For the latest installment of family stories, Jonathan's sister, Julie, tells the story of their maternal grandfather, Clovis D. Geno.
Clovis was born on October 3, 1914 and died on September 11, 1977. He grew up in Tippah County in Mississippi. He had a brother, Vonnie, a half-brother, Frank, and three half-sisters, Lottie, Alice and Ira.
Not much is known about my grandfather's first marriage, except that he had two sons, Franklin and Jerry, who died of pneumonia when they were both one year old, in 1944 and 1948. Clovis also had one daughter, Evelyn, before his marriage ended in divorce. He later married my grandmother, Arletta Barnes Davis.
My grandmother's first husband died in a car crash in 1956, leaving her alone in Joliet, Illinois with seven children. She moved back to Prentiss County, Mississippi and took a job at Marathon Cheese Corporation. My grandfather worked at Kraft Cheese and brought cheese to Marathon for packaging. He courted my grandmother for a short time before they married. My mother was born a year and a half later in 1959.
My grandfather loved his stepchildren like they were his own. He was very proud of his family, and he worked very hard to be a good provider for them. He made sure all nine of his children had everything they needed, and he made sure they all knew how much he loved them.
Clovis' death from a massive heart attack came as a terrible shock to his family, because he had not had any symptoms. On the day he died, he had been playing horsey in the floor with one of his grandchildren. He had been so happy and full of life. My mother said he died happy, with family by his side and on his mind.
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