFA in Jackson, MS in 1991 but later had to resign because of other pressing commitments. He served on the board of directors from 1991 until his death. Son, Victor made a presentation on old photographs at the 1992 meeting in Destin, FL.
When asked in 1991 if he would consent to be a candidate for AAFA president he wrote: “As I told you, I need to retire before I take on more jobs. However, for you I’ll consent to run (maybe I’ll lose this one and make another). Anyhow - I’ll help in whatever way I can.” After the election in July 1992, AAFA received a letter in which he wrote: “Due to my travel schedule and other demands on my time I’m simply unable to devote the time that a president of the Association should be contributing. As usual, Jo is right again, she told me when I accepted, that it was loading my wagon beyond my capacity. Thanks a million to all of you. See you all in Destin.” That was the last time most of us ever saw Hal. In September 1993 Jo wrote to explain Hal’s work schedule and other commitments and their reasons for not making the meeting in St. Francisville. She went on to say “...and I certainly look forward to seeing you again in the future, God willing. Perhaps Hal and I can concentrate a little better after he retires in the next year or so and we’re not traveling so much otherwise.” The last note we received from Hal in August 1994 said, “Sorry to be so long to be in touch, believe it or not, this time I have a reasonable excuse. In 1983 I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. The CLL sorta hung around without any problem til March of this year. With my immune system weak, I had gall bladder surgery, 2-weeks later lung partially removed. I’ve since been recuperating slowly but progressively. As of now I don’t know that I’ll be in Richmond come October. I’m still scheduled for some chemotherapy and I don’t know when it will start. I’m told it will last for approximately 6 months. I sincerely hope all goes well with the coming family gathering.”
I talked to him briefly while he was in hospital after receiving that last letter. He sounded good and gave good reports but letters received from sister Dotty told otherwise.
I remember Hal as the person in the AAFA who made me laugh more than anyone else. He had many of us “rolling in the aisles” at the meeting in Houston. From a serious point of view—he did more than any other member to try to promote long term financial stability in the Association.
His lineage: Hollis Harold 1929 MS1, Hollis Victor 18912 MS, Julius Ceasar 1855 LA3, Warren Jackson 1819 MS4, Edwin Barksdale 1792 NC5, Jacob 1761 NC6, Julius 1717 VA7, James 1687 VA8, John 1645 VA9.