Leroy Porter was my father’s half brother (Walter J. Porter). Leroy was the youngest son of his father (Harrison’s) first wife (Pearlie). Leroy’s mother died when he was very young, and his father Harrison married my dad’s mother Helen Bunn. They were together only five years, in Lake Providence, East Carroll, Louisiana, as my grandmother ran away from the farm life with my dad in tow. My Grandmother wanted my dad to get an education and not be a sharecropper as most of Harrison’s children had been tilling the ground.
I had not met any Porter’s, until about three years ago. Sure, I heard about a few of my father’s older siblings, but did not have any in person introductions (at least not that I can remember).
I found Leroy’s daughter Gaynell, who had never been married or had any children. In our phone conversation, I told her I had someone take a picture of her father’s headstone and put on findagrave. I asked her if her mother was still living as her name was on the headstone also but with no ending date. Gaynell informed me that she had died 8 years ago, but was not able to have her buried in the plot they had purchased, because the State had shut the cemetery down for an investigation. She was very distraught and upset from this conversation, so I told her that I would help her to get her mom buried next to her father.
We met last year in Los Angeles, CA and the reunion according to my estimation was considered a family research trip, as the purpose of my trip was to take her mother’s ashes to the cemetery where Leroy Porter was buried, and find other names of family buried at the cemetery. Gaynell had her mother’s ashes in her closet and told me she could not rest until she has her mother in her resting place.
|Photo of Headstone|
I was prepared when I visited Gaynell…After negotiations with the necessary authorities, I was able to have it approved for Martha Jones Porter’s remains to be buried next to her husband. My next task is to get the headstone etched with Martha’s ending date.
When I took Gaynell to the cemetery she had a sense of relief. She was not in the best of health, but she was at peace. She gave me a hug and said it was a God sent that I had found her and that this burden was lifted.