Mayor Shelton: Central Lost Hero

Mayor Shelton: Central Lost Hero

During Celebration of Life ceremonies honoring the late Ralph Washington, Central Mayor Jr. Shelton praised Washington as “a public servant in the truest sense of the word.”  Shelton said Washington, who served as Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of Central from the city’s formation in July 2005 until July 1, 2014, “walked softly but carried a big stick, and that stick was wisdom!”

Ralph Washington, 60, died Aug. 16.  He had been fighting diabetes for several years.  He is survived by his  wife Carolyn, daughter Marquesa, son Raphael, four sisters, a brother, and numerous other relatives.

The celebration was held at Living Faith Christian Center, 6375 Winbourne Ave., where he was a deacon.

In his remarks, Mayor Shelton said, “I would like to thank the family for this

opportunity to speak. There’s a lot to celebrate today.  Ralph was a tall, lanky man.  He always had a smile on his face, and he was always the best dressed man in the room!”

“When Ralph spoke, it was always thought provoking.  He was pleasant and had a laid back personality.  We talked for hours.  I learned Ralph had a heart for the City of Central. ”

“What made such a leader? His upbringing!  He was that diamond because he cared about people.  I’ve lost count of the people who called.  He was a public servant in the truest sense.”

“He ran first in his first race for the Central City Council, which indicates how well respected he was in Central.  It would have been easy for him to accept a handout.  Rather, he was there not for himself but for others.  He used his freedom to give to others.”

“My first proclamation as Mayor is to honor him.  Today is Ralph Washington Day in Central!  Thank you for sharing Ralph with the people of Central!”

His Christian Walk.  Former Central school board member Morris Anderson said he knew Ralph Washington as a neighbor, fellow church member, public official, and a friend.

He said, “He had a humble spirit and loved God.  He would call daily.  On Mondays, we would discuss the week’s sermon.  He loved his roots in Ascension Parish, and he loved life.  He was a  brilliant man, a smart man.”

“You’re going to be like the men you hang around with.  I’m a much better person because of the time we spent together.  He lived a life of service that is required of all of us.”

Sister, Sister.  Ralph Washington’s sister, Emelda Williams, said she used to call her brother “Mr. Washington,” but he’d say, “Stop all that foolishness!  Just call me Ralph!”

She said, “I spent this summer with Ralph, and it was the best summer I ever had.  I’d shave him and hum ‘Count on me through thick and thin, on sisters you can depend!’  Rest, Ralph!  I’ll see you again!  I love you, brother!”

Words of Comfort. Minister Charles Guillory brought words of comfort.  He said, “Our God is not just God in the good times.  He’s there when all hell breaks out.  I’ve buried children and loved ones.  But I’ve come to trust Him.  I’ve learned to ask God to take away the pain and take away the tears.  Now I don’t remember the tears, only the joy and trust.  Dare to ask Him.  You too can experience that loving trust”

Ralph’s niece, Gwen Price, sang “I worship you for who you are.”

Eulogy to Ralph Washington. In his eulogy, Bishop Raymond Johnson, Ralph’s pastor, said, “No matter what life gives you, God has an inheritance.  As stated by the Mayor — my mayor, because I’m a resident of Central — there are some things to reconcile.”

“We rely on a God who is all-powerful but who allows things to happen in the course of life.  The answer is to look to His word.  Science and philosophy are not enough.  You have to know Him yourself.”

“His passing leaves a void but one that God can fill.  If Ralph had it his way, he would still be here with us. But every man has to die.  Yet, we have some unfinished business with him.  Even on our worst day, God still loves us and will bring us something better.”

“Ralph was a talker.  I never went to a City Council meeting.  I didn’t have to.  I had Ralph.  What he shared was never about himself.  It was always for someone else.  He never asked for anything.  He was a bridge builder.  He could walk in any room and talk to anyone.”

“He loved God and he loved his family.  Yes, he loved Central but he loved God and his family.  Well done, thy good and faithful servant!  All the accolades are for nothing.  What matters is, did you live for Jesus?”

“Ralph was a man who could be an example for all of us.  He loved his wife and his family.  The pride he had was in his family.  He worked hard to be a blessing to his family.”

“If Jesus lives in you, your deeds and works reflect the level of Christ that lives in us.”

“Don’t weep as those who have no hope!  When all is done, we still have a God who is on our side.  I don’t have to see Him to know Him because He lives inside me.”

“How can you go through things that are almost unbearable and still have the joy?  You won’t get this at the university.  The last time I saw Ralph, he was telling me he was still holding fast with God.  I believe the Lord let him know in a few days you will be with me.”

“Lord, this life was full of faith.  We are better because of Ralph Washington.  Lord, we ask you to fill this void that is left here!”

Ralph Washington was buried in Roselawn Cemetery on North Street in Baton Rouge.

— By Woody Jenkins, Editor

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!