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The Day of Granddaddy's Funeral


Robert Foster, Hattie, Roy B. Foster, Robert Foster, Willie, Larry Foster, Ruby Foster Jackson, O. D. Foster, Willie Foster, James Foster. March 1962. Funeral of James Foster, my grandfather.

This photo was taken before I was born, but I came to know at least eight of the ten people pictured in this photo. Each of them had a full life. This was a photo taken on the day of my grandfather's, James Foster's funeral. He died 3 March 1962. He was my grandfather. Pictured left to right: This is James' son, Robert Foster or Uncle Buddy. He and his wife, Ivory, would have a son, Bobby, in Cleveland, Ohio in 1964.

Hattie Foster Wright was James' sister. I did not meet her in this life, but I know her daughter, Johnnie Mae Wright Davis.

Behind Hattie is James' son Roy B. Foster. The only male in glasses is my father. He was named Bobby Foster, but he felt more comfortable with the official name of Robert. Bobby, he felt was a nickname. So James and Ora ended up with two Roberts. He worked for the Civil Service, but I witnessed him be true to the profession his dad had, carpentry.

My dad was a very successful builder. I grew up not needing anything. I never knew what it meant to want anything. My job was only to do well in school. I took this direction from him as seriously as my grandmother's direction to read the scriptures. I have carried this with me into my own family in teaching my daughter.

Next to my dad is Larry Foster, son of James Foster. In front of Larry is Willie Ann Green Phillips, sister of James. Ruby Foster Jackson, daughter of James is in front of Larry. Behind Ruby is O. D. Foster, son of James. Willie Foster is next to Ruby. He is another son of James.

Curtis Foster and Margaret Foster are missing from the photo. Lastly, there is the oldest son, James Foster. Uncle Ted is what I called him. He was a very kind person throughout my life.

My grandmother and grandfather were living in Sacamento, California at the time of his death. That's a long way from where they came from namely, Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, and Arkansas. My paternal grandparents came from Mississippi. The Nelms were enslaved in Mississippi and North Carolina before that.

All but two in the photo remain now. I love every one of them. I will explain what have learned and what I know about my Foster-Nelms family. Hopefully, you will find historic records that will assist you.

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