Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Lost Uncles

I have two uncles that I never knew and have finally been able to obtain copies of their death certificates.  Leroy Lumpkin my Father's older brother and Malcolm Thomas Johnson my Mother's older brother.

Leroy Lumpkin Death Certificate

My Uncle Leroy died when I was about 4 years old.  I don't remember ever meeting him, but my Mother advised that she did and that he was very nice to her.  I never heard much about him from my family and the stories that I did hear weren't very positive, I heard he had a temper and was always ready for a fight.  He had also done some prison time and was eventually killed.  One source advises that he was caught up in the Los Angeles gangs in the early 70's.  I haven't confirmed that fact, but I did confirm he died on 26 July 1973 and this was by a gunshot wound to the heart.  Seems he was at a Cafe a couple of miles from his home and that was were he was shot and killed. 

I've searched long and hard for information on my Uncle but its pretty hard to get information.  From what I understand 3 of his 4 children are deceased and I have no idea how to find the 4th.  These are first cousins I have never met and 3 out of the 4 I will never meet.  

My Uncle Mac I met at a young age which I have no memories of.  This was my Mother's oldest brother and I remember the many stories she used to tell me about him.  He was her big brother and very protective of her.  When my family left East Liverpool, OH to come to California my Uncle Mac remained behind and eventually visited the family in California but some type of disagreement occurred and he returned to the East Coast.

Malcolm Thomas Johnson
The most disturbing thing about receiving this death certificate is that he died on 14 Dec 2005 - that was only 6 years ago.  He was located in California when he died.  Moments away from family but no one knew about it.  He died of a Heart Attack, but it appears he had been fighting Prostate Cancer for years.  His final address was a convalescent hospital in Los Angeles.  When I look at this Death Certificate it really brings tears to my eyes because of all of the unknown information on this death certificate.   He died alone.  No family to help him with his transition and from what I can gather no close friends.  I plan on contacting the convalescent hospital to see what details they can give me, he had family and very close to him, he shouldn't have died this way.  

I had a long discussion with my sister regarding this as we were both very emotional about these death certificates, being that both of our parents are gone things like this always make us emotional because we understand the value of family.  That time is of the essence and you must take advantage of the time given.  I can't help either one of these Uncles, which of course is painful, but what I can do going forward is to make sure that not another family member goes "unknown".  Not when you have an abundance of family that can be there so the world will know just who they are.  This is a lesson for all.  Thank you for letting me share.