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October 30, 2015

Giving Back through Genealogy

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. - descendant of Lucy Ellen Clifford
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. - descendant of Lucy Ellen Clifford
By Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Oct 30, 2015, 5:44 PM ET
Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. hopes to trigger a love for science, technology and math among American students by turning them on to searching for their family roots.
Gates, the Harvard University scholar and host of a genealogy show on PBS, and fellow researchers from Spelman College and Pennsylvania State University recently received a $355,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create a genealogy and genetics summer camp for middle school children, as well as a $304,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for college-level courses.
The summer camps will start at Penn State University and the University of South Carolina this summer, and at the American Museum of Natural History in 2017. The college courses, in biology with a genetics and genealogy-centered approach, will be held at Spelman College and Morehouse College in Atlanta, and North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina.
"Ancestry chasing through genealogy and genetics is about one thing ultimately and that is you," Gates said in a phone interview. "And what's your favorite subject? Your favorite subject is yourself."
Gates, host of "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." on PBS, said the curriculum he is developing would teach social science, history, interview skills, archival skills and biology. The goal is to help students discover an innate love of science, technology, engineering and math that may lead to careers in STEM fields.
Hispanics, blacks, and Native Americans together comprise only 10 percent of workers in science and engineering jobs and 13 percent of science and engineering degree holders, according to the National Science Board's Science and Engineering Indicators 2014 report, though they represent 26 percent of the population.
The popularity of genealogy and finding ancestors would get children hooked, potentially inspiring future professors, scientists and mathematicians, said Gates. He said he wasn't worried about being able to keep the attention of young people.
"We're going to teach them about Y-DNA if you're a man, how you get that from your father who got that marker from his father and his father," said Gates, referring to the Y chromosome. Students also will learn about mitochondrial DNA, "which you get from your mother and her mother and her mother, whether you're a man or a woman."
Gates will work with Penn State University professor Nina Jablonski on the summer camps. Jablonski said the grants will make the camps affordable for parents, and help to right an imbalance in STEM fields.
"This new approach seeks to improve the retention of minority students in the sciences by inviting students into biology education with the discovery of unique facts about themselves," Jablonski said.
We would be "taking this whole idea of asking the question of 'Who am I?' into the classroom and getting students of varying ages to investigate themselves, leading to — we would hope — a whole cascade of positive things," she added.
"Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." starts its third season on PBS on January 5.



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September 4, 2015

Gone But Not Forgotten: Braxton A. Reel

Infant Braxton Alexander Reel, age 4 months and 28 days old, of Moorefield, WV died Thursday, August 27, 2015 as a result of an automobile accident.

He was born March 30, 2015 in Petersburg, WV and is survived by his parents, Spencer Alexander Reel and Crystal Amanda Hall of Moorefield, WV; one sister, Aliana Renee Reel; Paternal grandparents, Leonard and Kimberly Reel of Fisher, WV; Paternal great grandparents, Edward and Glenda Cole Sr. of Moorefield, WV; Bob and Ann Smith of Moorefield, WV; Paternal Great Grandfather, Dale Reel of Rig, WV; Paternal Great-Great Grandmothers, Edith Sue Reel of Rig, WV and Lula Stewart of Moorefield, WV; Maternal Grandparents, Terri McCauley and Ron Hott of Moorefield, WV; Maternal Grandfather, Don Barker Jr. of Baltimore, Md; Maternal Great Grandparents, Bonnie and Jacque Mortimer of Baltimore, MD.

Family will receive friends Friday, September 4, 2015 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Moorefield Church of God in Moorefield, WV. Funeral service will be Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 12:00 Noon at the Moorefield Church of God with Pastor Daryl Dunsmore and Rev. Johnny Stump officiating. Burial will be in the Oak Hill Cemetery, Moorefield, WV.

Memorial contributions may be made in the memory of Braxton Reel to the family, c/o Leonard and Kimberly Reel, 2156 Darlington School Road, Fisher, WV 26818.


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February 19, 2015

Gone But Not Forgotten: George R. Kent

Dr. George Robert Kent, 95, died Tuesday, February 10, 2015, at his residence.

He was born in Fairmont, West Virginia on February 10, 1920. He was the son of the late George William Kent and Ingie M. Taylor Kent.

He was a very hard worker who worked many jobs, such as dental office janitor and retail drug store truck driver, on his quest for higher education.

In 1944, he attended West Virginia State College and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, History and French. During this time, he pledge Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Theta Psi Chapter. After completion of undergraduate studies, he moved to Cambridge, Maryland. He taught History and French at St. Clair High School and later at Mace’s Lane High School. During this time, he met an attractive lady, teacher and life partner, Eleanor Woodyard. They were later married on March 24, 1951. They had a daughter, the late Terri D. Womack (grandchildren, Malcolm Biko Womack and Tiye’ Eleanor Womack; great-grandson, Keilan). They also had a son, George Marshall Kent (grandchildren, George Miguel Kent and William Julio Kent).

He was hired as an instructor and Assistant Professor at Maryland State College to teach History and was Faculty Advisor to the Student Council in 1955. Dr. George Kent continued his quest for higher education and attended the University of Maryland, College Park where he earned a Master of Arts degree in American History. During the summer sessions in 1969 and 1970, he worked as Assistant Professor at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

In 1972, Dr. George Kent earned a Ph.D. degree in American History with a cognate in Education from University of Maryland, College Park. He was hired by the Maryland State Department of Education as Coordinator and Consultant in Teacher Education and joined other participants in evaluating college programs. He worked as Adjunct Professor at Bowie State College and Salisbury State College. In 1980, he became the Chairperson of Delaware State College Education Department. He started the first Graduate Program at Delaware State College.

Dr. George Kent has been dedicated to the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and was very active in the chapters, Pi Alpha Chapter (1950) and Psi Iota Chapter (1980). He was also a member of Whatcoat United Methodist Church in Dover, Delaware where he served as a member of the Gospel Sounds and Chancel Choir.

Although Dr. George Kent was busy studying for the degrees, he took time to officiate baseball, basketball and football for high school and college games. He also enjoyed playing golf and tennis. He was recognized by the Delaware “Afro American” Sports Hall of Fame for outstanding accomplishments as a basketball official.

Dr. George Kent was active in releasing the following publications: The Negro in Politics in Dorchester County, Maryland (1912-1960), A Brief History of Waugh United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Maryland (1966), An Analysis of the Secondary School Curriculum: A Need for Substance (1969), and Integrated and Separate Black Studies in Maryland Secondary Schools (1971).

Dr. Kent will lie in repose on Friday, February 20, 2015, from 6 to 9 PM and Saturday, February 21, 2015, from 9 to 10:30 AM at Whatcoat United Methodist Church, 341 Saulsbury Road, Dover. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. will perform ceremonial rites at 10 AM. The funeral service will begin at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow at Sharon Hills Memorial Park, 2928 Sharon Hill Road, Dover. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Dr. Kent to Whatcoat United Methodist Church.


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October 25, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten: Freda Rolls

It is with much sadness we announce the passing of Freda B. (Clifford) Rolls.

Family and friends may call at the Smith Funeral Home, Keyser Chapel, on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m.  Funeral services will be conducted at the Smith Funeral Home, Keyser Chapel, on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Vickie Minnich officiating.  Interment will be in the Thorn Rose Cemetery, Keyser.

Freda will be missed by all.  Our condolences to Kim, B, and Kevin.


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September 22, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten: Rosa (Bruce) Hollingsworth

Rosa Ellen Hollingsworth, 89, of Ward Avenue, Keyser, WV, died Friday, September 12, 2014 at  her residence.
Born on May 24, 1925 at Medley, WV, she was a daughter of the late Isaiah "Pete" and Mary Frances (Howard) Bruce. She also was preceded in death by her husband Robert F. Hollingsworth, Sr. on July 10, 1985; a son, Bruce E. "Brud" Hollingsworth, Sr.; a sister, Evelyn Thomas and five brothers, Henry, Ashton, Virgil, Milford and James Bruce.
Mrs. Hollingsworth was a loving homemaker and for many years provided child day care out of her home. She also was formerly employed at the Keyser Garment Factory and with the late Dr. E.E. and Mrs. Katharine Church. Methodist by faith, she was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary to both the Washington-Smith Post # 152, American Legion, Keyser and Aubrey-Robert Stewart Post # 5957, VFW, Piedmont, WV. She was also a member of Faith Chapter # 31, Order of the Eastern Star, Keyser.
Surviving are five sons, Robert Hollingsworth, Jr. and wife Phil of Piedmont, WV, Cecil Hollingsworth and wife Iris of Piedmont, Todd Hollingsworth and fiancee Dawn Mallow of Fountain, WV, James Hollingsworth and wife Elizabeth of Hagerstown, MD and Thearone Hollingsworth and wife Wandfa of Fort Washington, MD; one daughter, Marion Hollingsworth of Keyser; a daughter-in-law, Marsha Hollingsworth of Keyser; three brothers, Steven Bruce of Suitland, MD, Marvin Bruce and wife Cheryl of Mitchellville, MD and Ernest Bruce of Columbus, OH; one sister, Frances Mabin and husband Raymond of Keyser; 18 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; a large number of nieces and nephews and a host of other loving family members and friends.
 Friends may call at the Smith Funeral Home, Keyser Chapel, on Friday, September 19, 2014 from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m.  Funeral services will be conducted at the Smith Funeral Home, Keyser Chapel, on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Harry Coleman and Rev. David Coleman officiating.  Interment will be in the Potomac Memorial Gardens, Keyser.
Published in Mineral Daily News-Tribune from Sept. 16 to Sept. 23, 2014


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September 19, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten: Terri (Kent) Womack

Terri Kent Womack, first of two children born to Dr. George R. Kent and Eleanor W. Kent, departed this life Fri., May 30, 2014 in Prince George’s County, MD.  Born September 11, 1953 in Cambridge, Terri attended Virginia State University focusing on Psychology and Biology.  Soon after marrying, Terry Wayne Womack, she relocated to the Prince George’s County Area.  She began teaching in northern Virginia and later transferred to Howard B. Owens Science Center as an instructor, program coordinator.  Terri loved running, coaching and her church.
Her legacy now lives through her children, Malcolm and Tiye Womack; her grandson, Keilan Adegoye; her husband, Terry Womack; her parents, Dr. George R. and Eleanor W. Kent and her brother, George M. Kent.
Services will be held on Tues., June 10th  11 am at Victory Christian Ministries International, 3911 St Barnabas Rd, Suitland, MD with a viewing at 10:30 am.  Interment will follow at George Washington Cemetery, in Adelphi, Maryland.


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August 25, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten: Clarence R. Spiller


Clarence R. Spiller of 412 South 3rd Street, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 in the Absolut at Houghton Nursing Home, following a long illness.

Clarence was born April 23, 1928 in Williamsburg, WV and was a son of the Rev. Maynard D. and Viola C. Kent Spiller. He married Lois J. Easley who predeceased him June of 1975. On June 24, 1978 in Olean he married Gloria A. Broussard, who survives.

Clarence a 1946 graduated from Stratton High School in Beckley, WV. He attended Wilberforce University in Xenia, OH for about 1 year. Clarence served in the Army from Jan. 18, 1951 to Jan. 17, 1953. He worked various jobs before he began working for Eck Construction. While working construction he worked on a number of local buildings including; St. Francis Hospital, Bishop Walsh School, the YMCA on Union Street, Portville Central School, the Olean City Building, Cattaraugus County Nursing Home in Machias, and the Bridge Crossing on Interstate 86.

Clarence began working as a firefighter for the City of Olean in December 1965. While working as a firefighter he began the Cattaraugus County EMS System and he, with the help of the SEDA workers, helped build the fireman's training building on Gargoyle Rd. and named it "Elmore Hall," after his brother-in-law Herbie Elmore, who was shot in the Olean High School sniper attack in 1974. Clarence retired from firefighting in March of 1986 as a Lieutenant.

Clarence was a member of the First Baptist Church. He was formerly a member of the Enchanted Mountains Lodge F&AM #252. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, gardening, and travelling.

Along with his loving wife, Clarence is survived by four sons, Reginald W. (Alfreda) Spiller of Houston, TX, Ronald B. Spiller of Bradford, PA, Timothy J. (Elizabeth) Spiller of Olean, and Thomas O. Spiller of Olean; four stepdaughters, Mary E. Maynard of Weston Mill, NY, Diana L. (David) Landmeier of Phoenix, AZ, Sheila A. (Donald) Edwards of Jacksonville, FL, and Cynthia J. Wilder of Salamanca; one stepson, James R. Wilder of Jacksonville, FL; 29 Grandchildren and 18 Great Grandchildren; and twin brothers, The Rev. Donald Spiller of Milton, PA, & John Spiller of Bridgeport, Cn.

Friends will be received at the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc. #646 E. State Street Olean, on Monday, August 25, 2014 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday August 26, 2014 at 11:00 am in the Olean First Baptist Church. The Rev. Daniel McDowell, Pastor will officiate. Burial will be in the Mt. View Cemetery, Olean.

In Lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of WNY 2805 Wehrle Drive STE #6 Williamsville, NY 14221-7380 or to the American Cancer Society.


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August 22, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten: Bernice (Lewis) Pruitt

Bernice F. Pruitt, 92, of DeSoto, TX passed away on August 3, 2014.

She was born March 8, 1922 in McKeesport, PA the daughter of Daniel Norman Lewis and Mae Elizabeth (Clifford) Lewis. Bernice entered the Women's Army Corp August 16, 1943 from Pittsburgh, PA and served until 1945. Later, she began working at IBM, where she remained employed until retirement. In 1968 she marreied L. C. Pruitt in Chicago. She was preceded in death by her husband in July 2013.

Mrs. Pruitt is survived by her step-son: L.C. "Lennie" Pruitt, Jr.; sisters-in-law Bettye J. Wilson and Clara Pruitt; many nieces and nephews; a host of cousins and friends and her very close friends Erma Johnson, Lora Stallings and Rose Johnson.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home prior to the funeral service on Friday - August 08, 2014 from 9 - 10:00 A.M. The Funeral Service will begin in the Chapel of West/Hurtt Funeral Home at 10:00 A.M. with Rev. M. T. Flemmings, officiating.

Interment will follow at 12:30 P.M. in the Dallas/Ft. Worth National Cemetery, Dallas, TX. All on the SAME DAY.

It was Mrs. Pruitt's wishes, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in her name to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 36006, Dallas, TX 75235-1006.


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August 22, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten: Elizabeth (Lewis) Armour

Elizabeth Ann (Lewis) Armour, age 95, of Battle Creek, MI, passed away on Sunday, January 5, 2014 surrounded by her friends and “family” of the Laurels of Bedford in Battle Creek, MI.

She was born September 27, 1918 in Scotthaven, PA the daughter of Daniel Norman Lewis and Mae Elizabeth (Clifford) Lewis.

Elizabeth had worked as a secretary and social worker for the State of Illinois for many years until she retired. After she retired she became bored and worked for 10 years at a Gentlemen's Club in the Chicagoland area as a coat check lady (the reason she worked there for 10 years is because they promised her a small pension).

Elizabeth had married Ninas Duey Armour in Chicago, IL on March 22, 1976; however he preceded her in death on March 12, 2010. She and her husband came to live in Battle Creek from Chicago, IL in 1985.

She is survived by her sister: Bernice Florence Pruitt of DeSoto, TX; a nephew: Lennie Pruitt of Chicago, Illinois; two guardians: Lorri L. Heddinger of Battle Creek and Cynthia Woodin of Tekonsha, MI; and many devoted staff and residents at the Laurels of Bedford.

Elizabeth was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter who passed away at birth; five sisters: Gloria Johnson; Margaret Liser; Bernice Smith; Esther Lewis; Dorothy Kalkbrenner; and two brothers: Clifford Lewis and James Lewis.

She was a member of St. Philip Catholic Church while living in Chicago and had attended St. Philip Catholic Church in Battle Creek. She had always made it a practice to attend 8 AM Mass while living in Chicago and also when she lived here in Battle Creek.

Visitation will be held at the Bachman Hebble Funeral Service on Thursday, January 9, 2014 from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, with the Rosary service at 7:00 PM in the funeral home chapel. Funeral services will be held in the Bachman Funeral Chapel on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM with The Very Rev. Father Mark Vyverman of St. Joseph Catholic Church officiating. Burial will follow at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Battle Creek, MI.


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August 21, 2014

2014 Kent/Clifford Reunion

Friday evening meet & greet
Friday evening meet & greet
A fantastic time was had by all at the 2014 San Diego Reunion!  Our Friday evening meet and greet was on the patio of a cafe at the resort.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, drink, and games.  The young assistants to our gracius hostess were wonderful at getting family members to buy raffle tickets for some pretty great prizes!  Everyine stayed pretty late playing pool, video games, or just sitting outside enjoying the weather and company.

Saturday was open for families to tour the beautiful city.  There was so much to do and see, but everyone had to get back to the resort by the evening for the family dinner.  We had a large room opening up to the pool, which could be viewed through the wrap around glass doors.  During our Italian dinner buffet (the canolies for dessert were amazing), the family was able to view photos of past reunions thanks to the contribution by Rosemary McDaniel as well as photos of many in the family.  Family members that had passed since the last reunion were honored in the memorial service and Joann led us in song.  Results from the business meeting:

2014-2016 Kent/Clifford Executive Board
Billy Clifford - President
Marc Stewart - Vice President
Randy Bruce - Treasurer
Tish Twyman - Recording Secretary
Joyce Wormack - Corresponding Secretary
Jimmy Wormack - Chaplain
Yvonne Liser - Historian

The following additions/changes were made to the bylaws:

Article II
Immediate Past Presiden twas added to the list of officers

Article III
The duties of the Immediate Past President were added. "Upon completion of the two year term of office the out-going President shall remain a non-voting member of the Executive Board and serve as an advisor to the Executive Board until the next election is held."

Additional duties for the Chaplain include "preside over the Memorial Service and provide spiritual leadership at the REUNION."

Additional duties for the Historian include "The Historian shall coordinate and supervise historical exhibits and displays at the REUNION and collect names of family decedents for the Memorial Service."

A new position of Webmaster was added and the duties include "The Webmaster shall maintain a Website to serve as a centralized location to collect and display family and REUNION information."

Article VI
A sentence was added to the Dues and Fees article for clarification of the payment of dues.  It reads "Dues shall be paid annually by the membership by July 1 of each year."

So we had fun and got a lot done!  Now let's start planning for Moorefield! 



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