Oscar Wayne Alford

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Oscar Wayne Alford

Oscar Alford was born at home on July 23, 1932, “the hottest day of the year”, to Chris and Devada Alford. “Cotton” or “Little Chris”, as he was known, attended school in Many, Louisiana, from first grade, where he was Miss Middelton’s class pet, through 12th grade. His class graduated in 1950, the first class to have gone 12 years straight. During his time at Many High School, he was a four-year member of the State Championship Basketball team. Upon graduation, he

enrolled at Northwestern State University. After one semester, at the suggestion of the Dean of Academic Affairs, he joined the United States Air Force, and spent “some of the best four years of his life.” He often recalled stories of his time in Germany and met some life-long buddies in the service there. After an honorable discharge, Oscar spent a summer working in south Louisiana as a roughneck. In 1955, he returned to Many to re-enroll at Northwestern. While at NSU, he obtained a degree in Industrial Arts and a bride, Dorothy Meharg, who he affectionately called “DeeDot”. He graduated in 1959 and often bragged that he did so “without ever having read a book.”

Oscar’s first job was with the Louisiana Department of Labor in Hammond, Louisiana, as an interviewer. He spent his entire professional career with the Department of Labor, moving from Hammond to Alexandria, before retiring in Baton Rouge as the State Director of Unemployment Insurance—the highest non-appointed position in the Department. Again, he made life-long friends along the way. Following his retirement, Oscar returned to Many, or “God’s country”, as he called it. Back in Sabine Parish, Oscar was appointed to serve an unexpired term for Ward 5 on the Sabine Parish Police Jury. He went on to serve two additional terms thereafter.

Oscar and Dorothy had three daughters—Lisa, Shelly and Lori. Following decades of living under a petticoat government, Oscar became “Papa” to seven grandsons in a row. He lamented that he could never find his tools again. The grandsons were soon followed by three granddaughters, for a total of 10 grandchildren in 11 years. Following countless tractor rides, feeding cows, tall tales and humorous, gentle guidance, the 10 grandkids added five grandson-in-laws and daughter-in-laws and 10 great-grandchildren.

Oscar is survived by his wife, Dorothy Meharg Alford of Many; his three daughters, Lisa Harp (Willie), Shelly Close (Martin), and Lori Brant; sister, Juanita DeKeyzer; grandchildren, Jeremy Brant (Emily), Luke Brant, Lauren Brant, Will Harp, Mathew Harp (Liz), Christopher Harp, Wesley Harp, Grayson Close (Arielle), Elizabeth Close Vercher (Aaron) and Mollie Close Sandoval (Jacob); and nine great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Christopher Columbus and Devada Skinner Alford and one great-grandson, Logan Wayne Brant.

Funeral services for Oscar Wayne Alford, 87, of Many, were held on September 30, 2019 at First Baptist Church of Many with Rev. Donald Ray Bush and Rev. Jonathan Boast officiating. Burial followed in the Fort Jesup Cemetery.

Pallbearers: Jeremy Brant, Luke Brant, Will Harp, Mathew Harp, Christopher Harp, Wesley Harp, Grayson Close and Martin Close.

Honorary Pallbearers: Men’s 2 Sunday School Class at Many First Baptist, Gary Love, Brice Ellzey, Aaron Vercher, Jacob Sandavol, Ray Mitchell and Dean Lambert.

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Many, LA. and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

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