Remembering Bob Alton
My friends and I lost a good friend this past October 19, 2016, Robert M. Alton, Jr., who just seventeen days earlier entered his 90th year.
Many of us, however, are not aware of his history of achievement and disappointment. He lost his 14-year old son many years ago, a loss most difficult for any parent to accept and endure.
Bob was born in Tallassee, Alabama on October 2, 1927. Tallassee, a small town populated with less than 5,000 in the 2010 census, is geographically located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties. Its claim to current-day fame is a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company. Tallassee’s historical recognition is the central area of the Creek Indians.
As a young man Bob Alton worked as a tinsmith, coppersmith, and sheet metal worker. On August 6, 1946 he enlisted in the Regular Army at Fort McClellan, Alabama. His service at that time was with the Panama Canal Department. At the time of his enlistment Bob had completed one year of college.
Later Bob would complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama. He played trumpet in the Alabama “Million Dollar” Band and was a member of the Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity. In 1951 he graduated from the Alabama Law School and received his Juris Doctor degree (J.D.).
He practiced law in Elmore County, Alabama, became an officer in the Army Reserves and the Alabama National Guard where he served for twenty-six years, and retired as a Lt. Colonel. Bob developed laudable careers in the military and in the practice of law.
Robert M. Alton, Jr. was an American patriot.
Most of all, Bob was a follower of Jesus Christ. As a member of The Gideons and the Full Gospel Business Men Association, Bob lived his faith hour-by-hour and day-by-day. He was a shining light for many to see, not shining for himself but shining as a reflection of his Lord and Savior.
Bob was a loud (perhaps a hearty) singer of hymns. If you ever sat in church in front of Bob, you knew who was singing. And he could carry a tune. Obviously his college trumpet-playing years continued the development of his musical skills. He and his wife Kay of 46 years exemplified a wonderful duet/couple for the rest of us.
At our church, Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, Bob was stalwart, a person of deep faith and of high personal integrity. He was a friend to everyone.
God has called our brother-in-Christ to be with Him. It is indeed a sad time, but it is a joyous time, too.
It is Christ in Whom we live, both now and at our time of eternal rest.
Rest in Peace, Bob.
© 2016 Worth Earlwood Norman Jr