Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Funeral for Brigadier General Allan Gardner Pixton - March 2016

The funeral for Brigadier General Allan Gardner Pixton was held on March 18th at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC.  He passed away peacefully in his sleep November 4, 2015 in his room at the Army Retirement Community (ARC) in San Antonio, Texas, while Chris and Linda were with him.  Because his funeral ceremony was a big event at Arlington, it was not held until March 2016.  Heidi and Ken flew from Porto Alegre, Brazil to Washington D.C. through Panama City on Copa Airlines, leaving on March 16 and arriving on March 17.

Having never before been in Panama, we took several pictures of the area that were on display at the airport.

Chris had made arrangements for everyone to stay in the same hotel close to Arlington, so we could easily do things together during our stay.  We enjoyed seeing all our kids and spouses, and most of the grandkids, Chris and Linda and their kids and grandkids, and Aunt Pat, Aunt Lois, Meredith, and other cousins, nieces and nephews. It was a marvelous opportunity to be together with family to celebrate the great life of Allan.

The first day there we went with several of the family to the Washington D.C. Zoo.  


The swimming pool at the hotel was a popular place to hang out for all the kids.

The actual funeral ceremony was just amazing.  The hearse arrived, and the soldiers transferred the flag draped coffin to the caisson.   

The riderless black horse with boots facing backwards was escorted through the procession.
 There was a wonderful army band playing patriotic music. The red flag with one star, which is always flown for a Brigadier General, was also in the procession.
  The procession moved along the road for about a quarter of a mile to the burial site.

 The family walked behind the army procession.
   When the procession arrived at the grave site, the soldiers removed the casket from the caisson and carried it to the location where the family gathered for the funeral ceremony.

 The honor guard removed the flag, folded it, and presented it to the presiding officer.

The presiding officer then presented the flag to Chris.
 This is the gravestone Allan had chosen, with the names of Vivian and Scott on it also.
 Casey, who escorted the coffin from San Antonio to Washington DC, brought some soil and water from outside the apartment where Allan and Vivian had lived for many years at the ARC.  He placed the soil and water in the grave as a loving gesture for them.
 These are some of the family members gathered for the funeral ceremony.
Pictures of the family at the grave site:  first Heidi and Chris, then all the grand kids of Allan, and then many of his great grand kids.

 After the funeral ceremony we all gathered at Casey's ward building for a family lunch.  Chris, in his infamous yellow shirt and overalls, made a presentation of some of Allan's shirts that Shelley had made into a remembrance, to each of Allan's kids and grandkids.

Ashley, who works for the Department of Defense at the Pentagon, arranged to give those interested a tour of the Pentagon.

 After the tour inside, she took us to the Memorial Garden outside.  This is a memorial to all those who died when the plane crashed into the building on 9-11. 

 The next morning we were privileged to gather in the lobby to hear Aunt Pat and Aunt Lois talk about some of their memories of growing up with their older brother Allan.

They shared some of the letters Allan and Vivian had written to each other during World War II.
The day of the funeral was warm and sunny, but the next day was cold and rainy.  Still we enjoyed visiting some of the war monuments in Washington D.C.

 After that we just had a wonderful time enjoying a chance to be together with our family members.

 Sunday morning after church we went to the Washington D.C. temple, where we met with Ardis and Chaud Richards from Pleasant Hill, who are serving a temple mission there.

We did enjoy the blossoms that were out in spite of the cold weather.

We then were able to have a safe flight back to our mission, where we call Gramado our home. 

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