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Connecting With Family

What's up family? I’m Joseph Kearse. I was raised in Sumter County, Georgia, by my mom, Franzen Kearse Mann, with help from my brother, Rufus “Rudy” Walker, who was like a father to me. He was always there for me and had a major influence on my life. We did so many things together, especially fishing. In fact, Rudy gave me my first rod and reel, and fishing is something I still enjoy today. Yes, my southern roots run deep.

Now, my home is in Oakland, California. I've been here for almost 37 years. I'm a chef and have cooked professionally for 15 plus years, using my culinary skills in restaurants in and around the San Francisco Bay area. These days I occasionally cater private events as my energy and focus shift to my newest business venture, Joseph Kearse Trucking, LLC. My schedule is crammed with creating memorable cuisine for private parties or trucking across California to deliver products. No matter how demanding my schedule is, I try to stay connected with family. First and foremost, I spend time with my four boys— Xaire (11), Aaron (15), Keshawn (18), and Xavier (20), whenever possible, here in Oakland. I also reach out to family across the US.

Mom instilled in me at an early age the importance of staying in contact with the people you cherish. She loved driving, and with me at her side, we rode all over Sumter County and nearby areas to visit Rudy, her parents (B.J. and Meta Kearse), sisters, brothers, and their families. Of course, these were my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. We went to Louisiana often to visit Leon Walker, my oldest brother. He was still in the Air Force and once while on base, I got to sit in the cockpits of a B-52 bomber and an F-4 Phantom fighter jet. What a thrill for a young boy! Mom and I also traveled to Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, New York, and wherever to visit relatives. These visits created memories and bonds that made me proud to be a Kearse. Because of her, I made connections with family in those early years that I still have today. That’s why I'm excited about the Kearse Family Reunion. My boys and I look forward to seeing everyone we know already and making new connections with family we don't know. We hope to see you there! Peace out!

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