Geraldine Pirkle Brian
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Geraldine Pirkle Brian, age 94, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 28, 2014 in Alexandria after a short illness. She was born in Jackson Parish, Louisiana to James and Amanda Pirkle and had resided in the Alexandria area since 1942.
When she was an eleven year old girl, Gerri committed her life to Christ during a "protracted meeting" led by Reverend J.P. Durham at Hebron Baptist Church. Brother Durham baptized her in Allen Jones Pond, as was the tradition of those days. Graduating from Beech Springs High School near Jonesboro, she went on to Shreveport Charity Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in1940. That same year, she married Dr. Nathaniel M. Brian, Jr. They began their lives together in Cloutierville where Nat assumed the medical practice of an older doctor there.
After moving to Alexandria, she worked in the VA Hospital, Baptist Hospital (Rapides General) and helped Nat in the clinic. Her knowledge of nursing and talent for decorating benefitted the planning and building of Brian Clinic on Jackson Street. As a member of the Alexandria Service League, she was elected to serve as organizational President to establish the Volunteer Auxiliary of Huey P. Long Hospital. She was a member of the Baptist Hospital Auxiliary, charter member of the Rapides General Hospital Auxiliary, member and past president of Rapides Medical Society Auxiliary and counselor of the district, a charter member of Women's Auxiliary to Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians and served as 8th District counselor. She was also a member of J.T. Charnley #197 Order of Eastern Star and Alexandria Garden Club.
As a long- time member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, she was involved in many of their ministries and activities. Her crowning achievement was her gift to the church of designing and handcrafting Symbols of Christ ornaments. She made at least 144 Chrismons that are used to adorn the church's Christmas tree during the Advent season.
Gerri was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Nathaniel M. Brian, Jr., her parents, James and Amanda Pirkle, three sisters and their husbands, Mittie and Ernest Weldon, Thelma and Orvin Fowler and Mildred and Hollis Walker; three brothers and their wives, John and Mary Pirkle, Fred and Carmen Pirkle, and Louis and Frances Pirkle, and several nieces and nephews. Also preceding her in death were her husband's siblings, Mabel and husband, John Perry; W. Iley and wife, Mildred Brian; Dr. Francis Brian, Sr. and wife, Fay; and Dr. Harry Brian.
She is survived by her beloved Pirkle and Brian nieces and nephews and their families and her devoted sister-in-law, Peggy Brian. She leaves behind a host of friends of all ages.
Pallbearers honored to serve will be Lee Brian, Gregory Brian, John Miller, Randy Smith, Jeffrey Smith and Richard Smith.
Through the decades Gerri and Nat helped many family members and friends using their medical knowledge to personally care for each individual. Our families wish to express thanks to all those who have given their loving care and kindness to her. That so many cared for her is a testimony of how much she was loved.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Emmanuel Baptist Church with Dr. Chris Thacker and Dr. Lee Weems officiating. Burial will follow in Greenwood Memorial Park, Pineville, Louisiana.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home in Alexandria and resume on Thursday from 1:00 p.m. until the service at the church.
Memorials may be made to Emmanuel Baptist Church Building Fund, 430 Jackson Street, Alexandria, Louisiana 71301 or the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home, P.O. Box 4196, Monroe, Louisiana 71211.
To extend online condolences to the Brian family, please visit us at www.hixsonbrothers.com.
Published in The Town Talk on July 30, 2014