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Jeanne Mitchell (Colombel)

Birth Date: 1923-01-04
Deceased Date: 2013-08-03
Passed away Saturday, August 3, 2013 at her daughter's home in Kalamazoo. She was born January 4, 1923 in Chicago, IL the daughter of Maurice and Josephine (Thomas) Colombel. She graduated Western Michigan University with a Masters in English, and taught at Bangor Public School for 23 years. She was a member of NEA, Professional Women's Association of Bangor, and Retired Teacher's Association. Jeanne was a loving mother of ten children. She extended her love out to the community of Bangor which she loved, and contributed to numerous charities and events. Surviving are her ten children, Jeanne (Paul) Baraka-Love, Josephine Woods, Florence Mitchell, Naima (Najeeb) Abdul-Haqq, Philemon (Eunice) Mitchell, Jr., Maurice Mitchell, Dale (Terri) Mitchell, Veronica (Alton) Cook, Marie (Donald) Dunning, Jill Buford; 36 grandchildren; 53 great grandchildren; 11 great great grandchildren; a brother, Pierre (Donna) Colombel; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Philemon in 2004; two sisters: Florance Colombel (1926-1938), Josephine Colombel (1932-1996) and two brothers: Philip Colombel (1928-2003), Maurice Colombel Jr. (1924-2012)
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Jessie Mae Barkins (Bush)

Birth Date: 1923-07-26
Deceased Date: 2019-08-02
Jessie Mae Bush Barkins on Friday, August 2, 2019, at 8:42 a.m. departed this life. She was the daughter of the late Walter & Martha Bush. Mother of one son, Philip Barkins, III (Madeline), Grandmother to Devna Jarondale' Barkins – Mesley (Carl) and Lorna Renee' Barkins, Dallas, TX, Great Grandmother to Zara Monet' Mesley, Sister to Geraldine Bush Aaron (Andrew Aaron, Jr.) of Gardena, CA, Sterling Bush (Cleotha) of Gretna, LA, The late Thomas Bush, Sr. (Ezora), Stanley Bush, Sr. (Arkansas), Eld. Welch Bush, (Doris), Fallon Bush, Sr. (Ira Mae). Also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends of the family.
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Leroy Brown

Birth Date: 1938-07-14
Deceased Date: 2021-10-16
Mr. Leroy Hamilton Brown was born July 14, 1938 in New Orleans, Louisiana to the parents
of Alfred Brown Sr. and Clara Ethel Dixon Brown. He was the fourth child of seven and the last
living. Leroy accepted Christ at an early age and kept him close to his heart. At the age of eight,
Leroy and his family moved to Fresno, California where he attended Columbia Elementary
School, Irwin Middle School, and graduated from Thomas Edison High School in 1956.
After high school, Leroy joined the United States Department of the Air Force. During his time
in the Air Force he studied administration. Once he was discharged, in 1962, he came back to
Fresno to start his entrepreneurship in job development.
October, 1970, Leroy became the director of Valley Area Construction Opportunity Program
(VACOP) where he was responsible for recruiting, counseling, placement of minorities and
women into building trades. Although this grant ended in 1982, this did not stop Leroy from
staying active recruiting and counseling minorities to get involved in the building trades.
October 1983 through June 1987, Leroy was a director at Mine of the Community
Conference, where he continued his local responsibilities of recruiting, counseling, placement of
minorities and women into building and trade apprenticeship programs.
He worked at Fresno County EOC, SER, Jobs for Progress, Fresno Private Industry Council,
and Fresno Leadership Foundation, until he was given a dream assignment in 1999. He was
announced Special Assistant to Project Development Consultant with the Kernel Palm Shopping
Center, which we now call Food Maxx Shopping center on C Street. In 2008, Leroy was
informed that California passed Proposition 1A, California High Speed Rail Authority. At the
retirement age of 70, Leroy reached out to the community for support expressing concerns to
ensure minorities and women were not bypassed for job opportunities with this project. He
knew he was not going to live long enough to witness the project complete. All he wanted was
his name to be remembered and one of the voices of Southwest Fresno when the building and
hiring began.
Now let’s talk about Leroy H. Brown, son, brother, uncle, husband, father, papa, and friend.
Leroy often shared a story about how his Mama “wanted” him. There were two girls, Auntie
Joyce, Auntie Carol, and one boy Uncle Al Jr., already born. So according to his Mama she
prayed for a son and got her Leroy. His mother spoiled him on a daily making sure he had his
red beans and Gumbo waiting for him each evening after work. There were times his Mama
would hide his plates in her room and his daddy would be very upset and fuss at her about her
playing favorites amongst the children.
Leroy adored his sisters. He had a special bond with each of them and was there whenever
they called on him. Of course, the boys were close, but they each had a different passion in life
and at times daddy supported them from a distance.
Uncle Leroy is what all his nieces and nephews called him. They were his kids before he had
kids, serious about education, he shared his educational knowledge with the nieces and street
knowledge with the nephews, caring, witty, charming, smooth, keen, intelligent, charismatic, he
would put change in his nephews’ shoes when they stayed the night at their grandmother’s.
In 1966, Leroy was working on upgrades with his cousin Stafford Brown, at his home on
Plumas Ave. Every day, Leroy noticed a young lady walking home from school. She had long
beautiful black hair, pretty smile, heavy backpack and some cute shorts on. Well, let’s just say

(Carolyn Jefferson) became his wife February 10, 1968, and the stepfather of her 5-year-old son
Gerald Dickson; April 6, 1971, they welcomed their daughter Carolyn Lynnette.
From the eyes and hearts of his grandkids, he was honest, a realist, always had nice things
to say, supportive, witty, present, caring, loving, always put other people first, always had
something to say (that mouthpiece of his), family oriented and he had jokes for days.
As Leroy was doing his own thing at the hole in the wall, Post 511, Bus Station, and P&R
Liquors, he always made sure home was provided for and he never missed an event or
celebration of his children Gerald and Lynnette.
Leroy had lifelong friends beginning from elementary school to Frank H. Park swimming pool
to meeting in the workplace. These relationships meant the world to Leroy, and he often had to
remind Johnny Nelum and Bobby Jackson of the history and brotherhood they had. Let’s not
forget about Ladell Lafall, LC Owens (deceased), Archie Ricks, Herman & Thurman Tatum,
Albert Williams (deceased) Mark Smith, Nelson Hampton, Charles Francis, and Juanita Wilson.
From partying at the Legion, shooting dice at the hole in the wall, weddings, class reunions,
traveling, attending family events, later in life, Club One and Table Mountain Casino were his
favorite places to go with his friends.
To everyone in attendance of Leroy’s Homegoing, he asked his baby girl to share a message
with you all. “He lived his life to the fullest with absolutely no regrets and loved everyone he
crossed paths with.”
Leroy transitioned his life on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at the age of 83. He has gone to be
with his mother, father, all 6 siblings, his wife Quilla Davis-Brown, and his great-grandson
Camari Brown.
Leroy H. Brown leaves to cherish his memories: 1 son; Gerald Wayne Dickson {Vacaville}, 2
daughters; Donna Renee Brown (Jerry) [of Stockton, CA], Carolyn Lynnette Brown [Clovis, CA],
8 grandchildren; Arissa N. Dickson [Henderson, NV], Sean Brown, Cornell Garland II, Cecily
Paige Garland, [Stockton, CA], LaBronze A. Sanderson [Clovis, CA], D’Andre Baker [Stockton,
CA], David Morris Jr. [Fresno, CA], and Priyah A. Morris [Clovis, CA]. 16 Great-Grand Children,
1 Great-Great Grand Child, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors
The family appreciates the extended care and love from Fresno Veterans Administration
Hospital (ICU), Dogwood Facilities, Maximum Healthcare, Kendrick’s Barber Shop, Mama Rose
Fairly, and Juanita Wilson.

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Maurice Colombel

Birth Date: 1924-09-10
Deceased Date: 2012-02-17
August 10, 1924-February 17, 2012. Maurice "CB" Colombel was a hard-working family man with a spirit of generosity, a ready sense of humor, a concern for the future and the abilities of children, and a sense of compassion for those less fortunate than himself. He was a man in motion; he loved sports. While baseball was his favorite, he also enjoyed roller skating, ice skating, tennis, and bowling. Maurice Colombel, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois August 10, 1924 to his parents, Maurice and Josephine (Thomas) Colombel. He was the second of six children. Maurice graduated from Morgan Park High School and joined the Army. He was a combat veteran of World War II who fought in England, France and Germany. After the war, in 1948, Maurice moved to Covert, Michigan and the South Haven area. Like many veterans, he was one who successfully overcame the pain and personal trauma of the war experience to become a strong contributor to his family and his community. He worked at Bohn Aluminum and Brass Company in South Haven. Being the active man that he was, Maurice played on their softball team and they became a championship team that was featured in the local South Haven paper. He also had an interest in photography which was very compatible with his love of sports.
He retired from Whirlpool as a Supervisor of the Photography Department. Maurice served on the Van Cas Cap Board, a human services agency which gleaned crops from farms and other food sources. He volunteered to deliver food to those in need on a regular basis. Maurice was married to Betty Anderson for fifty-eight years. A very family-oriented couple, they started their family with the birth of their son, Craig Colombel who was followed by another son, Keith Colombel, and a daughter, Allison Colombel. Maurice started attending Covert High School basketball games and taking pictures for the team. After many years of photographing the basketball team, he officially became the school photographer. He taught photography and also worked as an athlete trainer and equipment manager.
His involvement with the schools and the activities of his children, led to his leadership in the Covert Public Schools as a member of the School Board. He served the Board for two terms years and as Board President for two of those years. He was an active member of the Booster Club. Maurice took over Boy Scout Troop 83 in Covert and became the Scout Leader. During his time in Boy Scouts he received two of the highest possible awards. He received the Order of the Arrow and the Silver Beaver in Boy Scouts of America. Maurice Colombel is survived by his wife, Betty Colombel; his sister, Jeanne (Colombel) Mitchell and brother, Pierre Andre Colombel; his children, Craig (Stacey) Colombel of Burien, Washington; Keith Colombel of South Haven; Allison Colombel of Washington, DC. He is survived by grandchildren, Keittra Casmir Colombel, Kamille Colombel, Kyla Colombel, Keith Colombel, Jr., Shanona Nichols, Noelle McDougle and one great-grandchild, Kynnia Colombel. Maurice was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice Colombel, Sr. and Marie Josephine (Thomas) Colombel; his sisters, Florence Colombel and Josephine Marie Colombel Logan-Woods, and his brother, Phillip Colombel.
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