Posted on May 23, 2014 in Blog |
George “Troup” Brazelton III died suddenly on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Troup was my uncle.
Born on October 26, 1940 in Bessemer Alabama, he graduated from Parrish High School in Selma, Alabama in 1959 and graduated from Auburn University in 1968.
Troup was an affable man. He diffused warmth and friendliness with anyone he came into contact with. He could find a way to connect with anyone, whether he met you in a coffee shop or tailgating at an Auburn University football game. He could initiate a conversation with anyone, any age, and find something in common within minutes of striking up the conversation. It was a special talent Troup had that put people at ease- usually making them smile within minutes of meeting him. He was quick witted and honest.
You can tell a lot about a man about how he treats the women around him. Troup treated his mother and his mother-in-law with great respect, honor, and genuine love. He took them for drives to see the blooming crepe myrtles and azaleas. He shelled pecans with them.
Troup often sat in a chair watching the television – he loved sports and the news shows. He had opinions and welcomed debate with those that disagreed with him. He wasn’t a loud or gregarious man; he was quiet in tone. But he made people laugh. His statements of the obvious could have been good enough for a stand-up comedy routine sometimes. But his ability to make others laugh was in a “sneak up behind you and tap you on the shoulder” sort of subtlety.
My first soul connection with Troup came in 2000 as he cared for Aunt Betty during her last years of declining health. What started as a “reaction to suntan lotion” later evolved into a diagnosis of Lupus, to ALS, but was finally found to be Lyme Disease.
During Betty’s last 24 months, Troup spent every moment caring for her, researching her symptoms, contacting physicians, doing everything in his power to save her life. They had found the right diagnosis, and she was getting the right treatment, but it was simply too late. The Lyme had ravaged too much of her body.
When Betty died in June 2002 at the age of 57, Troup was a broken man; devastated.
It took Troup almost a decade before he could let another woman into his heart. But when he found Ginny, he loved her with all his heart. He loved her and honored her and took care of her. And Ginny loved him. And it showed. I am grateful to Ginny for the gifts she gave my uncle. She helped Troup heal and love again.
When I was diagnosed in 2009 with Lupus, Troup called me within a day, strongly urging me not to believe the diagnosis. He fervently asked me to get a Lyme test from a specialty lab and to see a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD). Over and over and over he urged me to do this, even when I complained about having to wait for an LLMD appointment, complained when other doctors said this specialty test result was unreliable.
Troup saved my life. He was right. I did have Lyme. And the treatment worked. Every appointment I would email him with the notes, meds, symptoms, etc. Troup did his own research, sent me articles of interest, he always asked me how I was doing, what I thought.
Troup also talked to anyone I connected him with. There aren’t many Lyme resources in Alabama, but Troup helped anyone he met in any way he could. I know he wrote numerous checks to people he barely knew, asking them to get the RIGHT Lyme test from the RIGHT specialty lab. He didn’t want anyone to go through what he and Betty went through.
Troup’s death isn’t something that would make the national news. But his life earned the love, honor and respect he lived with and treated everyone he knew with. He was a tall man filled with big love for life, for his family, and for his friends. He cherished each person for who they were and who he knew they could be; most notable examples, Betty, Ginny, and his son Terrill. He loved with all his heart, and spoke with all truthfulness and humor.
Troup is preceded in death by his first wife, Nora Elizabeth “Betty” Williams Brazelton and his father George Troup Brazelton II. He is survived by his mother Margaret Fryer Brazelton Westbrook, his sister Catherine Ann Brazelton, his son, Terrill (Ashley), grandchildren Carter and Asher, his wife Virginia “Ginny” Roy Brazelton and children Brad, Kim and Kelly Roy.