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Thursday, 8 January 2009

Oscar Juliuss Grant III,steady stream of mourners passed by the wreath-flanked casket

steady stream of mourners passed by the wreath-flanked casket of Oscar Juliuss Grant III, and by the time his funeral service began Wednesday morning, an overcapacity crowd of about 1,000 people had packed into South Hayward's Palma Ceia Baptist Church.As family members took their seats — more than 100 of Grant's relatives attended — one woman became overcome with grief and allowed herself to be escorted outside.The church's Rev. Ronald Coleman changed the tone with music, singing "I don't know what you came to do, but I came to pray today" to a crowd that increasingly clapped along.Coleman urged the crowd to "show the world how we believers handle stuff like this, and lift up this family."So set the mood for most of the services, which squarely focused on the life of 22-year-old Grant, and not on his violent shooting death on the Fruitvale BART platform, early Jan. 1.Grant had long been a member of the church on Ruus Road, and pastors spoke warmly about the man whom they'd known since he was a young boy."I met Oscar when he was young — 6, 7, 8 years old," Deacon Eugene Carter said during the service. Oscar always knew so much for a young person. It seemed like he knew as much as some adults. ."‚."‚. He would ask adult questions."Grant had shown leadership skills as part of the church's Royal Ambassadors program, Carter said, which made the deacon think that one day the boy would become a pastor himself. From a young age, Grant enjoyed fishing, baseball, chess and dominoes, Carter said."Whatever you knew how to do, Oscar already knew how to do it," he said.



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