Celebrating Life Through A Funeral

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 1/100

Today I was honored to be able to photograph the funeral of a firefighter who served our community for more than 45 years. Here is the official obituary.

Charles Edwin Booker of Roswell, Georgia, died Monday, October 31, 2016, in Hospice Atlanta Center.

Born in Roswell, Georgia, on July 19, 1946, to Emma Cobb and R.C. Booker, he was the youngest of five children. He attended Roswell High School and was a member of the Roswell Fire Department for 45 years. He loved his city, the fire dept., and became a State Certified Fire Safety Inspector, Arson Investigator, and Emergency Medical Technician. For 45 years, he was a dedicated firefighter and truly loved the people that served with him. He thoroughly enjoyed visiting with friends at the Roswell Hardware Store.

Charles is survived by his wife of 46 years, Elaine; his son, Mark; his wife, Melanie; and his sister Sarah Booker Barber. He also has many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces that he loved.

The visitation will be Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Roswell Funeral Home: 950 Mansell Road, Roswell, GA. The funeral will be Friday at 11 am at Roswell Presbyterian Church, 755 Mimosa Blvd, Roswell, GA.

Instead of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations go to Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Retired Deputy Chief Charles Booker Funeral Friday, November 4th, 2016. At Roswell Presbyterian Church, 755 Mimosa Boulevard, followed by a graveside service at Green Lawn Cemetery on Alpharetta Highway. [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 125, 1/100, ƒ/8, (35mm = 38)]

Funerals are, for the most part, a celebration for a family and community. We are celebrating as a group that bestows a sense of belonging, something crucial to human fulfillment. From birthdays to funerals, there is no end to celebrating who we are, where we came from, what we’ve done, what we worship, and even who or what we’ve lost.

Those who celebrate life by practicing an attitude of gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a more robust immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. 

Is everything great in life? Of course not. However, those aware of their blessings tend to live healthier lives.

[NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/125, ƒ/10, (35mm = 24)]

One of the places our family does a lot of celebrating is in our house of worship. Besides the weddings, funerals, and baptisms that take place here throughout our lives, each and every week we celebrate our faith by living in a community where we share our lives together.

[NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 360, 1/100, ƒ/11, (35mm = 24)]

We will one day have a service like Charles Booker had today. The party is a much bigger celebration of one’s life for those who live their lives in service to others.

I am not a firefighter saving our community. I do take pictures and love to tell stories. This is my offering today to not just our society and Charles Booker’s family, but ultimately for God, for whom I plan to spend all eternity after this life here on earth.

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 

Romans 14:7-9