Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Tribute to Ben...a letter from Charles to his brother Ben

Bee, Ben, Calvert

Recently, I returned home to my hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi to say goodbye to my Uncle Ben.  He was a kind and gentle soul and well loved by all that knew him.  As did Papa, he answered the call of duty during WWII and proudly served
the Marine Corp during the Pacific campaign.  After the war
Ben, Papa and their dad...Papa T...worked the family business Motor Parts Company on Washington Street.  He married his beloved Bev, raised their two children, Calvert and Bee, and as a family embraced small-town life.  

As I was greeted by Bee and Benton at their home, Bee gave me
a letter written to Ben from my father while stationed in Maxwell, Alabama.  It was a sweet letter giving Ben praise, encouragement and advice in what he would expect while in the service...I have attached it below..

A life long parishioner of Trinity Episcopal Church, Ben served on the vestry, sang in the choir and was top chef at the spaghetti suppers on Friday nights.  But his true passion was scouting.  As a youth Ben was an Eagle Scout.  He later served as the scout master for Troop 72 for many years.  Several young men became Eagle Scouts while under his leadership,  his son Bee, an Eagle Scout, his three grandchildren...Benton, Nathan and Josh are also Eagle Scouts.  

Ben...was a builder of men.  Through scouting he taught young boys how to become good men, community leaders, and good stewards of the land.   He was bestowed with the Silver Beaver Award given to scout leaders who have made an impact on the lives of young scouts and who have, through hard work and self-sacrifice, devoted many years of service.

So as we mourn the loss of this beloved man...we celebrate his life and know that his life's teachings, his values will be passed on for many generations to come...I can think of no greater testament.

Letter written to Ben from Charles July 12th from Maxwell Field, Alabama
(Click on letter to enlarge)

Uncle Ben far right
Ben, Malcolm and Charles