With 93 years here on earth, Blanche praised God and thanked him for the life she lived to the very end. Led by faith and her trust in God, Blanche Annie Ruth Alford went home to join her Heavenly Father on Monday, February 12, 2018 surrounded by the love of her children. Blanche was born October 18, 1924 to the late James and Mary Alford.
Lovingly referred to as Annie Ruth by family and friends, she grew up in Dillon County, South Carolina. Blanche was educated in the public schools of Dillon County. As an adult she moved to Brooklyn, New York seeking better employment opportunities. While living in Brooklyn, Blanche was employed by the United States Postal Service until retirement. Although they were away from home for over twenty years, Blanche and her siblings maintained close family ties by hosting many family gatherings. She made sure the generations to follow would always be connected to the family home in Little Rock through the annual Alford and Wright Family Reunion. Upon retirement from the Post Office in 1987, Blanche returned to Little Rock where she lived until her final day.
Blanche remained very active in her retirement. She was an active member of McCoy’s Chapel United Methodist Church and participated on the choir. She served as President of the United Methodist Women for five years and President of the Noon Day Prayer in which Blanche enjoyed visiting Little Rock Adult Day Care Center and nursing homes in the area. She was also a member of the Little Rock Community Organization and attended the Council on Aging. Her hobbies included knitting blankets and making a variety of crafts. However, of all the things she was involved in and the many ways she expressed her creative brilliance, no one can deny that Blanche made the BEST macaroni and cheese!
As the matriarch of the Alford family, Blanche promoted the importance of being a unified family, embodying values of hard work, perseverance and unconditional love for one another, with God at the center of it all.
Above all, she was a servant of God and people. Blanche often was the first to arrive to care for a sick family member or friend. She gave of herself without request or question, ready to roll up her sleeves and help in whatever way she could.
Blanche was preceded in death by her brothers: Franklin, Baby Boy Alford, Melvin and sisters: Elizabeth, Mary and Emma.
Blanche’s legacy continues through her brother: James “Lamb” (Yvonne) Alford; sister: Dorothy (Henry) Fisher; her five children: Rosalind Alford, Charles Ashley (Marcia) Alford, Deborah Ross, Althea McGill and Natalie Alford; ten grandchildren: Tameka (Winsel) Davenport, Derrick Wilson, Shatina McGill (Phillip) Lester, Natasha (Joseph) Davis, Tavoya (Rodger) Mitchell, Tanesha Cameron (Monté) Cole, Roderick (Erin) McGill, Sesame Alford, Nairobi Alford and Amari Alford; nineteen great-grandchildren; two great, great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. Her devoted caregivers: Onzalow Bethea, Joe M. Bethea, Catherine McNeil, Edward Thomas, Mary Liza Williams, Mary E. Manning and Barbara Manning.
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