|James Albert (Al) Trickett was born to Mary Roberts and Daly Victor Trickett in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was a quiet youth whose teachers recognized his gifts for listening and learning. He received recognition for his accomplishments at Byrd High School in Latin, Geometry and Debate. Tennis was his favorite sport. As a member of the Centenary College Choir he developed his love of singing while pursuing triple majors of Chemistry, Accounting and Geology. On graduation in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Chemical Corps and was subsequently commissioned a Second Lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia. Sent to The Pacific Theater of Operations, he was stationed in the Philippines and Luzon. In occupied Japan he supervised the Kobe school district.
Honorably discharged, Al happily returned to Shreveport to work with his father and brother Ed as a salesman. He eventually assumed ownership of the family companies: Shreveport Tent and Awning Company, Shreveport Mattress Company and Southern States Manufacturing.
I met Al in the Chancel Choir at Noel Church. He was teaching a class of 12-year old boys who had driven their previous teachers into “retirement.” When I attended the class one Sunday, I found to my horror he had gained the boy’s interest and had 100% attendance by combining Church School teachings with a football pool.
He moved on within Noel to teach the Upper Room Class, a couples group still strong today. His desire to serve in a wider capacity grew so that by 1963 he qualified as a lay pastor. The congregation of Shiloh Church in De Soto Parish was replacing their building and had instructed the District Superintendent they could not afford a minister while constructing the new building. Al was appointed to fill the pulpit. His position was that they wanted nothing and he was the next best thing. That summer the Louisiana rain was stayed as the congregation gathered for worship each Sunday under the beautiful oak trees. The day the church celebrated its dedication, it stormed relentlessly.
At age 45, Albert left his business to become a full-time worker in the Kingdom, when he became an Associate Minister at Noel. For the next seven years he commuted 400 miles to classes at Perkins School of Theology on Wednesdays, his day off. At Noel, he conducted Sunday evening services, made hospital calls, taught Men’s Bible Class, organized and led a weekly men’s breakfast prayer group, held Friday evening services at Volunteers of America Maternity Home, and met weekly with a mentally challenged group in their home. Graduation day came in May, 1976. Not to be idle, Al undertook and completed a two-year course for his hospital chaplains at Schumpert Hospital.
In 1979 Al was moved to First Methodist, Baton Rouge as an Associate Minister. His service pattern was much the same as before. There he organized and taught the Wesley Fellowship Class. His regular columns for the International Church School lesson series appeared regularly in The Louisiana Methodist. The First Church newsletter circulated his articles “I See By the Comics…” Al accepted early retirement from this post.
His retirement allowed time for community service during which he was elected to serve two terms on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. He lent his strength to several boards: the Red Cross, the Junior League, the Symphony and the City Planning Commission. His support of the precepts of Rotary International and 50 years of perfect attendance were cited with a special award. Sundays were spent teaching the Seeker’s Class at St. John’s Church, interrupted when two years were spent serving the Donaldsonville Charge. He returned to St. John’s as a staff member in charge of visitation until 1998.
Al’s childhood summers were passed in Booneville, Arkansas. Through dividing his time between his maternal and paternal grandparents many sermon illustrations were gained for future use. His youthful dreams of wider travel were spurred by voracious reading of the National Geographic. He sent self-addressed envelopes to remote places he read about in order to collect postmarks. Eventually he visited all 50 of the United States, over 70 countries and every continent except Antarctica.
Declining health forced Al to stay in touch with former parishioners mostly via telephone. He endured small strokes and diminished physical ability without complaint, but managed to volunteer to assist, as he was able, at the Jefferson Church.
He came through seven-bypass heart surgery without complaint, without complications and without pain medication. He died quietly and unexpectedly at home in his favorite chair. He found great joy and satisfaction in seeing his sons, David and John, mature into fine family and business men. His life was enriched by the four grandchildren whom he loved so deeply. I am indebted to God and humbled by His granting me over 52 years of shared life, love and marriage with Albert Trickett. What a full life we had together!
In praise and thanksgiving,
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, p. 267 By Elizabeth Sample Trickett|