Despite the social gathering restrictions due to the pandemic, we attended the funeral of a beloved neighbor and HOA member today. Mr. White was a presence with the biggest smile and personality. He was a deacon of his church, attended bible studies, ran for City Council, was a Commissioner of the Slidell Housing Authority, on the board of the National Association for Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and teacher's union member. He was active with the Baton Rouge Community Choir, St. Tammany Retired Teachers, East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, member of Yesteryear Retired Teachers, Baton Rouge Area Retired Teachers Association, Louisiana Retired Teachers Association and Together Baton Rouge. He was trilingual, teaching Spanish and French for 33 years. He was an educator for almost 40 years. His hobbies were fishing, singing and gardening.
His wife, Miss Bert, was inconsolable. She wept and carried on at his coffin so much that I had to find a tissue box, weeping along with her. When I was finally able to view Mr. White he looked like he was sleeping. His son came over and we talked about that. The son inherited his daddy's big smile and gentle, loving ways.
We were the only caucasians in the church, but it didn't matter. And I only bring it up because so many people still think there are race relation issues. There is not. At least not in our area. ALL were welcoming and gracious.
What made this day extra hard was having to refrain from hugging or touching or holding a hand to show comfort. The church should've been packed; however, attendance was sparse which the family expected and understood. They streamed the service live on Facebook for those too afraid to leave their homes and/or for the immunocompromised.
A soloist went up to the altar to sing "It Is Well With My Soul." Her rendition was so powerful that it moved me to tears. Thus, the subject of my photo of the day.
Mr. White, we'll miss you at neighborhood socials and board meetings. May GOD shine His perpetual light on you and may you rest in the arms of Jesus forever.
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