Happy New Year's everyone!
Today's memory is the story of one of my favorite uncles, Aldrich James "Buddy" Evins. James, Buddy and Uncle Buddy, as he was known to his family, was the embodiment of tall, dark and handsome. A beautifully handsome black man with a dashing smile, Uncle Buddy had fought in Europe in WWII, was an active local leader in the Union Movement and in his adopted community of Akron, Ohio until his death in 1989. What most impressed upon me as a child was his moral and spiritual strength, his strong work ethic and his love for my grandmother, Lucy.
We lost Uncle Buddy in February 1989 to Lung Cancer. His premature death left a hole in our family and in the Black community of Akron, Ohio. His obituary says volumes about the exemplary work and life Uncle Buddy lead. (Photo: Uncle Buddy receiving the Leo E. Dugan Award in 1988 right in the middle of his cancer therapy. He isn't even breaking a sweat! )
Aldrich James Evins, beloved husband, son, father, grandfather and brother departed this life on February 8, 1989. Aldrich James Evins was born to Lucy Callen and Herbert Debardlabon in Jones, Alabama on October 20, 1923. He accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized in Jones, Alabama. James moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1936 and upon completing his education, served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1947. After an honorable discharge from military service, he went to work Briggs Manufacturing Company in Detroit which later became the Chrysler Corporation. He was a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local #212 in Detroit, serving on the General Council Committee and as Chief Steward. He transferred with his job to the Chrysler Stamping Plant in Twinsburg, Ohio in 1958, making Akron, Ohio is residence. He was an active member of USA local #122 in Twinsburg service on various committees and was Chairman of the Community Services Committee for 12 years. As an outstanding community leader and volunteer, James was awarded the Leo E. Dugan Award in 1988. He was a delegate to the Summit-Portage Community Action Program (CAP) Council for over 10 years, a member of the AFL-CIO Community Services Committee and A member of the Union Counselor's Association. He retired from the Chrysler Plant in 1980, but continued his services with the UAW by participating on the Local 122 Retirees' Committee. He organized the Dalton Street Block Club and was an officer of the Cuyahoga Street Block Club. James has been an usher and member of Jerusalem Baptist Church, serving as Treasurer of the Christian Ushers Association of America. His Church was an important part of his life and he made many friends and assisted many members when called upon. He will be sadly missed and mourned by his dear devoted wife, Carolyn, loving mother Lucy Lanier; daughter Diane of Pomona, California; son Aldrich of Akron, Ohio, son Reginald of the U.S. Army, three granddaughters - Tanzania, Tamara and Toya, five brothers - Thurman Callen, Eddie Louis Lanier, Matthew, Willie and Rayfield; six sisters - Julia Tyus, Evelyn, Ruby, Daisy, Lela and Adell; an Aunt Odell Callen, an Uncle Omega Callen and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.