Tag Archive | Zara Cully Brown

Zara Cully Brown: Funeral Card Friday

January 26,1892 – February 28,1978
Program Card
Inside of Program Card

I wrote about Zara in a prior post Zara Frances Cully Brown, but wanted to share her actual program.  I was 10 years old when I went to her funeral.  Below, I am posting the last performance that my Aunt Zara was playing as Mother Jefferson.

© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved

Sentimental Sunday: Porter Family Yearly Christmas Letter-1978

Every Christmas my mother Betty Mae Porter would draft an End of the Year Letter and send to all her friends and family.  Every year I looked forward to seeing what she would write about, and even more interested to see what she would say about me.  I miss those days, as my mother is no longer with us….I tried to pick up the tradition, but have not been very consistent.  Maybe now that I am doing more writing, I can pick up the Family Tradition.

Porter Family Christmas Letter of 1978

6066 College Avenue
San Diego, California 92120
December 19, 1978

Dear Friends and Relatives,

     Here I go again on Christmas Letter #?  (I’ve lost count.)  It’s great to be alive and well and able to correspond with you once again.

     We lost Aunt Zara this year.  (She was “Mother Jefferson” on the T.V. “Jeffersons” show).  She was my mother’s sister.  We miss her very much!  With my family dwindling, those who remain become even more precious.  I do try to keep in touch with Polly and John Buggs and with their daughter Zaragale and her dear little family.  I hardly ever hear from the other relatives, although we did gather together on the day of the funeral.  I am honored to have some of Auntie’s beautiful furniture in my home.  It is not only lovely but has great sentimental value for me.    
     Wally’s doing just great!  He has the same title-Director of the San Diego Community Colleges Skills Center-but more responsibility now-as the Skills Center has been made an independent branch of the Adult Division.  To this extent it is a promotion, and we are delighted!

     I love teaching in La Jolla.  This is my second year, and I’m going strong.  This is my eighth year with the M.G.M. (“Mentally Gifted Minor”) Program.  It’s both challenging and interesting.  I have a third-fourth grade combination.  The children are sweet, and their parents are supportive.

     Yvette is in the fifth grade.  She attends one of our “Fundamental” schools.  They stress the basic subjects.  Wally drives her to school, and she walks to the sitter’s afterwards.  She has a great time playing with the sitter’s girls and some of their neighbors.  She also thoroughly enjoys being a Girl Scout.  With the latter group she attended camp this summer, and recently she did a fine job enacting “Uncle Sam” in their Christmas play performed at school.

     Marshall attends Jr. High School.  He is in the seventh grade and is, frankly, in shock!  It’s so different from the cozy little neighborhood elementary school he attended!  On top of that, he’s shooting up so fast physically.  He just turned twelve in October, and he’s five feet, five and one-half inches tall!  We’re trying to help him adjust to all this.  It isn’t easy, however, to keep in touch with six different teachers, though.  I’m considering private school, but they mostly have waiting lists, since Proposition 13 passed.  He has a pleasant disposition and is helpful around the house.

     We had a joyous Thanksgiving!  State Senator Bill Greene (Yvette’s Godfather) came with his wife, my buddy, Yvonne and his two lovely young daughters.  We had a great time with each other and the other fun guests.  We’re going to the Rose Bowl game.  That should be fun!!  STAY WELL.
Love, Walter, Betty, Marshall, Yvette, Butsie (Dog), by Betty

P.S. Instead of taking a summer trip, we installed a swimming pool.  It is so much fun, and the kids are ecstatic!

We have African Art in the San Diego Art Museum now!   Wally and I helped in this effort.

Add on Note to Christmas Letter for Particular Individuals

Tombstone Tuesday (Wendell Culley and Zara Cully Brown)

My Daughter Tori and I placing flowers on Wendell Culley’s unmarked Grave

Summer of 2010, My daughter and I went to locate my Great Uncle Wendell Phillip Culley’s grave and headstone.  Wendell was born January 8, 1906-May 8, 1983. Wendell was a jazz musician from Worcester, MA and played trumpet for Sissle Noble, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and played on over 200 recordings for many other singers and musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughn. Wendell was one of Zara Cully Brown’s from the “Jefferson’s” younger brothers.  Much to my surprise there was no headstone.  There will be some family efforts to get Wendell a marker on his Grave. Our loved one’s should never be forgotten.

Location of Grave:
Rose Hills Memorial Park
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of Affection, Sec 9, Lot 3149 Grave 4

Zara Cully Brown, listed are her husband and two of her children.

Photo by Scott Michaels

Location of Gravesite:  Photos from Findagrave.com
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Victory

Photo by A.J. Marik: Zara Cully Brown’s wall nitch

© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved

Sympathy Saturday: In Loving Memory of Zara Frances (Cully) Brown

Zara Frances Cully
(Copyright Protected, Not to be used without permission)

I was asked recently if I had a younger picture of Zara Cully Brown.  So I have decided to post a few of her pictures.  I am pretty sure Zara’s Great Grandson has some pictures of her, and will make a request and post at a later date.

Zara F. Cully was my Grandmother’s, Agnes Cully Peters oldest sister.  Aunt Zara was born February 26, 1892 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her parents were Nora Ann Gilliam and Ambrose E. Cully, who were born and raised in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, and in 1890 relocated to Worcester, MA.  Zara’s mother gave birth to numerous children.  The number has been told through the years to be about 21 children, but as of date, I am only able to document twelve, as some of her children died in childbirth, through miscarriage or at a very young age.  Aunt Zara died February 28, 1978.

Aunt Zara and my Aunt Hannah both married a set of  Brown brothers.  Zara married James M. Brown, Sr (Daddy J) and with their union they had four children, and one died in childbirth.  Their children were: James M., Jr., Mary Gale (Polly), and Emerson, whom are all deceased.

Here are the other two Photo’s in my Collection:

Aunt Zara’s Press Photo
Copyright Protected, Not to be used without permission.

Aunt Zara with my Dad’s mother Helen (Bunn) Porter Thompson in my parent’s living room.
Copyright Protected, Not to used without permission.

I remember Aunt Zara very well, even though I was ten years old when she died.  I remember how my mom would get excited when she would call us on the phone. My mother would put me on the phone to talk to her, and Aunt Zara would always ask me how I was doing in school, and if I was enjoying my extra-curricular activities.  She would let me go after she told me she loved me.

I attended Aunt Zara’s funeral, (I was 10yrs old) and I was amazed by the many people that came to her funeral.  The cast from the “Jefferson’s” were in attendance, and I had the opportunity to meet them during the Repast.  My favorite cast member at that time was Harry Bentley (Paul Benedict).  He kept me and all my little cousins running around laughing.

I will always remember my Aunt Zara as a wonderful woman.  She was very kind to me and our family.  Let me tell you one thing that might be a little trivia…My Aunt Zara on the “Jefferson’s” loved Bloody-Mary’s….Well in real life she really did!  That was her drink of choice!  So, I know that Zara has her Bloody-Mary in heaven while my mother is drinking her Martini’s.

Wordless Wednesday–Zara Gale (Buggs) Taylor

Zara Gale Buggs Taylor
March 28, 1946-Nov 19, 2005
[My 1st Cousin, 1x Removed & Grand-Daughter of
Zara Frances Cully Brown, from the sitcom, “The Jefferson’s.”

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Historical Research Trip To Sugar Hill, Harlem, New York

 Life on Sugar Hill
I am writing my mother’s memoirs of “Sugar Hill” New York between 1926 and 1950. It is a story written from a daughter’s perspective.
Betty Peters-1929 Photo by D’Laigle

Currently I am researching the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, and will raise-the-bar of my research by visiting New York this June 2010.  My daughter Vanessa will go with me, as she is my official photographer and will document our footprints.  We will be staying in a local Bed & Breakfast which is located two blocks from the actual Apartments my mother lived. This will allow me to walk the streets my mother walked and breathe in the culture of Harlem that my mother knew so well.

Betty Mae Peters, 16 yrs old

When I was a little girl, my mother recorded her life stories of New York and the background of her family history on tape.  She would tell me that she was writing a book, but never got around to finishing her project. This is why I feel the strong need to finish her book, even though there is so much that has been taken with her in death.  For this very reason, we should never put off what we can do today.

My mother, Betty Mae Peters Porter was born in New York City on November 17, 1926 to Agnes Cully and Charles I. Peters. She was an only child. Betty grew up in the “Sugar Hill” area of New York City where she attended George Washington High School.  Always an organizer and socialite, Betty and her life time friend, Marilyn “Mickey” Sullivan formed and belonged to a club during their childhood called the “149 Street Queens.”
Her mother, Agnes, was a well known seamstress and fashion designer. Her clients included Marian Anderson, Betty Davis, Barbara Rush, Joan Crawford and other celebrities. Betty often modeled in her mother’s fashion show in New York City.
Marian Anderson and My Grandmother Agnes Cully Peters.  My Grandmother was her personal fashion designer
Betty was always an excellent student. She received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from New York University in 1947. Her skills and clever talents in writing were evident in her unique holiday letters received by friends and relatives. Betty and her mother moved to Los Angeles, where her Aunt Zara Cully Brown was an actress, also known as “Mother Jefferson” in the television sitcom “The Jefferson’s” (staring Sherman Hensley, and Isabelle Sanford.)
My Great Aunt Zara Cully Brown

While in Los Angeles, Betty received her CA teaching credential from Los Angeles State College, and attended Pepperdine University, where she received her Master of Arts degree in Multicultural Education. Betty became very popular and active in the social and political circles of the Los Angeles Community. Betty taught at Rosewood Elementary School and later founded the Friendship Guild where she was president. This was an elite organization of women who remained as Betty’s dearest friends throughout her life.

In 1957, Betty met and married the late Dr. Walter J. Porter. They moved to San Diego, CA in 1969, and became very active in the field of education, musical and civic affairs. They also became the proud parents of two loving children. Betty taught classes for the Gifted and Talented Students at the elementary school level in San Diego City Schools for many years, retiring in 1992. She was an avid reader, and an excellent cook. A “gathering” at the Porter household was always a special treat. She was very supportive of “Wally’s” numerous activities as she shared forty-four memorable years with him until hes death in 2001. She also enjoyed spending time with her seven grandchildren.
Betty was a member of the San Diego -Tema Sister City Society, the African Arts Committee, The Chapel of Awareness in Encinitas and was an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Silver Star, (Epsilon Xi Omega Chapter). Betty was a breast cancer survivor who tried to impress on others the importance of yearly exams. She suffered a massive stroke on Christmas Eve, which took her life.

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011