Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Photographs

Well done.

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My uncle Charles C. Allen passed peacefully last night, surrounded by love. I am grateful to have been able to say goodbye last week and to receive one last lesson — on living and dying with grace — from his bottomless well of wisdom.

His eldest son’s words speak loudest:

“Last night, we lost the rock of the family, my father Charles C. Allen. His illness was brief, and he died on his own terms surrounded by the people he loved. He was married to my mother for 57 years (they’d known each other for over 60 years) and leaves three children, three grandchildren, and three surviving siblings. Dad possessed a tremendous sense of dignity, integrity, and inner fortitude. He was a friend to many. If you needed advice, he’d offer it (sometimes you didn’t need to ask), if you needed a shoulder to lean on, he was there. If you had done him wrong, he turned the other cheek and looked for ways to meet in the middle. Over the course of his 81 years, he mentored literally dozens of people of all races and creeds. Dad lived a full and productive life, and he did it his way. We will miss him, but will also live our lives as a direct reflection of his values and work ethic.”

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My heroes — my father, my mother, my uncle.

——

 Charles Claybourne Allen

21 September 1935-20 January 2017

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Oral History, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Remembering Uncle Jesse.

My grandmother’s second boy. Smooth. Dapper. Slick. Artistic. A chef. A painter. A hustler. A beloved uncle.

Happy birthday, Jesse Adam Henderson (17 April 1929-5 August 2005)!

ImageLucian and Jesse Henderson, circa 1932, Wilson NC.

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 Jesse, circa 1938, Wilson NC.

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 Circa 1944, Wilson NC.

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 With wife Jean and my grandmother, probably in the late 1950s, perhaps at the Jersey Shore.

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Always “clean,” posted at the bar, 1960s.

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One of my favorite photos of my uncle, with my niece, who adored him. Philadelphia, 2001.

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