|Birth: ||Feb. 27, 1986|
|Death: ||Jan. 1, 2009|
HAYWARD -- A steady stream of mourners passed by the wreath-flanked casket of Oscar Juliuss Grant III, and by the time his funeral service began Wednesday morning, an overcapacity crowd of about 1,000 people had packed into South Hayward's Palma Ceia Baptist Church.
As family members took their seats -- more than 100 of Grant's relatives attended -- one woman became overcome with grief and allowed herself to be escorted outside.
The church's Rev. Ronald Coleman changed the tone with music, singing "I don't know what you came to do, but I came to pray today" to a crowd that increasingly clapped along.
Coleman urged the crowd to "show the world how we believers handle stuff like this, and lift up this family."
So set the mood for most of the services, which squarely focused on the life of 22-year-old Grant, and not on his violent shooting death on the Fruitvale BART platform, early Jan. 1.
Grant had long been a member of the church on Ruus Road, and pastors spoke warmly about the man whom they'd known since he was a young boy.
"I met Oscar when he was young -- 6, 7, 8 years old," Deacon Eugene Carter said during the service. Oscar always knew so much for a young person. It seemed like he knew as much as some adults. He would ask adult questions."
Grant had shown leadership skills as part of the church's Royal Ambassadors program, Carter said, which made the deacon think that one day the boy would become a pastor himself.
From a young age, Grant enjoyed fishing, baseball, chess and dominoes, Carter said.
"Whatever you knew how to do, Oscar already knew how to do it," he said.
"Little Oscar was the apple of God's eyes," said church member Donna Smith, who added that she saw herself as a "second mother" to Grant. "When it was time to pray, he always wanted to lead his family in prayer. Oscar had the loudest voice when he sang in the (church's) Sunshine Choir."
His closest friends mourned the loss of someone they'd known all their lives as a loyal ally.
"We grew closer and closer over the years, and no matter what, Oscar would always be there for you," said Kris Raffety, who said he'd known Grant for 17 years. "He was always so good to his friends. I think of his smile, his laugh, his energy and the unconditional love he brought to each of us."
Grant's sister, Chantay Moore, put together a slideshow of photos of Grant through the years, and said she didn't realize how many people were in her brother's life until she saw the standing-room-only crowd in the church.
She described Grant as a "younger brother who could also be an older brother," and related an incident when he wouldn't allow her out of the house because he thought her clothes were inappropriate.
"He was protective," she said. "If you weren't wearing jeans and a shirt, he didn't like it."
Moore said Grant was a loving father to his 4-year-old daughter, Tatiana. Other relatives recalled how proud he was when his daughter was born, and that he'd "pulled up in a golden-brown scraper car, with huge 'It's a Girl' wreaths on each side" that he kept around until they disintegrated.
Coleman ended the services by urging church members to respond to Grant's death with "prayer and prudence."
"I can understand that youngsters are upset and angry, but you have to have trust in God," he said. "This is not your battle, this is not (Grant's mother's) battle. This is the Lord's battle."
Grant was buried later in the day in Lone Tree Cemetery in the Hayward hills.
- Alameda Times-Star
January 7, 2009
Lone Tree Cemetery
Created by: Fluttergirl
Record added: Jun 13, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71246233
A travesty. Rest in peace, Oscar.|
Added: Jun. 21, 2014
I didn't knw u bt heard ur story n I luv da movie they made bt it was sad I cried n they say u were a kind hearted person really n thts even more sad bt ur lukkin dwn on ur family n friends nw R.I.P Oscar alwayz|
Added: Jun. 3, 2014
Added: Mar. 17, 2014
|There are 23 more notes not showing...|
Click here to view all notes...