Flower Purple

Ricardo Wade

January 9, 1926 ~ March 14, 2022 (age 96)

Tribute

A Memoire, written by Ricardo H. Wade

The year was 1926, the month was January. And the day was the ninth. New Orleans celebrated the battle of New Orleans. Again we won! Now the city could begin the Sesquicentennial Birth year of our country. In general The City ignored the birth of RICARDO HERBERT WADE. However, he and The City will live through a crash of the Stock Market, a great flood of the Mississippi River, and even THE GREAT DEPRESSION!   
Mother was the sole support of herself, a daughter, and a baby (me) in these very tough times. Mother had to get work at a time when many men could not find work. She got work and boarded me out. Reared in fact, since women worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week, by a Christian Jewish lady called Grand Mother Louie. She ran boarding house across the street from a synagogue. We attended church in a room above a famous shoe store on Canal Street. In the dining room was a complete set of encyclopedia. Grand Mother Louie instilled into me the interest of reading which continues still. This is New Orleans. Needless to say that my first school was ANDREW JACKSON.

   But time passes as the depression gets better. We move to our apartment house on Magazine Street around the corner of the house in which Jefferson Davis died. I believe the marker stone is still there. Remember this is a historic city. As time passes so does life. From Grammar school, to baptism, to the Boy Scouts..

      WHERE WERE YOU WHEN WHAT?
      THE WHERE was the First Baptist Church.
      THE WHEN was about age 12.
      THE WHAT was BAPTISM.

   The Baptismal fount has descending steps leading down and ascending steps leading up. The center of the fount had a clear glass wall to hold the water and let the entire church witness the act. Male and female wearing white gowns descended singular into the four feet of water. The Pastor, also in a white gown, totally immersed us and prayed over us. Each then ascended the steps. When you have run out of breath and still not certain that you are going to be let up, then you know that you are saved!

   The Boy Scouts was a large part of my life. My troop was 68 meeting at the school. The teaching and mentoring that Scouting gives a person without a male role model is beyond words. At this time it was very useful.

      WHERE WERE YOU WHEN WHAT?
      THE WHAT   PEARL HARBOR was attacked
      THE WHERE   was in my yard listening to the radio
      THE WHEN   was Sunday, December 7, 1941

   We were at war and in one week our entire country was on a war footing with rationing, draft, blackouts, and OPA. Life was now different. I was not draft age. Warren Easton on Canal Street was an all-male high school and was my school. Being tall and not athletic, as were Eddie Price, Greek Athas, and others reduced my sports time to one week. Time as usual passes.

   Graduation and draft age arrived in January 1944. At this time WWII was in progress so one volunteers one’s services to the Country and the Army. Then it was to Arkansas for training at Camp Robinson. Mother and Sister were off also to war related job training somewhere up north and completely out of contact with me at this period. Infantry training always selects the tall as squad leaders. Now my height pays off. The war is still in doubt and training is sped-up. After this brief training period, we were shipped off to the Philippines Islands in the Pacific. We went in as replacements assigned to the 11th Airborne company E. None of us were trained as paratroopers but were speed trained for jumping as part of our preparation for the next action. After being wounded and unfit for jump duty my return to the USA was ordered via a hospital ship that was returning for refit also. The war in Europe was over and Japan remained. The ship stopped at Hawaii and none were allowed off. To the USA then from the ship to a hospital then to the Army Hospital at New Orleans lake-front for recuperation. Since this was home also daily evening passes were normal.

      WHERE WERE YOU WHEN WHAT?
      THE WHERE   was a streetcar stop in my City.
      THE WHEN    was evening.
      THE WHAT   was VJ DAY.

   “The war is over! Japan surrenders!” yells the GL at the other stop across from me. “Do you know that!” That was news to me! Friends were met and we went to Canal Street. The City was like Mardi Gras with street to street people. Lights went on again. The black-out was over. The celebration lasted all night. At last every one went. Those at the Service Hospitals were paraded down Canal Street shortly after.
   But time passes as the military are discharged. The new GI bill qualifies me for admission to LSU and life in the foot-ball stadium rooms. Six men in three double deck bunks was standard for outside rooms and barracks type for the inner rooms. This would also change with time. People attending various functions at the stadium and on the campus could and would just come up and peer into windows on the ground level. No privacy there. The GI Bill was a grateful free education that served the Nation well.

   My first degree was a BS in Pre-Med while the second BS was in Chemistry. The United States Department of Agriculture needed Research Chemists to work with surplus farm products. Cotton was my work for 30 years.. my office and lab were located in as USDA building in the back of City Park on Robert E. Lee blvd in N. O. October 1, 1984 was my retirement which continues with much joy.
   During this time passed above other things happened that were and are much more important and vital to me. My marriage! On November 17, 1961 I married Miss Beverly Gonzales at First English. November 18, In 1962 twin sons, Richard and Scott, were born and then baptized at F. E. In February 1964 son Todd was born and baptized at F. E. They have given us six granddaughters and two grandsons. In 1965, Lutheranism became my religion as my family transferred to Atonement. In 1970 we transferred to Faith. So far and so good. The Lord has blessed me in this and too many others to ever cite them.

         HOW   DO   I   END   THIS?
      WHERE   WERE   YOU   WHEN   WHAT?
      THE WHAT IS THE END I KNOW NOT
         THE WHEN IS THEN, NOT NOW.
            THE WHERE IS WHERE-EVER
               BUT I WILL BE THERE!
                  THE WHY IS UP TO MY LORD!

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      Ric died at East Jefferson Hospital on Thursday, March 14, 2022 from Cardiac Arrest. He and Beverly were happily married for 60 years and 4 months.
   He is survived by; his wife, Beverly Wade and sons, Richard Hampton Wade, Scott Howard Wade (Missy Sauve), and Todd Henry Wade (Melanie Waggoner Wade), Grandchildren; Christian, Alexandria, Sean, Caroline, Emma, Claire, Jessica Merrill, and Olivia Arabie, and Great-Grandchildren; Grayson Wade and Charlotte Merrill. Additional survivors are brother-in-law, Karl C. Gonzales, sister-in-law Kathy Rucker Gonzales, nieces; Karla and Katie Gonzales, grand-niece Sophie Anne; nephews Steven Clement, Kevin and Jarrod Gonzales, ex-daughter-in-law Jodi Werther Wade, and ex-sister-in-law Terri Gonzales Kresman. Predeceased by his parents, Fern Hampton and Richard H. Wade. As well as; his in-laws Sophie B. and Howard N. Gonzales, brother-in-law Sidney H. Gonzales, sister Dixie Rose Clement Tullier, and his brother Ralph Wade.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 10:30 am. Service will begin at 11:00 am at Faith Lutheran Church, 300 Colonial Club Drive, Harahan, Louisiana 70123
No flowers, please. Interment will be at a later date.

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