|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
"Oakland, Calif., transit-police Officer Johannes Mehserle said that he accidentally used his gun instead of his Taser when he shot Grant on a train platform on New Year's Day 2009. The 22-year-old was lying facedown with his hands behind his back, being subdued by another police officer, when he was killed. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to only two years for taking Grant's life. He was released after 11 months."
More information about Oscar's death can be found here:
BART Police shooting of Oscar Grant
Lone Tree Cemetery
Created by: Fluttergirl
Record added: Jun 13, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71246233
Added: Sep. 23, 2016
I saw your story in Fruitvale Station. Rest in peace, Oscar; I look forward to meeting you in heaven.|
Added: Sep. 4, 2016
Added: Aug. 16, 2016
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