My father was born Jan. 21, 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression to a family that didn’t have much money even during the good times. His father, Gene Bembry, was quite a bid older than his mother, Iduma Conine Bembry. Daddy was the second child born into the family.
Daddy’s older brother, Sam, moved away. As soon as he got old enough, he joined the Navy and later settled in San Jose, Calif. His widow, Ada, and their three children, Jeff, Kathy and Diane still live in the Golden State today. As a matter of fact, Daddy talked to Jeff on the phone the other day.
After Daddy, there was Frank, who was killed in a car wreck on an icy road in Bozeman, Mont. on his 30th birthday in 1968; Lewis, who died in Atlanta, Ga., in the 1990s; Sarah, who works as a nurse for the VA in Huntsville, Ala.; Horace, who worked for JB Davis and then the City of Jasper, who died in 2009; Carlton, who also died in 2009; and Nina, who lives in Lee. My father loves all of his brothers and sisters and he still misses the ones who have gone on before him. He, Sarah and Nina are the only surviving children of Gene and Iduma Bembry.
I believe that Daddy loved my mama more than he ever loved anyone else. I didn’t really see this until the times that Mama was sick in 1994 and in 1998. Daddy visited her bedside every day until her death on Jan. 16,1999.
Daddy also has a deep and abiding love for me, my brother and my sisters. We irritate him a lot of the time, but I think he knows that his love for us is returned to him.
My father has never had much money but he has given all his children love. I thank God for him and wish him a very happy 75th birthday.