JOSEPHINE LOUISE ALFORD CARRIGAN
1906 LA –2001 CA
Written by her granddaughter, Seanne Carrigan, AAFA #0335
Josephine Alford Carrigan was born 22 July 1906
in Tangipahoa Parish, LA. In 1936 she married Marvin D. Carrigan in Houston,
TX. Josephine died at age 94 on 3 February 2001 in Pleasanton, Alameda Co., CA.
Throughout her married life to my grandfather,
Marvin Carrigan, she always took in boarders. During World War II my
grandparents lived in Richmond, CA, the home of Rosie the Riveter. They had a
small boarding house where those riveters lived. Although her house was full,
she always had room for one special boarder who came on the weekends and school
holidays from a nearby school: her niece, Mattie Lou. She would come to stay
with her family and sometimes meet up with her mother, Vesta, who was stationed
Fort Ord, CA.
After the war, Josephine continued to take in
boarders wherever they lived. This became a business in the 1950s when she and
my grandfather opened their first convalescent hospital. As she grew more
confident in this business, she noticed that not everyone cared for their
patients as they should, so she got other like-minded owners together and
formed the California Nursing Home Association. She helped with the passing of
legislation to govern the care and wellbeing of the patients in nursing homes
throughout the state. As these standards were put in place, other states
followed suit in issuing similar rules to protect those in nursing homes.
After her husband died in 1965, Josephine
continued to work until 1988, when her family got her to retire by selling the
last business she ran, a residential care facility, for the elderly—where she
was the oldest of them all!
When she wasn’t working, she was traveling with
her good friend Esther Hutchins, honorary Alford, around the world. As far as
anyone can tell the only two places they never visited were the southern part
of Africa and Cuba.
Josephine’s favorite travel story is from her
trip to China. Josephine and Esther were on one of the first tour groups
allowed into the country. They saw everything and had a wonderful time, until
they reached the Great Wall of China. The rest of the members of her tour group
were exhausted—they looked at the Wall said, “That’s nice. When do we get to go
the hotel?” Josephine, the oldest one on the tour, asked if anyone wanted to go
onto the top of the Wall. They all replied that they were much too tired, so
Josephine took guide in tow, climbed the stairs, and looked at and out from the
top of the Great Wall of China. Coming back down she saw her tour looking at
her with amazement. All she could do was chuckle and say if she was here she
was going to look at the top too. In her later years, her big trip of the year
was the Alford Family Reunion. She would plan her trip the week after she got
back from the last. She would start working on members of the family to go with
her. She succeeded in getting almost everyone to at least one meeting, if only
for dinner. At the Pleasanton meeting she managed to get her son, both
granddaughters, a brother, two sisters, nieces and nephews and a cousin she
hadn’t seen in thirty years.
It was at this meeting the Alfords learned that
her two passions were baking and canning. Everyone at the meeting received a jar
of jam made by Josephine and Esther. What most didn’t know was that two months
after the meeting she baked 60 pecan pies for friends and family. This was down
from the high of 112 she had baked a few years before.
Josephine is survived by her son Daniel; her grandchildren
Ray [AAFA #538], Seanne [AAFA #0335], and Shannon [AAFA #539]; her
great-grandchildren Keeley, Kendall, and Stephen; and many nieces and nephews
scattered throughout the country.
When Josephine passed away in the winter of 2001,
she missed the birth of her great-great-grandson by three and half months. His name
is Joseph Tyler, who by all accounts has the temperament, charm, and look about
him that reminds many of his great-great-grandmother Josephine.
from Lone Tree Cemetery, Hayward, Alameda Co., CA—www.findagrave.com
copyright 2006 by Deborah Ratto Dash – permission granted
AAFA NOTES: SSDI
records confirm the birth and death dates of Josephine L. Carrigan (SS# issued
in CA), last residence Pleasanton, Alameda Co., CA.
We included the obituaries of her father, Murray
Luther Alford Sr.; and half-brothers Murray Peter Alford and Murray Luther
“Plug” Alford Jr., AAFA #0236, in Louisiana Obituaries; and her sisters Edna
Vesta Alford Giddings, AAFA #0233, and Betty Lydia Alford Davis, AAFA #0223;
and half-siblings Helen Singer Alford Cook and Jacob Harris Alford Sr. in Texas
For more information about this family, see
AAFA’s published genealogy, Descendants
of Jacob Alford, b. 1761 NC and the genealogy of Jacob’s son, John Seaborn
Alford 1807 LA.
Her lineage: Josephine Louise 1906 LA1,
Murray Luther 1873 LA2, Marshall Thomas 1839 LA3, John
Seaborn 1807 LA4, Jacob 1761 NC5, Julius 1717 VA6,
James 1687 VA7, John 1645 VA8.