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Vesta Giddings Bowden



AAFA #0537

1930 TX –2011 TX


Photo from Brookside Funeral Home - Cypress Creek



Houston, Harris Co., TX—22 October 2011


            Vesta (Alford) Giddings Bowden was welcomed into Jesus’ loving arms on the morning of Thursday, October 20, 2011. She was born September 6, 1930, in New Gulf, Texas.

            Vesta is survived by her daughter, Mary and her husband, Randy Mellard; her son, Bert and wife, Connie Bowden, and her daughter Cherie Bowden. She was dearly loved by her nine grandchildren; Jeff, Michael, Katie, Jack, Thomas, Ben, Jarred, Christie, and Cathlyn. She was adored by her three great-grandchildren; Katelyn, Michael, and Chloe.

            She will be honored at a visitation from 6-8 PM on Saturday, October 22, at Brookside Funeral Home-Cypress Creek. Her Memorial Service will be in the chapel of First Methodist Church Westchase, 10570 Westpark Drive in Houston at 1:30 PM on Sunday, October 23 with Rev. Leo Tyler officiating. The burial will be held by the family Prairie Lea Cemetery in Brenham, TX.

            In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may contribute to Houston Hospice,


AAFA NOTES: SSDI records confirm the birth and death dates of Vesta Alford Bowden (SS# issued in TX), last residence Houston, Harris Co., TX.

            We included the obituaries of her mother, Vesta Edna Alford Giddings, AAFA #0233; and her aunts Betty Lydia Alford Davis, AAFA #0223, and Helen Singer Alford Cook; and her uncle Jacob Harris Alford Sr. in Texas Obituaries; her grandfather, Murray Luther Alford Sr.; and uncles Murray Peter Alford and Murray Luther “Plug” Alford Jr., AAFA #0236, in Louisiana Obituaries; and her aunt Josephine Louise Alford Carrigan, AAFA #0235, in California Obituaries.

            Her middle name, Alford, appears incorrectly in the obituary as if it were her maiden name.

            From Gil Alford, AAFA #0019:


      Vesta was very special to Mary and me. I dare say that we knew Vesta longer than we knew just about anyone else on this list or in AAFA. And we knew her longer than anyone else in AAFA knew her—except for maybe a few of her first cousins.

      Vesta was a 2nd cousin once removed which means her mother Vesta Alford Giddings was my second cousin, but until the early 1980’s we had never heard of either of them. When we did first hear from them it was so early in our experience with Alford history and genealogy that my system of capturing information about contacts and Alfords was not even yet in gear.

      It all happened when early one evening we had a phone call and it was Vesta Alford Giddings saying she was in the area visiting her daughter. Said that she had heard what I was doing or about to do regarding Alfords and she and her daughter wanted to come over and visit. (I’m sure she had heard about us from a mutual cousin, Haidee Alford Reeves, AAFA #0210.)

      We invited them over and learned that Little Vesta, as we later called her, worked very nearby for one of the McDonnell Douglas companies. Vesta Alford Giddings’ grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. She had married a fellow who was a surgeon in either the Navy or the Air Force, and she had retired as a nurse and was also in the service. We had a long warm and interesting visit and I learned a lot more about my kin.

      Many of us got to know big Vesta, and her siblings, very well. Vesta, who became AAFA #0223, and her sister and brothers were present at the 2nd AAFA meeting in Houston in 1989 and she continued, never missing a meeting until 1998. We lost her in 1999. Vesta Jr. became AAFA #0537, and we got to know her better in the 1992 meeting in Destin, FL. She still worked for a living and had children to worry about. She returned for the 1995 meeting in Decatur, AL, and then made all the rest of the meetings up through 2009, except for 2006 in Nashville. For both Vestas it just seemed like “they were always there.” Little Vesta served on the AAFA Board of Directors from 2007 until just before her death. I’ll never forget the good times we had together at the AAFA meetings—especially on the tours.


            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 Alford lineage, from her mother: Edna Vesta 1905 LA2, Murray Luther 1873 LA3, Marshall Thomas 1839 LA4, John Seaborn 1807 LA5, Jacob 1761 NC6, Julius 1717 VA7, James 1687 VA8, John 1645 VA9.