Earnest DeGrate Jr., known to many as “Cass”, was born on June 20, 1935 in Satin, Texas to the late parentage of Mr. Earnest DeGrate Sr. and Mrs. Luella Fields DeGrate. He was the eldest of five surviving siblings, Verta Garland, Mary Bush (Darnell) Patsy Cromer (Albert Laws), Penny Barefield (Robert) and Shelia Reed (Darren).
At an early age, Earnest joined the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
He grew up in Golinda, Texas and attended Rosenthal School. As a young man, Earnest began working as a farmer for the late J.K. “Jake” and Williams Guderian of Golinda, Texas. He later was employed by Cannon and Griffin. He went on to work at Wells Industries for many years until his retirement.
Earnest met and married Annie Lampkin on September 26, 1953, and to this union, six children were born.
He is remembered by his children and family as a man with a larger than life personality who was no-nonsense when it came to his family. Distrustful of banks, he could always be found with a large, well-organized wad of cash in his wallet, and he never misplaced one dollar. He would give to those in need and was an excellent provider for his family.
Earnest was preceded in death by his parents, Earnest DeGrate Sr. and Luella DeGrate; son, Lewis Gene DeGrate; sisters, Lucille Brandon, Lutecia Tatum, May Alvin Pimpton and Helen Marshall; brothers Almanard Jack DeGrate and Lonzo DeGrate and one loving and devoted friend of 20 years, Florida M. Brooks.
Earnest leaves to cherish his memory: five children, Jackie Easton, Linda Gail Jackson (Jerry), Charlotte Allen, Dennis DeGrate and Theresa Flye (Allen) all of Waco; four grandchildren, Niya Fields, Denecia Desir (Chadrick), Jeremy Jackson and Allen Flye III; four great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; one Goddaughter, Rosie Tucker-Smith and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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