Obituary: Alvin Young Bethard - Long-Time Library Staff & AN Supporter - Sept. 28, 2021
Alvin Young Bethard
Alvin Young Bethard passed away at 74 years of age at this residence in Lafayette on September 28, 2021. He was a long-time resident of Lafayette and was a native of Grant Parish.
He is survived by one brother, George Bethard of Plattsburg, New York and two sisters and nieces and nephews.
Al was the longest serving librarian in the history of the UL Lafayette Dupree Library, serving for 47 years, even longer than the person for whom the university library is named, Edith Garland Dupree. He continued to remain active in promoting libraries, and the good they do for the advancement of citizens, through the Friends of the Lafayette and Iberia Parish libraries and the Historic New Orleans Collection.
Al served in the Army in the Vietnam War.
After serving patriotically in the war, he moved to Lafayette where he was hired by Dr. Norman Heard of Dupree Library to be the Microforms and Periodical Librarian at the university library.
During his years of service at Dupree Library he helped tens of thousands of students and faculty and area citizens with their research needs.
Dr. Heard recruited Al into Civitan International where he served for decades in that organization which seeks to help persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities through fund raising and research and through projects like the Alleman Center. He was a frequent blood donor.
He also served two periods as the director of the book sales division of the local Salvation Army providing books at very modest cost to area citizens.
Al was a great citizen and soldier and patriot. He served in many civic, religious, historical, patriotic, military and lineage organizations. Among them are: Sons of the American Revolution, the Jefferson Davis Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Concerned Citizens for Good Government, The Military Order of the World Wars, The Scottish American Military Society, General Society of the War of 1812, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, The Cryptic Masons of Louisiana and Grand Lodge of Louisiana Hope Lodge No. 145 , the Knights Templar, the Order of the Eastern Star, American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society, and Shriners International that provides health and hospital services to children.
He was active in all of the above and more and served as an officer and committee chairman in many of them.
He supported historic preservation through the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Friends of the Shadows and the Memorial Hall Foundation in New Orleans, where he also served on the board which operates a museum in honor of the confederates and the Confederacy, and displays artifacts of the Civil War.
He proudly supported the preservation of the statue heritage of Lafayette, Louisiana and the United States. He was an active citizen-soldier in every way and stood up with courage and commitment for what he believed in and fought for the betterment of his city, state and nation until the end.
He also participated in the valiant effort to save the statute of General Alfred Mouton of Lafayette's founding Mouton family.
Al showed the ultimate commitment to his fellow man when he donated his body to science through the Louisiana State Board of Anatomical Services where it will be used in the training of young doctors and medical research.
He was a strong Christian man and was constantly called on to recite prayers before meetings of many groups such as Concerned Citizens for Good Government, Civitan Internatonal and the Sons of the American Revolution and other organizations.
His life was one of service to so many for so long.
He has chosen not to have a funeral or memorial service,
Eventual inurnment will be at the cemetery at White Sulphur Springs, Louisiana.
Athletic Network Footnote: Al assisted the Athletic Network in many ways while at the library. He continuous looked for ways to be of greater service and locate those special news stories we were unable to locate.
May the Peace of the Lord be with him. Peace, Ed Dugas