January 19, 1917 - June 5, 2020
Mrs. Katherine Reed Fain, 103, floated into Heaven peacefully on June 5, 2020. Until the very end, she was surrounded by a loving family that included her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Ester J McDonald Fain; grandchildren Rose Fain Winters, Hosea Fain Jr., and wife Jacqueline, Dapheny, Alecia, Caryn Fain Warren, and husband Robert.
On January 19, 1917, Katherine Reed was born to the union of Makum Buck and Annie Carnella Davis Reed, in the Beulah Community of Elkhart, Texas. She attended school and church in the same building and graduated as an 8th grader; the highest level a Negro could attend school in the 1930s.
Katherine married Leo Fain in September 1933. The happy couple and son Hosea L. G. Fain lived in a two-room house within the same community in which they grew up. Armed with only 35 cents, Katherine, alongside her husband, worked long and hard, overcoming many challenges until 1950, when they were able to purchase a 173-acre farm that belonged to his father. Seven years later, in 1957, their new, modern brick home was built by her husband and her father.
While Leo was working, Katherine slipped off and got her first job because she viewed their marriage as a partnership. She and her friend picked up their paper sacks and walked to the town, Palestine, where they knocked on doors looking for work. They found their first job, washing dishes, making less than 25 cents a day, but it helped to support the family during a time when she witnessed black men being hung, dragged behind pickup trucks alive, beaten, and worse. In conversations with family members, she shared stories of her witnessing the terrible deaths of blacks, but she continued working to build a stronger family.
Katherine persevered, and with strength, wisdom, and faith in God, she remained focused and eventually in 1970 became employed full-time as an aide for Dr. Jack Thompson’s Medical Clinic in Palestine, Texas.
A great cook, Katherine also loved to improve the landscape of her home, so she and Leo developed improvement plans for the farm, resulting in the farm and their beautifully landscaped home being named ”Prettiest Farmstead” by Anderson County Community Development Committee, Texas Agricultural Extension Service.
Katherine and Leo strived to “make life all it could be being Black in this racist America.” They had the honor of being awarded by the Texas State Senate, the Texas House of Representatives, and the Anderson-Houston County Soil and Water Conservation District. They were recognized by the Palestine Noon Lions Club, as the 1975 Resident Conservation Rancher in the District. The Fains also took the top place honors in the Area IV region, which covers the eastern fifth of the state of Texas. Katherine and Leo developed their 197-acre ranch into a cow-calf operation with improved pastureland and wildlife habitat.
She has stated many times that having lived over ten decades, she saw and experienced a lot more than racism like the Spanish Flu of 1918, which was quite the pandemic, as well as lived to see the birth of many generations of grandchildren. She also saw and felt death all around her, including her only son Hosea LG Fain, Sr. She longed for and saw a day of some freedoms and was ecstatic that she witness the unforeseen- the 1st African American President of the United States, and she loved her some "Obama"!
Katherine united with the Beulah Baptist Church when she was five years old (because she went to school there as well) and remained faithful until her health failed. She held many offices, serving as Mission President, Sunday School Teacher, Choir Leader, Church Clerk, Church Beautification Committee, and Pastors Study Committee. She participated in every phase of the church’s growth. Many days members heard Katherine singing one of her favorite songs, “I Can’t Even Walk Without You Holding My Hand.”
In addition to being affectionately called “grandma” by many around town over the years, she was also known for being a caregiver. Katherine took care of her mother and brother in their later years, because that is the kind of person that Katherine Fain was: she always had plenty of love for everyone.
Katherine is preceded in death by her husband, Leo Fain; son, Hosea L. G. Fain Sr.; grandson, Gary Wayne Fain; parents, Makum Buck Reed, and Annie Carnella Davis Reed; one sister, Ann Micheaux; and two brothers, Edgar and Ed Reed.
She leaves to cherish her memories, her dedicated daughter-in-law, Ester J. McDonald Fain; five grandchildren, Rose Fain Winters, Grand Prairie; Hosea (Jacqueline) Fain Jr., Dallas, Texas; Dapheny Fain, DeSoto, Texas; Alecia Fain, Red Oak, Texas; and Caryn (Robert) Warren, Grand Prairie, Texas; a sister Henrietta Bailey of Corpus Christi, Texas; 18 great-grandchildren;17 great-great-grandchildren; one great-great-great, grandchild; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends of all ages, and races.