On that beautiful 6th day of July in 1927, Augustine Howard and Ella Wee Owens welcomed their only child, a baby girl they named Earnestine. Earnestine was a lively child. She accepted Christ as her personal Savior at a tender age; uniting with Antioch #2 Baptist Church where she remained a member until her passing
When Earnestine was six years old her mother married James Thomas and he loved her as his own. Her mother witnessed her strong will and independent nature at a young age. She attended school in Pleasant Hill, often refusing to go to school or work. At the age of 14 her mother sent her to live with her father in Jacksonville, Florida.In 1944, at the age of 17 she moved back to Pleasant Hill and found work at the Pleasant Hill General Hospital. It was also during this time she met the handsome and smooth-talking Clyde Gosey. They “slipped off” and married on July 18, 1944. To this union seven children were born, Ellastine ‘45, Myrtle Lee ‘46, Clyde Lee ‘48, Thomas Lee ‘50, Simon ‘52, Johnny Lee ‘54 and Alyce ‘56. With no money and minimal education they both started a puck-wood business and ran one of the 4 small cafes in Pleasant Hill. Earnestine mastered making the “ends meet”. Although their marriage would end they remained friends.
Tragedy would meet her on July 18, 1957, when 7 year old Thomas died from complications sustained from being hit by a car. His death proved most difficult and challenging for her and her family. However, she did grow stronger and even more protective of her children. As a single mother she worked two jobs and countless hours to provide for them.
Earnestine, a tall and attractive woman caught the eye of Jerry Walker and after an appropriate courtship they were married. To this union Jerry Walker, Jr. was born in 1959. They built a small modest home on Texas Street in Pleasant Hill that was filled with an abundance of love and laughter. She taught her children the importance of being self-sustaining and independent.
During the summer of 1966, determined to make a better life for herself and her family, she loaded up her children and whatever belongings she could and drove west to California; to meet Jerry who had gone ahead to find work. Although their relationship would eventually end she managed yet again to keep her family intact. She moved to Los Angeles and later found a nice place in Compton and lived on Barclay Street for several years. It was a nice clean neighborhood that was filled with other kids and teenagers making it a perfect fit for her family. Earnestine worked at various hospitals caring and tending to the needs of other people. Her longest employ was with the David M. Brockman Memorial Hospital.
The love bug struck again when she met L. J. Washington, a former army man from Texas. Their friendship and love for one another blossomed into a lasting relationship for 45 years until his passing on July 4, 2013. Due to her mother’s declining health she moved back to Pleasant Hill “the country” where she cared for her mother “Gum-Muha” until her passing.
She was lovingly called “Muha” by all who knew and met her. She loved the farm life and living in the “country”. Eager to stay busy she grew most of her fruits and vegetables; she raised cows, pigs, chickens, goats and dogs. Muha even converted her house on Texas Street into a café called “Lady’s Place”. She was a very industrious woman who wore many hats. She was a contractor having built additions and porches to her home; she was a mechanic, who changed her oil, fixed her own automobiles and even attempted to do her own body work. She cut wood for the winter and tended her farm. Whatever needed to be done, Muha did it and did it her way.
In 1991, Muha moved to Shreveport and believe it or not she had chickens and a garden there too. She was living proof that “you can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of a girl”. At 75 years old she still continued to work as private-sitter for three prominent families in Shreveport. Muha finally retired and enjoyed doing nothing. She made frequent trips “down home” to church, to visit family and friends. During the Chesapeake oil and gas rush in Pelican she came up with the grand idea to buy a trailer and go back to the peace and tranquility of the “the country”. She never lost her love for gardening, raising chickens and caring for her dogs. She was a simple woman who lived a simple, but not empty life.
As her health begin to quickly decline, she never stopped trying to garden and care for her dogs. She continued to busy herself with something. There was nothing that could hold her down, not even being confined to a wheelchair. Her strength and independence touched and influenced so many lives. She later moved to Houston to live with her daughter, Alyce. Yet, still strong willed and independent her wish was to return home and live out the remainder of her life in “the country”. God and only God knew the day and the hour. Muha waited patiently for the Lord and always proclaimed she was ready to meet Him. On Friday, November 14, 2014, after being covered with kisses and hearing the names of her children called she slipped the bonds of this life to rest in eternity. She will be missed, but never forgotten.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Augustine Howard, Ella Wee Owens Thomas and James Thomas; her companion, L. J. Washington (2013); a daughter, Myrtle Lee Gosey Turner-Charleston (2002); sons, Thomas Lee Gosey (1957), Johnny Lee Gosey (1981) and Clyde Lee Gosey (2013) and one great-granddaughter; her adopted brother, Leo Thomas.
Muha will never be gone because she lives in the hearts of her children: Ellastine Neal of Pelican, LA, Simon (Eloise) Gosey of Shreveport, LA, Alyce (Mickey) McQueen of Houston, TX, Jerry Walker, Jr. of Pelican, LA and Roland L. Gosey of Arkadelphia, AR; her daughter-in-law, Alberta Gosey of Shreveport, LA, and son-in-law, Charlie Charleston of Mansfield, LA; and a sister-in-law, Annie Mae Thomas of Pelican, LA. She also leaves 20 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren, countless cousins and numerous friends.
A celebration of her life will be shared at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Antioch #2 Baptist Church, 586 Antioch Church Rd, Pleasant Hill, LA 71065. Rev. Bradlen J. Holden, Funeral Oration and Officiant. The quiet hour will be Saturday 12 noon at the church.
The interment will be in Antioch Church Cemetery.
Floral tributes may be sent by calling 870-246-2446. Resolutions and other Expressions of Sympathy may be emailed to Williams.email@example.com or faxed to 870-246-0509.