1897 - July 1983
|Funeral services were held in Baton Rouge for W. Earl Hotalen, third Executive Director of Louisiana Moral and Civic Foundation, on Saturday, July 9, 1983. His body was laid to rest in the Rest Haven Cemetery, Baton Rouge, alongside his wife, Ruth who passed away on October 27, 1982.
The following was taken from an article written by Dr. J. D. Grey, a former president of LMCF entitled Dr. Earl Hotalen — Profile of Soldiership.
“An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man; and all history resolves itself very easily into the biography of a few stout and earnest persons. Dr. W. Earl Hotalen is readily seen in these wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay, Self-Reliance. The gigantic stature it shall achieve will continue to be ‘the lengthened shadow’ of Dr. Hotalen.”
He introduced us to a dynamic word — Soldiership. He made this word articulate in his leadership of LMCF for fifteen fruitful years. He thought, spoke, organized, labored, loved, served, wrote and challenged in the realm of that work with all its connotations.
Dr. Hotalen’s Soldiership began by his unusual ability to engender an “esprit decorps.” He traveled up and down most, if not all, of the highways and by-ways of Louisiana. He communicated extensively with men of affairs in all areas of life. He wrote voluminously in tracts, papers and publications. He established rapport with the leadership of various denominations, addressing statewide, regional, and local gatherings. As he told the story and issued the challenge he made new friends for LMCF and strengthened its old friends. He was widely and favorably received by all. Not only churches, but schools, clubs of businessmen, and groups were hearing the message of temperance, righteousness and decency. LMCF’s leaders and friends soon saw that this cause need not offer any apology, and need not offer defeat.”
Dr. Hotalen entered the Methodist ministry in 1916 and became a member of the Holston Conference before transferring to the Louisiana Annual Conference in 1950. He made his home in Baton Rouge with his wife Ruth until her death in 1982. At that time he moved to Fort Payne, Alabama to be near family members and lived there until his death.
The funeral service was conducted by Reverend Carey Martin, assisted by Reverend Al Trickett and Ken Ward, Executive Director of Louisiana Moral and Civic Foundation Mr. Ward said, “all who benefit from the work of LMCF either in the past, present, or future, owe Dr. Hotalen a debt of gratitude.” Dr. Hotalen was survived by one son, Dr. Bill Hotalen who resides in Marietta, Georgia.
Reverend Martin said, “I am grateful for having known Dr. and Mrs. Hotalen. Their love for Jesus Christ and His Church gave many of us new hope and courage for the task before us.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1984; p. 195 By Carey A. Martin|