Alfred Ray Carden of Stanton, Missouri, formerly of Fenton, Missouri, was born September 15, 1937 in Bear Creek, Alabama to James Elbert and Evie Lee (Mann) Carden and passed away Thursday, November 4, 2021 at the age of 84 years.
As a young man he developed a strong work ethic, working in the cotton fields with his parents and sister Betty. Seeking better opportunities, the Carden family made their way to Missouri.
During Al’s school years, he exhibited natural athletic ability and baseball would soon become his passion.
After graduating from McKinley High School in 1957, Al signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles organization to play professional baseball. Al played in the Orioles’ minor league system for a few seasons before being drafted into the United States Army.
During his years of serving in the Army as a Green Beret, Al continued playing baseball on the United States Army team. Al’s baseball career was derailed when he sustained injuries in a car accident that adversely affected his pitching arm and shoulder.
After being honorably discharged from the Army, Al took a job in the heating equipment industry, working for Intertherm in St. Louis, Missouri beginning in April 1959. At the age of 35, Al was promoted to plant manager in 1974.
In 1996 Al went to work at U.S. Paint Company, serving as shift manager until his retirement in January 2000.
Al married Helen Fields on November 28, 1999. After retirement, they made their home in Stanton, Missouri and became members of the First Baptist Church of Stanton, Missouri.
Al was an avid fisherman, and even spent time tournament fishing over the years. He loved to hunt but fishing was his passion.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Evie Cardin; two brothers-in-law, Major Ted Dopko and Larry Howerton; and Helen’s step son, Ray Fields.
He is survived by his wife, Helen; step son, Steven Fields and fianceé Pam Piwowarczyk of St. Louis, Missouri; grandchildren, Jesse Fields of St. Louis and Taven Fields of St. Peters, Missouri; four siblings, Betty Dopko of Hampstead, North Carolina, Wanda Howerton of Millersville, Missouri, Clayton Carden and wife Anne of Troy, Missouri and Rick Carden and wife Debbie of Cuba, Missouri; Helen’s step children, Burt Fields and wife JoAnne of Texas, Gayle Fields and Rita Fields, both of Granite City, Illinois; other relatives and friends.
Visitation was held from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at the First Baptist Church of Stanton, Missouri.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at the First Baptist Church in Stanton, Missouri.
Burial followed the service in the Stanton Cemetery.
Arrangements under the direction of the Eaton Funeral Home in Sullivan, Missouri.