Homeless man remembered by his friends from the street - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Homeless man remembered by his friends from the street


By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "My faith tells me that God was waiting for Walter Sharkey, Sarge. That on that train track on that day, God was present and that Walter Sharkey is with God." 

With those words, Pastor Sally Bevill remembered Walter Sharkey, as did the friends who stayed with him on the streets. Emotion could be seen and felt, as could the prayers asking for Sarge's salvation. 

"Please welcome our broken brother into your kingdom. It's been a long journey. Please our Lord, spread your wings out." 

Through his tears, another friend gave tribute in song. The reading of scripture and messages of hope played a prominent role in the service. 

Despite his troubles, Sarge had a lot of people who loved him. 

At the end, another musical tribute, this time from the entire congregation, in the form of Amazing Grace.  After the service, Pastor Bevill explained why this type of remembrance is so important.

"We're a community and Sarge was a big part of that community. And we just worship together, he lived among us, he journeyed, and this seems appropriate," Pastor Bevill said. "And it's not the first time that we've done it." 

Another friend, Sandi Codella, who once spent time on the streets with Sarge remembered a man with a big heart. 

"He was caring. He tried to make sure that everybody around him had a place to stay, a blanket to wrap up in, food to eat," Codella said. "And I think the greatest thing about him was the love he had for his son. His baby was a little over a year and a half old." 

In the end, it was a fitting and loving send-off for a man many of us never knew existed until today.   

St. Paul's United Methodist Church is well known for helping the homeless on the coast. The church offers clothing, blankets, and food to anyone who needs it.   

By the way, Sarge got his nickname because he was a veteran of Desert Storm.

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