A Tribute to My Late Aunt Kitty

by Willie L. Robinson

Not since October 2000 had I been there. But on Saturday, May 31, 2014, there was a homegoing celebration for Aunt Edith Marie "Kitty" Robinson Norwood at Northwest Funeral Chapel, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was the younger of two sisters of my late father Willie I. Robinson, and the daughter of Thornton Edgar Robinson (August 11, 1888 - October 02, 1933) and Narsis Bailey Robinson (April 16, 1901 - December 28, 1938). Aunt Kitty was born on February 26, 1934 in Mississippi.

Aunt Kitty shared with me that at birth she was named Eddis Mariah. Mariah is the name of her maternal grandmother, Mariah Hardy Bailey, wife of Eugene Bailey. Eddis may have derived from Eddie. Eddie Alforence Crossley is the name of the husband of Modessa Bailey Crossley, sister of Aunt Kitty's mother Narsis. Aunt Kitty passed on Friday May 23, 2014 in Milwaukee following a lengthy illness. She was eighty years old. Aunt Kitty was the wife of Uncle Willie Howard Norwood and the mother of four children. I thank God that I was able to make the trip to Milwaukee and back home safely. It was good seeing family members I had not seen in several years, and meeting and becoming acquainted with others during the time I spent in Milwaukee.

My precious memories of Aunt Kitty date back to Lincoln County Mississippi in 1948 when I was four and five years old living in the family home with her, my father and other family members when she was fourteen years old. Although I did not spend much time living with or near Aunt Kitty, she did played a major role in my life as her influence continues as a part of me to this day. The more I think of her, the more I appreciate that she was my aunt and she cared for me.

In 1959 Aunt Kitty gave me her Spanish book, EL CAMINO REAL, that she had used as a student at Lincoln High School in Milwaukee. As I recall, not since 1948 had I seen my aunt when I arrived in Milwaukee in 1959. I began my sophomore year of high school at Lincoln that year and Spanish became my favorite subject. I preformed very well in my Spanish class during the 1959-60 school year at Lincoln. I returned to Picayune, Mississippi in June of 1960 and completed my last two years of high school at George Washington Carver High School. I graduated in May of 1962.

In 1964, I started my junior year at Jackson State College (now JSU) in Jackson, Mississippi after graduating from Mary Holmes Junior College in West Point, Mississippi. I graduated from JSC in 1967 with a major in Spanish and a minor in French. For the next three years I taught Spanish and French on the high school level in Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi. My studies with Utah State University carried my to Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico during the summer of 1968. During that summer, I also visited other parts of Mexico including Chichen Itza in the Yucatán Peninsula. In 1969 I along with a group of Temple High School students and other staff enjoyed a trip to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

When I relocated to Nashville, Tennessee from Jackson in 1970 with my family (wife and daughter), I had plans of earning a Masters Degree in Spanish at Tennessee State University and going back to Milwaukee to teach the language. ASPECTS OF LITERARY CREATIVITY IN SELECTIVE SHORT STORIES OF JORGE LUIS BORGES: TIME, THE ENIGMA OF PERSONALITY AND THE LABYRINTH, is the title of my thesis that is dated December 1975. It was the final requirement for the degree which was awarded in May of 1976. A copy of the thesis is in the library at TSU. It started with Aunt Kitty's book. Obviously, I decide to make Nashville my home rather than go back to Milwaukee to live as I had planned to do when I left Jackson.

I am forever grateful for the influence that Aunt Kitty had on my life. I will always remember her as a very nice and caring person who seemed to have mostly always worn a smile. I believe without a doubt that my life is much better because of things Aunt Kitty did to help me when I was a young child, and later when I was a teenager. I thank God for Aunt Kitty, and I think of her often. May she forever rest in peace with her Lord and Savior!

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This site is developed and maintained by Willie L. Robinson.

Date Developed: June 09, 2014

Last Date: July 04, 2014

Links:

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Yucatán Peninsula
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
A Picture with Aunt Kitty
In Loving Memory of Willie Ivy Robinson
A Black Mississippi Family and Constantine Montgomery

Email: Wlr0819@aol.com