J.C. Alston, 98 years old of Troy, died on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at home surrounded by his family.
Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Tuesday, October 26 at Crotty Funeral Home in Belton. Funeral services for J.C. will be at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, October 27th, at First Baptist Church of Troy with Mike McMurtry officiating. Military Burial, with Masonic Honors, to follow at Roberts Cemetery in Troy.
On May 3, 1923, he was born to John Homer Alston and Nettie Odell Collier Alston in Cone, Texas, a small community near Crosbyton, about thirty-five miles northeast of Lubbock. The middle of seven children in a farming family, he grew up during the bitter dust bowl years on the southern plains. He could remember when electricity had come to the community, and they began using light bulbs instead of kerosene lanterns. When his parents hung up their plow and moved to Temple, in Central Texas, Alston was a young teenager.
He joined the Navy at age 18 on August 28, 1941. He was on watch aboard the USS California the morning of December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. After many battles, throughout the war in the Pacific, by September 2, 1945, Alston was on the West Virginia's deck in Tokyo Bay when Japanese officials joined Admiral Chester Nimitz, General Douglas MacArthur, other allied commanders on the nearby USS Missouri to sign the instrument of surrender, officially ending the war weeks after the United States dropped atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Mr. Alston was Honorably Discharged October 20,1945. He returned to Lubbock, where he helped relatives harvest wheat and then settled in Temple and landed a job as a truck driver at a Veterans Administration hospital. On September 3,1948, he married a local girl, June Casey. They had two daughters, five grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. He remained at the VA for thirty-four years in various positions, including as fire department crew chief, police officer and supervisor of laundry service. After leaving the VA, he worked as a security guard at American Desk before fully retiring in 1988.
He was known to many simply as Granddad. Everyone who met him described him as sweet, kind and loving. He was a man of few words but his sense of humor always kept things fun. His name was initials only, he would tease it stood for Jake Calhoun or Jersey Cow. His love for his family and their love for him was abounding!
J.C. often told his story to schoolchildren and attended Veterans' reunions and events. He led the annual patriotic parade at Jefferson Elementary on a 4-wheeler for many years. Additionally, he had a float in the Belton 4th of July parade, which including him, had 5 generations of family members. He had returned to Pearl Harbor many times on December 7th, but more often on that fateful anniversary he would attend the commemoration at the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas often accompanied by extended family. He served as the president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors' Association Chapter 10, which disbanded in 2011 because there were so few survivors left. He was a member of the local American Legion Post 133 for 32 years, the Belton Masonic Lodge #166, A.F. & A.M. for 60 years as a Master Mason, and a member of the Troy Senior Trojans. J.C. held a pilot license to fly small aircraft. He thoroughly enjoyed the domino game of 42 which he played every Thursday in his “Vegas” room with Wayne and Elaine Randolph and Judy Gill.
J.C. was very involved in his community. From being a volunteer firefighter, to renaming and numbering the streets in Troy to implement the 911 system, to being on the board at Roberts Cemetery. He regularly had coffee with a group of friends downtown Troy that his wife affectionately called “the learning center.”
Mr. Alston was an active long-time member (51 years) of First Baptist Church of Troy, having held many positions within the church. Before moving to Troy, he was a member of Eastside Baptist Church in Temple.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, June, his parents, 4 brothers and 1 sister: B.A. Alston, Homer Alston, Larry Alston, Alton Alston and Frances Kilpatrick, a daughter; Beverly Miller, a grandson, Mallory Miller, and a great-grandson, Trey Alston Short, Sr. He is survived by a daughter, Karen Granfor and husband Larry of Troy, 5 grandchildren, Stacey Short and husband Rick of Temple, Britt Granfor and wife Tisha of Temple, Robin Brooks and husband Kevin of Walburg, Steven Miller of Harker Heights, 4 great- grandchildren, Keegan Granfor and wife Brittany, Lexie Short, Makayla Brooks, Jacci Granfor, and 5 great-great grandchildren: Ariana Reyna, Lauren Huerta, Trey Short Jr., Ryleigh Short, with number six, Alice Granfor arriving December 20, 2021.
Pall Bearers -Zac Fabela, Josh Mathews, Johnny Pratt, Austin Pratt, Chris Craft, Cliff Golder
Memorials may be made to: Admiral Nimitz Foundation, in memory of J.C. Alston, 328 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624