Obituary for Martha James
Martha Lee Fung was born to Janie Redmond and Charlie Lee Fung February 2, 1917 in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. She had a modest upbringing with her Aunt Roxy and Uncle Albert Larkin. She loved dancing, people and learning. She finished High School and married the love of her life, Willie James of Jackson Mississippi who predeceased her in 2001. They moved to Berkeley, California in 1939. She had in this union two children Yvonne “Bonnie” (Moore) who pre-deceased her in 2001, and Cassandra “Sandy” (Ellington) of Houston Texas.
Martha worked for the Oakland Unified School System
‘Food Services Assoc” for 35 years. She started as a helper in the kitchen at Cole School and progressed to Manager of the McClymonds High School Cafeteria for 18 years. There she fed and guided so many children, and adopted in Spirit many as her own. She continued her career within the Oakland School Food Services and became the first Black Field Manager and had the responsibility for one-third of all of the Oakland Public School Cafeterias in Oakland.
Martha supported the “Renaissance Men’s Club” and the once a year “Fun Train Trip” that lasted 47 consecutive years. She was awarded a placard of recognition for having made all 47 trips, and it was on her 95th birthday where she danced, on the moving train, and as always, the life of the party.
An avid knitter for 75 years, she taught many the love of the craft and she has produced exquisite garments; she was a needle pointer, embroiderer, crotchetier, and devoured books. However, her one love was knitting and she knitted socks, with cataracts, until she was 98 years old. And at 97, she joined the gym in Houston, Texas and had a trainer. There are videos of her working out on the Elliptical, doing pull downs and shooting baskets on the big court.
She was referred to by family and friends by many names: Mother, Mom, Grandmom, GrandNami, Gommie, Mabel, Neighbor and “Bestest Friend” she was always open for conversation and giving her pearls of wisdom at the round table to all that would come or needed that common-sense approach to life. She healed many broken hearts with a real “kick butt” under tone that got her point over to those listening, and they left in tune with a greater reality.
She kept her great sense of humor, mother wit and politeness throughout her latter days and gave thumbs up for when she gave approval of whatever was happening at the time.
Her Spirit will be remembered for her love, generosity, humor and common sense approach and we will celebrate not just her memory, but the good that she has shared with so many ALL OF HER LIFE.
Martha is survived by her daughter Cassandra James Ellington (Owen). She was the proud grandmother to; J. Monique Moore, Rone S. Kendall and Julie M. Kendall. Great grandmother to; Dominique E. Thomas, Cassandra R. Kendall, Raphael S. Kendall (Rachelle), Siena N. Kendall, Dorrien E. Harris, Ethan A. Ford, Jahrone D. Kendall, Paisley M. Ford; and Great-great grandmother to Cadius Kendall and Aubelane Kendall. Sister(s) Mary Edwards, Lillian James and a host of Nieces and Nephews
Rest in Heaven, Mom and thank you for ALL of the wonderful memories…