Estelle “Dock” Dykes Alford

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Estelle “Dock” Dykes Alford, 97, a resident of Mt. Hermon, died early Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Mandeville.

She was born on Aug. 19, 1916, to Walter and Pauline Brumfield Dykes at their home in rural Kentwood. She was the youngest girl in a family of eight, all of whom preceded her in death.

Estelle, better known as “Dock” to her friends and relatives, was the epitome of care giving. It is the family’s belief that she was given the nickname because she “was always nursing someone back to health.” Upon graduation from Mt. Hermon High School, she postponed her career to care for her ailing mother who was partially paralyzed from a stroke. In later years, Dock provided constant care for her husband during his battle with cancer. She is remembered as “being by his side the entire time, in and out of the hospital.” And when her sister, Hazel, neared the end of her life Dock cared for her at times in her home and until the end at the hospital.

Throughout her many years of living in the Mt. Hermon community, Dock, who was known as a wonderful cook, baked cakes, candy and her famous chicken and dumplings for her neighbors, family members and church family. When her immediate family gathered at her home for holiday meals, a granddaughter recently commented, “Mam-maw was always the last to sit down because she wanted to make sure that we all had what we needed.”

Although Dock was known for her selflessness and desire to improve the lives of her family, friends and neighbors, she was also known for her many talents. She attended beauty school after her mother’s passing and owned and ran her own beauty shop in Kentwood for several years. Long after she closed the business, she was often known to comment on hairstyles of her family members stating that a different style or color may be more “flattering.” Her skills as a seamstress were exhibited in the beautiful clothing sewn for her daughters and then again for granddaughters after they were born. She enjoyed quilt making, and her great-grandchildren benefited from the baby quilts made upon their births. Her artistic abilities were evident in her ceramic making, a hobby she enjoyed during the 1970s and ’80s, and in her work at Bogue Chitto Baptist Church and the Washington Parish Homemaker’s Club. A granddaughter recently stated, “I still have the cookbook with the front cover that Mam-maw drew.” Dock also loved music and played the piano “by ear,” a talent which may have been known only to close friends and family.

Dock was a longtime member of Bogue Chitto Baptist Church, where she actively participated in the Women’s Mission Union and various other committees. She was the chairman of the WMU Centennial in 1988. Dock often provided floral arrangements for the altar on Sundays using flowers grown at home. Her chicken and dumplings was a staple at church gatherings. In later years, she often spoke of her enjoyment of her Sunday school class, taught by Hugh Fortenberry. “Helping out” with Vacation Bible School was always a priority during the summer. She always encouraged her children and grandchildren to use their “talents” in serving others as well.

Despite her numerous gifts and accomplishments, she remained humble and selfless in her love for family and friends.

She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Michael J. Haight of Ponchatoula; her grandchildren and spouses, Donna Beth and John Guidry of Mandeville, Melanie and Dalton Sumrall of Lacombe, Shawn and Julie Wascom of Deridder and Carlon Wascom of Mt. Hermon; her great-grandchildren, Brianne Guillot, Carly Wascom, Hannah Wascom, Drew Sumrall, Ashton Wascom, Raegan Wascom and Parker Wascom; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lester C. Alford; her parents; a daughter and son-in-law, Sandra and Donnie Ray Wascom; and her siblings, Curtis Dykes, Glen Dykes, Clyde Dykes, Willard Dykes, “Teeny” Blades, Louella Schilling and Hazel Smith.

Visitation was held Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Bogue Chitto Baptist Church, 41088 Highway 438 in Mt. Hermon, from 9 a.m. until time for the funeral service at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Troy Bankston and the Rev. Russell Kirkland officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

Pallbearers were Carlon Wascom, Shawn Wascom, Ashton Wascom, Drew Sumrall, Mike Alford, Walter Lee Dykes and Donald Dykes.

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