With great sorrow I am sharing the unfortunate news that Kalonji’s grandmother passed away yesterday, August 6, 2014. Lovingly called “Mama Frances,” she was nothing but the kindest and sweetest person you’d ever want to know. We named our daughter Kaleya after her, giving her the middle name of Frances, so whenever we’d go to Alabama there was “Mama Frances” and “Little Frances.”
This picture of Mama Frances and Kaleya is one of my favorites. It was taken in September 2005 when Mama Frances came to visit us for a week while we were living in the Memphis area. It was so great to have her staying with us! We even traveled to Indiana to visit Kalonji’s mom so they had a chance to see each other again.
Mama Frances was born December 20, 1924 to Champ McClellan and Leola (Coleman) McClellan. She and her twin brother Frank were two of Champ and Leola’s 10 children. Mama Frances was the last surviving child. Mama Frances was born and raised in Talladega and lived there a majority of her life. She did spend some time up north in Detroit, but Talladega was definitely her home. She married her husband Curtis Morrow in March of 1951 and he passed away in 1971.
We will miss you tremendously Mama Frances. We were on our way to visit you in just a week from now and are so sorry we were not able to spend that time together in life. But, we will spend it with you anyway as we come down to Talladega for your homegoing service.
Rest in peace, we love you very much. Kaleya carries your name, and now she will carry your spirit.