Saturday, March 17, 2012

Waverly Lee Baskerville, Jr.


Waverly Lee Baskerville, Jr. age 64 passed away on March 13, 2012. Waverly Lee Baskerville, Jr. was born in South Hill, Virginia, where he lived until age seven, when he and his family moved to Newark, New Jersey. He was the eldest of four children, all boys! He accepted the Lord and for years was a member of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Waverly went to Fredonia State University in New York, where he met and married Ruth Cheatham months later. Through their union, one child, Alicia, was born while they were still in college. Waverly and Ruth enjoyed each other’s company during forty-four years of marriage. Waverly earned a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Business Administration, working thirty years for top investment banking firms on Wall Street. He became First Vice President of Salomon Brothers, Inc. He served ten years on the Board of Education in Orange, New Jersey, and was President the year his daughter, Alicia graduated from high school. He was an officer in the Southern Acres Home Owners Association here in Windermere. Waverly was an avid collector of cars and African-American memorabilia, particularly Buffalo Soldiers and Black pilots. His mother, Lydia Baskerville and brother, James Sherman Baskerville preceded him in death. Waverly is survived by his wife, Ruth Baskerville, his daughter, Alicia Lankford, son-in-law, Bruce Lankford, father, Waverly Baskerville, Sr., brothers Larry Baskerville and Phillip (Angela) Baskerville, grandchildren, Bruce, Jalyn, Kennedy and Avery Lankford, along with a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends. A memorial service will be held at his home, 13449 Southern Way, Windermere FL 34786, on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM with Bishop Richard B. Lankford, Sr., Officiating from the Atlanta International Christian Praise Center - Atlanta, Georgia.

“Darling, Forever”
Dr. Ruth L. Baskerville
March 18, 2012
I saw this handsome, skinny soccer player walk across the college campus, and immediately fell in love. I heard those bells and whistles people talk of, and I knew I had to have this man for my lifetime partner. We married while still in college, had baby Alicia, left college with two diplomas and no milk for our baby. My father gave us a family Bible, in which he wrote that we were “The Happiness Kids” because we were so in love and so happy. Our home d├ęcor went from black lights and hanging beads between rooms, to a water bed with mirrors on the canopy, to the delicate balance between my love of silver and china, and Waverly’s love of Black pilots and cowboys, and enough leather horses to fill a small stable. While looking at family pictures to choose the best for a memorial collage, I saw that he had the Afro look to the bald look, wore the bathing suit and barbecue shorts to the black-tie tuxedo. We had a full life. Our first apartment contained less than a dozen pieces of furniture, and Waverly came home with a picture of a red Corvette, which he taped to the empty wall. I called him a “dreamer,” saying we would never have such wealth, but he had the determination and work ethic to make me a dreamer, too. Along our journey, he insisted that we reach back and mentor young people seeking a better life. He was as generous to family and friends as he was to himself. He took quiet pleasure in seeing others happy and productive. Many people knew that Waverly was a private, cautious man who was married to an adventurous woman. Few knew that the reason I soared before learning how to work my wings was that I always had Waverly to catch me. He was a strong taskmaster, pushing my career forward when I preferred to stay in my comfort zone. But each time I followed his lead, I did more, I had more, I WAS more. When we married at nineteen years old, I was uncertain of our future. Waverly wasn’t. Recently, I told him how exciting my life had been these past forty-four years because he kept things fresh and full of surprise. He responded by saying that I added the forty-four years of suspense we shared. Waverly was my life partner, my friend, my lover, my mentor. I can’t imagine sleeping in the bed without him or eating a meal without having light conversation with him. I retired last spring, and we had the gift of time together, day and night, for almost a year. God needed him before I was ready to give him up, so I accept God’s will. He used to sign the cards he gave me with “Darling, Forever,” so I’ll end my tribute to the most remarkable man I’ll ever know, with, “Waverly, Dear, You’ll be proud watching me continue to soar, this time reading the manual for wing spans and remembering the lessons you taught me. I’ll be fine until we meet again. Your Darling, Forever, Ruthie.”

37 comments:

Jude McKnight said...

My Deepest Sympathies to the entire family.

Alicia Lankford said...

We love you Dad and we miss you, but we look forward to meeting you again. *Alicia and Bruce

Anonymous said...

Keeping Your family in our prayers! The Butler Family

Nicole Tanguy said...

Dear Ruth, Your tribute to Waverly is beautiful and perfectly caputures his love of life, friends and family. I am lucky to have shared with you and him some of this joy and affection. Waverly, you and your family are in my prayers. My sincerest sympathies. Much love Nicole

Anonymous said...

This is Ruthie..
I think that part of my morning ritual will be to log onto this website to read and send comments about my beloved Waverly. Yesterday's ceremony was amazing, with perfect weather and breezes that blew at important times throughout the ceremony. Butterflies and birds flew past the gathering, as did the wasps attracted to all of the flowers. As much as I feel sad, I iam the luckiest lady around because of the love surrounding me.

I knew so many things about my daughter, Alicia, but not how much of an anchor she is to keeping me from ever sinking. So many took charge of a piece of the program or the meal or the setup. My son-in-law, Bruce, brought every kind of technology known to man, to bring Pop Baskerville's reading of the 125th Psalm to us from Newark.

It's quiet in the house right now, still dark outside, but I'm not alone. I'm never alone.

Andrea Battle said...

Dearest Waverly: You were so special to so many people. It was my privilege to have known you for 46 years= what a blessing...Make a place for all of us when it is our time. I cannot believe your physical presence is not here anymore... keep your spirit with all that love you.
Dearest Ruthie: My love. You found a life partner that filled all you needs, wants,etc. Your help mate. You were so blessed. I am sorry you won't have him in the physical world...but, he will never leave you in spirit.
I hope you know all of us who love you, are here for you and will never get tired of hearing you talk about Waverly! I love you and will work on getting to see you in quieter times.

Mark Shanoff said...

Waverly, you were like family to Alexis and me. Your guidance, kindness and wisdom will be sorely missed. You helped me find perspective and strength during some dark days in my career. I followed your advice and always came out on top. You were a winner in every sense--a winner as a husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, business leader and community leader. You will always have a place in our hearts.

Patti Lee said...

Dear Waverly, I am such a lucky girl to have met someone like you in 1993 when I joined Salomon Brothers. Although we only worked together for a short time, you have helped me in so many ways. Thank you so much for being so kind to some Chinese girl who just graduated from college. Thank you for believing in me. You are a great boss, a true friend and the best mentor. I will always remember everything you taught me and all the great stories you shared with me. I am so glad we reconnected over the last couple of years and shared some more laughs and stories.

Dear Ruth, Please take good care of yourself. Waverly will always be watching over you!

Hugs and Kisses from

Patti

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ruth, you are an inspiration to many. You and Waverly were very fortunate to have found each other, and it is a testament to both of your characters, and your love, that you stayed together forever. I know those wonderful memories will keep you company. Waverly always reminded me of my sweet husband, Craig, and that is a deep compliment. Much love to you and your family. Kathy Reed

Alicia said...

I will miss you forever, Daddy!

Brucie, Jalyn, Kennedy and Avery said...

Hi Grandpa! We miss you for sure, but we know that God's got you. Please tell the angels we said hi.

Love,
Brucie, Jalyn, Kennedy and Avery

Russ Sharkey said...

Waverly was a kind, gentle, man with enormous strength of character. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to know him and be inspired by his great success in life through hard work, discipline, passion, and love. His boundless love for his family was irrefutable. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waverly,

It was a blessing to have known you. You inspired so many people in your life.
Your love lives on in Ruthie, Alicia and family.
We know you are in the presence of our Lord!

Ruthie, God's love will always surround you.

You will never walk alone!

(Isaiah 60:20)

Sarita, Jimmy and family XOXO

Anonymous said...

To my dear Big brother jr I love you and miss you so so much!!!I'm so thankful that we spoke the way brothers should by telling each other that we love one another!I'm going too miss you forever I always been proud of you brother!you help me become the man I am today!I know you are in a better place,I'm proud of you cause you tried to stay!It's ok get your rest sister will be fine for got her back for you brother!You shall and will always be my Big brother!tell mama and sherman I love them goodbye brother until we meet again!Your little brother Phil!

Anonymous said...

Today is the two-week mark since Waverly died, and I feel like posting something to his website. Overall, I feel OK, not depressed too often or sad too much. But it's hard cooking for one, eating alone, sleeping alone. There's too much food in the refrigerator, it takes too long to get enough dirty clothes for a laundry load, and I've stopped running the dishwasher because it would take a week to fill. Waverly always insisted on using china and silverware, so I won't resort to using paper plates. Besides, he could be watching, in which case I would expect to hear an unfavorable comment (smile). When I pull into the driveway, I look for him and Lucky to be sitting in the garage waiting for me, and our two lawn chairs are still where he left them. Since I was 19, I haven't eaten or slept alone more than a dozen times, which I know is an immense gift to have had. But it's taking time for me to adopt to less joy in my immediate surroundings. I'm so grateful for the love of an abundance of family members and great friends, which are blessing to me. I find that I can wipe away tears sooner and be more productive each day. Today will be a good one. Ruthie

Anonymous said...

Ruth, It was a wonderful service and I will never forget Waverly ever. I will always continue to look for him at holidays and will miss his big laughs when we would talk.

Such a wonderful genuine + real person who will be missed by so many people and we will never forget him.

If you need anything Ruth please don't hesitate to call us.

Chris & Tammy

Anonymous said...

My Dear Brother-in-law,Waverly,

You have loved my sister so very much over these past 44 years and I will always love you for that. You and Ruthie raised a beautiful daughter whom I am very proud of. You have made them both strong and they know they will see you again... and so will I. What a blessing that I had you in my life over all these years! You were an inspiration to me and will be missed... until we meet again.

Rachelle said...

I’ve known Waverly since I was a very young child. Just like anyone who has been in a family for so many decades, he was one of my brothers for most of my life. He was kind, generous, gave wonderful advice, and made me proud to be his sister. He took great care of his entire family and was generous to everyone. These are just a few of my most fond memories of my brother, Waverly.

I remember when I used to spend the summer with Ruth and Waverly, and I would baby-sit for Alicia from when she was about 2. Ruthie was ironing as we talked one night. She was trying to be thrifty back then, so she would press and starch Waverly’s shirts instead of sending them to the cleaners. She would say, “He doesn’t even know”, while she would put the cardboard carefully back in the collar. The next night, Waverly and I were talking, and he was telling me how much he appreciated and loved his wife. He said, “She even presses and starches my shirts to save money at the dry cleaners and she doesn’t think that I know.” He loved her so! He loved us all.

I remember when Ruthie taught several drama classes and put together many plays. As Waverly would sit proudly in the audience watching Ruthie’s final product, he would notice expensive items that Ruth had “borrowed” from their home for the play to use as props. He was also obviously also a very patient man!

I don’t remember ever seeing Waverly cry until he proudly walked his daughter down the aisle. He looked so handsome and of course, she looked beautiful and Waverly cried! They gave me a beautiful memory that I will never forget! Waverly gave me a lot of beautiful memories and I am very grateful.

Waverly was my brother and I loved him. Although I can’t see him, I can still speak to him. And one day, I will see him again, and this gives me great comfort, as I hope it does you all.

Waverly will be missed but he will always be with us. I will always picture him on the grill cooking something delicious in a cloud of smoke. 

I recently read in a book by Susan Hunt that said, "The mysterious and marvelous mercy of God has convinced me of one thing - it is dark because I am in that deep, hidden place under God's wing." Through all this awful darkness that we have all been through, God has us under his wing. Even sorrows turn to blessings when they make us less attached to this life and more attached to God.

Emry said...

Dr. B. You and your family are constantly in my prayers. Waverly was such a strong man who would do anything to protect his family. We will surely see him again. He's in heaven smiling down on us all. Remember, God always picks the prettiest flower first.
Love Ya!
Emry

Anonymous said...

Today makes 3 wks that my dear brother has gone to glory.I miss him so much my memories of him keeps me comforted.I was thinking as a little boy my big brother was always there for me.when he use to come home from college on break.from the time he met his sweet wife they had their beautiful little girl who is my niece.we grew up more like brother and sister instead of uncle and niece that's how much I loved my brother.I would protect what was his when he wasn't around.that's how my brother took care of me!we all had good times from mom and pop you know loved so much!!to now where me you and pop hung out having lunch together!there is so much I can say about you brother,if I keep going this will be a book!!LOL!!Love you brother for all of the good times you have shared with me miss you forever brother!!your brother forever Phil

jacquelyn Jones said...

Dr. B. I will keep you and your family uplifted in my prayers. Jacquelyn Jones

Nicole Browne said...

Dearest Wave,

Who would have known when I sat down across from you 15 years ago for my interview at Solomon that I would have gained another father, because that's what you were to me. Never just my boss. I should have suspected that our relationship would have been special because that interview was more of a conversation. Over the years, you, Ruth and Alicia welcomed Richard and I into your family and we will always treasure the many sit downs we had together. I regret only one thing, that we didn't see you more often than we did in the past years. Somehow I always thought I would have all this time with you. It's taken me 4 long weeks to put these few thoughts down because I wanted to be able to do so without crying and am not doing a very good job of that. Just the thought of your not being around is unfathomable and I know I will miss your wise counsel in the years to come terribly. I can still hear your great booming voice and laughter, and I comfort myself with the thought that you are making heaven a wonderful place and that you are looking out for us down here. I'll treasure all the memories I have of you and I know I will see you someday. In the meantime, As us Jamaicans say "Walk Good".

Your Other Daughter,
Nicole

PS - Look out for your cake this Christmas...

Anonymous said...

Ruth’s Reflections……

It’s April 13th, one full month since I lost my “Darling, Forever,” Waverly. Despite my daily moments of sadness, I’ve made some invaluable insights about myself. I’m more cautious with strangers and strange situations because I realize I must handle business as Waverly would. I write things down, keep good records and trust less to memory than to paper and pencil. Yes, I realize that I have a computer, too.
I’m forgiving of everyone for everything because only love lasts forever, and relationships are built on love. My circle of close friends has grown because of the number of people who loved Waverly so much that they want to be closer to me. My whole family is more tender and attentive than ever before, and my Florida siblings have decided to get together socially once or twice monthly – beyond the usual family gatherings on holidays. My best friends offer me constant encouragement and prayer.
I’ve learned to manage some of the technology in my home and car, and I’m working on mastering the rest during my lifetime. For example, my car holds not one, but three CDs, and my only fear is that by the time I read the manual to find the “eject” button, I’ll hate the songs I love right now.
I must find a way not to live through Waverly’s last three days so often, wondering if I could have done something differently, something more that would have kept him with me longer. When I couldn’t sleep because he couldn’t sleep, I was impatient. While efficiently making a series of doctors’ appointments, I never asked if he were apprehensive about the schedule we would follow together. His determination to go upstairs to sleep in the bed with me revealed the inner strength that I always knew Waverly to have, so I believed that we were on the slow path to recovery.
While I was waiting for God to answer the big question about how long it would take for me to fill the emptiness that hurts to my core, I heard a preacher speak from the “Book of Ruth” in the HOLY BIBLE. The way she handled her personal grief was to leave her people (comfort zone) and venture to a place where she served her mother-in-law’s needs. Through her selflessness, God filled her emptiness with purpose and happiness. God, in fact, had just answered MY question! I’m looking for the revelation of where I’m to venture, but I’m willing to make the journey.

"Vern-vern" said...

I can't seem to get the word surreal out of my mind! This whole experience has seemed like such an odd dream from which I have been looking extremely forward to waking, yet it never seems to end. Funny, I always thought an unending dream would be something happier and lighter, but this is quite the opposite.

My heart aches for a number of reasons and for a number of people, but mostly for my dear mommy.

I am reminded of that precious Luther Vandross song, "Dance With My Father"...

If I could steal one final glance
One final step
One final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
Cause I'd love love love to
Dance with my father again

Sometimes I'd listen outside her door
And I'd hear how mama would cry for him
I'd pray for her even more than me
I'd pray for her even more than me

I know I'm praying for much too much
But could you send her
The only man she loved
I know you don't do it usually
But Dear Lord
She's dying to dance with my father again

I love you, Daddy!

Anonymous said...

My dear brother even though you're gone the love will always be there!everthing I've been doing lately reminds me of you from working in the yard,cooking out,watching movies,and laughing at each others corny jokes!I have too say it again thank you for being my Big Brother!!!Don't have to tell you how much pop misses you sometimes he would say that his namesake is gone!Pop prays for us all and that he was blessed to have you for a son!He always said you treated him like royalty!As I told you my brother when I called you everyday just to tell you that I love you!!!I would say to you what superman would say That's What I'm Here For!!I love you junior miss you so so much!!!You were my best friend brother love will helps all get threw this miss you much!!I will always be your Lil brother Love you Phil

It's Ruthie again.... said...

It's Ruthie again....

Saturday, I attended my first Florida Writers' Association Conference, which Waverly and I had planned to talk about the moment I got home. I had a great day, but driving home, water filled my eyes because my Darling wouldn't be there to share my news with. I knew I would be opening the garage to find the two empty lawn chairs we always sat on, and I would have a silent dinner.

Instead of crying harder when I went through the door, I noted how good it was to be greeted by Lucky, demanding food and a walk. I thought how lucky I was to have my daughter and son-in-law come twice during the day, just to take care of Lucky for me. I called Alicia to share my day, and she was enthusiastic about everything I said. It was a "close second" to telling it all to Waverly, and I enjoyed my dinner more. Blessings are all around me, helping me balance loneliness with happiness.

Ruthie

Anonymous said...

Dear brother,I was thinking of u like I always do filled with good times.how april was the month I took vacation with the family and spent sometime with u and sister n Ga.that was goodtimes brother apologies I'm still having problems with that was the last time we saw each other!I'm working on it,it's hard as hell!!!you were my BFF I always been a loner u surely was my partner!just feeling a little funky today,it's ok this is my healing process.I'll tell every and anybody that I loved my brother and my brother loved me!!!Love your brother Phil

Anonymous said...

Well,my dear brother today marks the 4yrs that our mother has been gone.sad and comforted at the same time for you are gone now!I know you are with mama and sherman which allows me not too be so sad.I'm sorry brother I just can't over the fact that I didn't see you again!It's something I'm working hard on for you brother I will tough it out miss you man!!!Also,today is my wedding anniversary that was a great day my Big brother my best man!As usual brother I will hold it down take care of our father.That's what I'm here for!!Love you brother tell mama and sherman that I love them!Your brother Phil :-)

Anonymous said...

This is Ruthie,

I was apprehensive about the first family barbecue after Waverly died, but yesterday was wonderful. All the noise, the laughter, the great food and the warmth of family and friends around me gave me a happy, exhausting day. Someone asked me if I felt Waverly's presence or dreamed about him, and I said I hadn't. I had, however, felt a calm all around me while at home, and wasn't overwhelmed by the space.
Then close to the time I awoke this morning, I dreamed that I saw Waverly wearing a cream collard short-sleeved shirt with small green triangles on it like little Christmas trees. It wasn't one of his shirts I had in the closet. He looked like he did before he died, glasses and all, and I noticed that he had lost some of his stomach. I embraced him, praising him for the weight loss, and then he vanished from my arms. I didn't see him walk away, nor did I know anything about my appearance, but I awoke feeling happy about my first dream about my "Darling Forever." But within minutes, I found myself crying because I missed the security I always felt while in his strong arms. I felt that in the dream, and it was gone.
I treasure the dream more than the sadness that followed, and today was a good day. Happy Memorial Day Weekend to me!

Rodney Lewis (now in Ohio) said...

So sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of you guys from Beechwood...I remember when Mr. Baskerville finally got that first Corvette and he would sometimes sit on the front steps & just stare at it in the driveway. I didn't quite understand it until I finally started to achieve some of my dreams as an adult. He will be missed.

Anonymous said...

My dear brother I'm so happy to say that I had a dream about u!If was so real we didn't speak,but u hugged me like my Big brother made me feel like a little boy again!I love u brother miss u so much!didn't want to wake u smiled at me to let me know u r ok!It's three months to date that u left us to go to a better place.Love u brother as always tell mama and sherman I love them.I know that u all r praying for us back here.Love your brother Phil!

Anonymous said...

Happy Father's Day brother love u junior!

Anonymous said...

Well,brother had to write this miss u man!getting better mama birthday came kind of sad missing the both of u!that's life without u or me life must and will continue.want too write it so that everyone knows that I love u and thank God for allowing u to b not just my brother, better said my Big Brother!!! Love u junior your Phil Peace!!!

Anonymous said...

From Ruthie on August 5th:

I was doing pretty well emotionally, focusing on promoting my first novel, HOODLESS KLAN. I've begun to volunteer and to establish a routine to my days and nights. I see my grandchildren regularly, which always gives me joy. But since last night, I've been gripped by loneliness and a deep sense of missing Waverly. I want to tell him what I've been doing, ask his advice, share light conversation over a meal -- but I can't. I'll be fine again, but I just needed to post my feelings in this special place tonight.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!brother miss so u much!!I take comfort in knowing you are in a better place.you are with our dear mother and brother.I know that you all are watching and praying for us!brother you mom and Sherman would of been so proud to see how Pop's 90th Birthday went.Pop misses mom wishing she was there,he's comforted too knowing she's with her children!I'll say it again Love is "Immortal"!!!even in death love will continue!!Love you brother tell mom and Sherm I love them!!Love your brother Phil!HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!;-)

JUST A THOUGHT said...

I am sorry that he passed and I did not get to know him as I should have. Can someone from the family please give me a call

Thanks
Ron
614.632.0032

August N Marcello said...

I am so sorry, Waverly was a very good man and co-worker. We meet many years ago at Crumb & Fosters. In the year we worked together I got to know him as a wonderful friend. I just wish that I had kept up the friendship after I left C&F.
I will keep his family in my prayers!