Tribute to Dr. Chester A. Aikensby Representative Corrine Brown
Posted on 2013-12-11
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Ms. BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the constituents of
the Fifth Congressional District of Florida, I rise today to pay
tribute to the life of Dr. Chester A. Aikens.
I am deeply and profoundly saddened by the loss of my dear friend and brother, Dr. Chester A. Aikens. This man of prominence and bearing was the epitome of a gentleman and a scholar. I am moved by his passion, emboldened by his commitments, honored by his friendship and made all the better by his innate wisdom and his belief in the integrity of the human experience. His was a purposeful life and one that helped shape the destinies of historical figures with whom he conversed, and equally so that of the common man and woman, in whom he placed unwavering faith. I came to know him as a husband, father, and dedicated servant to his people and causes, a dentist, a humanitarian, a scholar, a civic leader and businessman without comparison.
Dr. Aikens was born in Madison, Florida, where he was the first black football player and honor society member at his high school. He graduated from Howard University, Washington, DC, with a doctorate in dentistry. He later earned a law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law and Master's degree in Business from Jacksonville University. Dr. Aikens was also a Major in the Florida Army Reserve National Guard.
Known as a fearless warrior, Dr. Aikens was a formidable force who influenced a generation of young people to give both time and resources to their community. Inspired by his strong belief in equal opportunity, he was a true civil rights champion, who went on to greatly influence the community as a whole.
As a member of the Jacksonville community for the past thirty years, Dr. Aikens' presence will be missed by many. He served on many community boards up to and including, first African American from Jacksonville to be President of National Dental Association, Jacksonville Civic Council, Jacksonville Aviation Authority, long-time member, and devoted Deacon of Bethel Institutional Baptist Church and many others.
I am assured, for we all came to know the absoluteness of his word, the sanctity of his promise, the depth of his intellect, the breadth of his worldly experiences and his place in Jacksonville history.