Amos Charles |
Haston "A.C.", born April 29, 1914 to Tilmon and Mary Haston in Denison, Texas departed this phase of life comfortably and peacefully in his home, surrounded by family on August 25 2014.
He grew up in a family of farmers that worked several farms during the 1890's in North Texas and Central Oklahoma. A.C. bought his first pair of long pants after selling cotton he grew on a small plot of the family farm that his Grandfather let him use. Tragedy struck early when A. C. lost his Dad in 1919. His Mother subsequently moved to Wewoka, Oklahoma where she worked as a domestic. It was in Wewoka that A.C. completed his high school education, graduating in 1934 as salutatorian and achieving the status of all state half-back for his football team.
A C. worked while putting himself through college at Langston University. He also played on the varsity football team and sang in the college's travelling acapella choir. He became a member of his beloved Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Langston in 1934. A. C. graduated in 1937 with a Bachelors of Science degree, in Science and Mathematics. He later attended the University of Colorado for post graduate work and Texas Southern University, where he received his Masters of Education in Secondary Administration degree. A. C. also attended the University of Oklahoma doing course work toward a Doctorate.
A.C.'s first job was a teaching assignment in a one-room schoolhouse where he simultaneously taught grades 1-8 in 1937. This assignment lasted for one month, when he resigned to move to Hugo, Oklahoma to accept the position as the Math teacher, and head football and basketball coach. During the summers, A. C. travelled to the Pacific Northwest to work as a porter for the railroad, going from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, to earn extra income. It was in Hugo one fall where he met his loving Wife, the former Doris E. Sampson of Port Arthur, Texas, who had come there to take a job as the Music and English teacher. They married Christmas day in 1941 and remained married, until his death, for nearly 73 years.
In August 1942, A.C. was called to the service of his country where he served in combat in the Pacific Theater of World War II, including participating in the U. S.'s invasion of the Philippine Islands. Though his service began as a "buck" Private in the Army, he was separated from service as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. A. C.'s Wife looked after his Mother who became ill during his absence in the war. A.C. had a faithful practice of sending nearly all of his Army pay to his Wife each month to care for them, only to discover on his return that she had saved every penny.
In September 1946, A. C. was hired as the instructor of Chemistry and Mathematics in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he also served as the assistant coach of the football and basketball teams. Now somewhat financially secured, he and his Wife decided to raise a family and in February 1952 were blessed with one Son, William, who presently serves as a Counsel in the Legal Division of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Washington, D. C.
In 1954 A. C. accepted a job as Principal of Lincoln High School in Nowata, Oklahoma. He resigned in 1958 to establish a home in Houston, Texas in an effort to provide better opportunity for his Son's cultural growth. He got his first job in Houston in 1959, working for the Houston Independent School District as a Math teacher at Kashmere Gardens Jr./Sr. High School. A. C. would go on to teach Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. He obtained the distinction of F. O. A. Science Specialist and later was promoted to Assistant Principal. A. C. exemplified the highest standards of professionalism, accountability and dedication to the education of children.
A. C. and his family joined St. James' Episcopal Church in 1961, where he served as a member of the Vestry, Sunday School Superintendent, Junior Warden, Senior Warden and member of the Brothers of St. Andrew. He actively served in Houston Sunrise Chapter of Kiwanis International through this year and was once named as a George F. Hixson Fellow.
He remained active as a Life Member of Alpha Phi Fraternity and was the inspiration to Dr. Ronald Peters to work to establish Alpha' s Brother's Keeper Program. On July 23, 2010, at Alpha's 90th General Convention, the Program became International and was renamed the "A. Charles Haston Brother's Keeper Program". A. C. is the only member of Alpha Phi Alpha to attain membership for 80 years.
A. C. loved to fish, tinker with machinery, solve crossword puzzles, watch sports, the news and read. When recently asked what the most significant event that had occurred that he never dreamed he would ever live to see, he unhesitatingly said: "The election and re-election of a Black Man, Barack Hussein Obama II, as President of the United States."
Amos Charles Haston, a dedicated and loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Educator and Servant of all Mankind. He is survived by his Wife, Doris E. Sampson Haston, Son, William E. C. Haston, Esq., Grandson, William E. C. Haston, II, Granddaughter, Aurelia Chelsa M. Haston, and Great-Granddaughter, Avani Carol Haston and numerous Family members and Friends.
Services will be held at St. James' Episcopal Church, 3129 Southmore Blvd, Houston, Texas 77004. Visitation begins at 10AM. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will hold it Omega Service at 10:30 AM, and the Rite One Burial Mass begins at 11AM. In lieu of flowers, the Family requests a donation to St. James' Episcopal Church, the Alpha Merit Foundation or the charitable or humanitarian cause of your choice.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Aug. 29, 2014