A Monumental Family Reunion Given By Willie (June) Platt

Our 2012 Family Reunion Was Held In Tampa, Florida by June and His Family

Willie Platt married Rose, July 16, 1956. He was 20 years old and she was 17.
Willie Platt married Rose, July 16, 1956. He was 20 years old and she was 17.
The water tower that has been a symbol within our hometown, Mullins, South Carollina for years.
The water tower that has been a symbol within our hometown, Mullins, South Carollina for years. | Source
Currently, Rose and Willie have been married 57 years.
Currently, Rose and Willie have been married 57 years.
Willie also known as June Platt along with his wife Rose, had four children. Desiree, Yvonne,  Derek and Brandal (Deceased) June Platt and his daughter Desiree are now also deceased.
Willie also known as June Platt along with his wife Rose, had four children. Desiree, Yvonne, Derek and Brandal (Deceased) June Platt and his daughter Desiree are now also deceased.
Willie, better known as June, truly believes that 97% of his years of marriage was good.
Willie, better known as June, truly believes that 97% of his years of marriage was good.
Rose, honestly feels that it takes two parents working together so that they can be there for the inspiration of their children.
Rose, honestly feels that it takes two parents working together so that they can be there for the inspiration of their children.
Their children gather with extended family members.
Their children gather with extended family members.
Brandal, was the third child of Rose and June, who died about five years ago.
Brandal, was the third child of Rose and June, who died about five years ago.
Willie (June) Platt, takes a photo with his cousin Earlene and her husband Alexander Canty, who is also my sister and  my brother-in-law.
Willie (June) Platt, takes a photo with his cousin Earlene and her husband Alexander Canty, who is also my sister and my brother-in-law.
Back in the day photos of June (Willie) Platt's family and friends.
Back in the day photos of June (Willie) Platt's family and friends.
 Family and friends of Willie Platt.
Family and friends of Willie Platt.
A  picnic where Willie gathered with friends and family in the early 1960's.
A picnic where Willie gathered with friends and family in the early 1960's.
Barbeque on Saturday which consisted of hamburgers, pulled pork, baked beans  and a variety of deserts.
Barbeque on Saturday which consisted of hamburgers, pulled pork, baked beans and a variety of deserts.
Southern pulled pork was served at the family's barbeque.
Southern pulled pork was served at the family's barbeque.
Carmen Blackburn, Banquet Supervisor that was extremely attentive to our needs during the reunion.
Carmen Blackburn, Banquet Supervisor that was extremely attentive to our needs during the reunion.
A beautiful display of various deceased members of the Coleman/Platt family.
A beautiful display of various deceased members of the Coleman/Platt family.
A photo of Annie Coleman, one of the matriachs of the family that is now deceased. She was responsible for organizing numerous family reunions.
A photo of Annie Coleman, one of the matriachs of the family that is now deceased. She was responsible for organizing numerous family reunions.
A photo of Willie (June) Platt with his father Will, mother Golda with Willie and his brothers Mac, Joe, Bobbie, Johnny and Richard . He also had two sisters that are not in the photo,
A photo of Willie (June) Platt with his father Will, mother Golda with Willie and his brothers Mac, Joe, Bobbie, Johnny and Richard . He also had two sisters that are not in the photo,
Leroy Coleman was the son of Annie Coleman, cousin of Willie (June) Platt.
Leroy Coleman was the son of Annie Coleman, cousin of Willie (June) Platt.
Chante, Willie's greatgrand was one of the youngest members to attend our reunion.
Chante, Willie's greatgrand was one of the youngest members to attend our reunion.
Christian, a great grandson of my oldest sister Janie and Henry Genwright. They are also cousins to June.
Christian, a great grandson of my oldest sister Janie and Henry Genwright. They are also cousins to June.
The Platt/Coleman reunion was held at the Embassy Suites in Tampa, Florida on August 25th and 26, 2012.
The Platt/Coleman reunion was held at the Embassy Suites in Tampa, Florida on August 25th and 26, 2012.
Family members gather for a photo.
Family members gather for a photo.
Family members that consist of Colemans, Platts and Johnsons,
Family members that consist of Colemans, Platts and Johnsons,
A family tree was displayed with extentions of various branches for the continuous growth of the Platt/Coleman family.
A family tree was displayed with extensions of various branches for the continuous growth of the Platt/Coleman family.
We are family! The Platt/Coleman reunion was a success as family gathered again for a photo.
We are family! The Platt/Coleman reunion was a success as family gathered again for a photo.
Sunday's meal consisted of fried and grilled chicken, candied yams, green beans, salad and a variety of delicious deserts.
Sunday's meal consisted of fried and grilled chicken, candied yams, green beans, salad and a variety of delicious deserts.
Jermaine Coleman, was also present with his family. His father was my brother the late Earlie Coleman who is also a cousin of June Platt.
Jermaine Coleman, was also present with his family. His father was my brother the late Earlie Coleman who is also a cousin of June Platt.
Southern fried chicken was part of the menu for Sunday.
Southern fried chicken was part of the menu for Sunday.
My daughter Wanisha with her cousin Kashya. This is the younger generation of the Coleman/Platt family which will hold reunions in the future to keep the family name going.
My daughter Wanisha with her cousin Kashya. This is the younger generation of the Coleman/Platt family which will hold reunions in the future to keep the family name going.
Mary Platt was the oldest attendee of the family reunion. She is 88 years old without any wrinkles and is also related to June Platt.
Mary Platt was the oldest attendee of the family reunion. She is 88 years old without any wrinkles and is also related to June Platt.
Samuel Platt with his fiancee. He is the grandson of the infamous and now deceased Worth Platt, who was loved and admired by many of the family members.
Samuel Platt with his fiancée. He is the grandson of the infamous and now deceased Worth Platt, who was loved and admired by many of the family members.
Members of Willie June Platt's family that help organize the event.'
Members of Willie June Platt's family that help organize the event.'
Vernetta, was the wife of my brother the deceased Earlie (Buddy) Coleman. Their son Michael Coleman from Orlando, Florida also attended the reunion.
Vernetta, was the wife of my brother the deceased Earlie (Buddy) Coleman. Their son Michael Coleman from Orlando, Florida also attended the reunion.
My sister Earlene, her husband Alexander and my husband Walker, attended the reunion as well.
My sister Earlene, her husband Alexander and my husband Walker, attended the reunion as well.
Nancy Ruth has always tried to attend family reunions no matter the location. She is also a cousin to June Platt.
Nancy Ruth has always tried to attend family reunions no matter the location. She is also a cousin to June Platt.
 My twin sister and I pose with Tony Platt, my oldest  deceased sister's grandson. Our oldest sister that is living Janie, joins in the photo.
My twin sister and I pose with Tony Platt, my oldest deceased sister's grandson. Our oldest sister that is living Janie, joins in the photo.
Tina Coleman is the wife of Edward Coleman, my oldest living brother who is also a cousin of June Platt.
Tina Coleman is the wife of Edward Coleman, my oldest living brother who is also a cousin of June Platt.
Kasia Lester, with her grandson Christian. She is the daughter of Janie Genwright.
Kasia Lester, with her grandson Christian. She is the daughter of Janie Genwright.
Katrina, is the daughter of my brother Edward Coleman, a future organizer of Platt/Coleman reunion.
Katrina, is the daughter of my brother Edward Coleman, a future organizer of Platt/Coleman reunion.
Image of families working in the fields together from the African American Lives 2 documentary.
Image of families working in the fields together from the African American Lives 2 documentary.
Documents from the 1900 Census that showed the origin of the Platt-Coleman family through Richard Johnson, who was born in the 1800's.
Documents from the 1900 Census that showed the origin of the Platt-Coleman family through Richard Johnson, who was born in the 1800's.
Our cousin Blondell, who is photographed with her husband, did the research for the family's history that dated back to the 1800's.
Our cousin Blondell, who is photographed with her husband, did the research for the family's history that dated back to the 1800's.

Family Members That Sponsor and Support Our Reunions

Family reunions are the epitome of a gathering that can unite and link individuals from the past, present and future. My cousin Willie (June) Platt, his wife Rose along with their daughter Yvonne, took on the lovesome task and organized our 2012, Platt-Coleman family reunion. Willie who is better known as June Platt, has been a powerful entity within the family for more than seventy years. He is the oldest son of Will and Golda Platt, who are now both deceased. When asked, what influenced him to sponsor the reunion this year? He smiled and recalled how, "I promised Aunt Annie that I would keep the family reunions going." Annie was a strong and beloved matriach within the family, who maintained a plethora of our history.

Even at a time when illness was thrusted upon June, he was determined to keep that promise and pursue the organization of this event . His treatments of chemotherapy caused June to lose his hair, fingernails and a lot of weight. June's oldest daughter Yvonne, contacted family members before the reunion and asked that we keep her dad in our prayers because of this illness. She was concerned that June would not live to see the family reunion after being hospitalized. He was there at the Platt-Coleman reunion, with that larger than life smile. Willie (June) Platt, vehemently continues to fight for breath of life daily. His faith in God is strong as June was also thankful for his life as well as the new hair and fingernails he has grown. June's determination and love for family is an admirable quality we should all imitate. (I must sadly express that Willie (June) Platt passed away previously and now we also must acknowledge the death of his daughter Desiree. Our love and prayers go out constantly to this family. We must all have faith in the hope of the resurrection as mentioned at John 5:28,29 "Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, . . ." New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures)

Like many southerners in the 1950s, June exemplified a desire to leave his small hometown of Mullins, South Carolina for the big city of Brooklyn, New York. He met his wife Rose in Brooklyn, they later maried and had four children Yvonne, Desiree, Derek and Brandal who is deceased. From the origin of this beautiful family Willie (June) Platt, now has 15 great grandchildren and 10 grandchildren. At the present time he is seventy-seven years old and maintains the role of patriach; who tried to cultivate togetherness within this vital group. His parents Will and Golda, who are deceased demonstrated similar characteristics. They were known to stop by and check on my mother Elease, also deceased. After the death of my father Earlie, she was a single mother with more than ten children to raise. Elease, had strong faith in God and worked hard to care for her children although times were difficult. Will and Golda's visits would consist of a little money or food along with encouraging words to help my mother out.

Families had the tendency to not only visit each other but also help during difficult times. Willie (June) continues to care for family and friends as his parents Will and Golda had done. Once June established himself in New York, he was trenchant and determined to assist others upon their arrival in the area. June worked at the Enlisted Men's Club on a Naval base. Although he was not enlisted in the navy, June served as Manager of this club. He utilized this position to helped numerous people obtain employment as they arrived in New York from the south. Along with this privilege of helping others, June unfortunatedly saw a lot of injured men return from vietnam, due to the viciousness of this war. He also recalled how such drinks as scotch were twenty five and fifty cents. Referred to as "Big Daddy," June would hire such groups as Cool and the Gang, The Fat Back Band and The Drifters for the EM Club. He enjoyed the position of Manager because, "I helped so many young men in search of a new life in New York, become men."

Rose, the wife of June for more than fifty seven years agreed that he was always there for her and the children regardless of work. "Today, some men are not responsible as head of their households. Men like my husband, who love their families are far and few today," stated Rose. This statuesque, yet quite woman, exuded with wisdom that brought her and June, through many tribulations but they stuck it out together. They raised their four children in New York, although their son Brandal died a few years before the family moved to Tampa, Florida; where the Platt-Coleman reunion was held for 2012. June laughed as he admitted why his family life has been so successful, "I let my wife think that she was in control although I knew who was really in charge." He felt this gave them a wonderful source of balance and it enhanced their marriage based on the respect they demonstrated for each other. This monumental cousin and sponsor of our 2012 reunion, allowed each participant to demonstrate a source of pride in the past, present and future of our family. We thank Willie (June), Rose Platt and their children who worked so diligently with their parents to put this event together.

The Reunion and Revelation of Our Family History

Our family reunion began on Saturday, August 25th, and ended Sunday, August 26, 2012. It was held at Embassy Suites in Brandon, Florida outside of Tampa. Unfortunately, we were In the midst and turmoil of the Republican National Convention along with onslaught of a highly publicized storm called Issac. Heavy artillery surrounded us which involved military people, policemen, sheriffs and other security officials that were also in town for this major political event. We were determined to not allow the convention to interfere with our gathering, as we enjoyed the company of fellow family members. The unexpected presence of so much high security, presented us with a preponderance of safety. We started our day out on Saturday, with overwhelming joy as we embraced each other over a southern breakfast of pork sausages, grits, pancakes, bacon and a variety of fruits and juices, provided by the hotel. In the afternoon additional family members started to arrive. The inestimable benefits of grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins brought on an aesthetic feeling of togetherness and love. Eventually, we sat down to a buffet of pulled pork, hamburgers, pasta salads, sweet tea and various desserts. The food became secondary to our goal and true fulfillment of being together again. Conversations filled the room concerning the old days of family life and how we embraced life today. Family members from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South and North Carolina as well as other states were present. We gathered with our family t-shirts toward the end of the reunion on Saturday, for a large family photo. Individuals from the ages of one years old to the magnificent age of eighty-eight were featured in this future piece of history. Saturday developed into beautiful hours, minutes and seconds that we will always cherish.

Sunday, was the final day of this historical event. With great anticipation family members gathered for a buffet of delicious foods such as fried chicken, candied yams with marshmellows, green beans, tossed salad, grilled chicken breast, ham and chocolate cake for dessert. After we ate, the revelation of historical aspects regardning our extended families were revealed. June briefly surmarized them as the infamous "family of four" which included the Platts, Johnsons, Colemans and Spears. Explanations of these interrelated groups were presented carefully. One of our cousins Blondell Johnson, traced family history back as far as the 1800's. Through census records, evidence of Richard Johnson was revealed from 1852. He was married to Mary Davis. From this marriage more than six generations now exist. Blondell was also able to research and discover Mary, a grandchild of Richard, married Jerry Coleman. From this marriage my father's mother, Lula was born. She was described as beautiful with high cheek bones and straight black hair because LuLa was part Cherokee. Aunt Annie, was the daughter of Lula and sister of my father Earlie, served as matriach and historian of the family for many years. She swore and pridefully stated that Lula, her mother was part Native American.

A recent documentary entitled, #African American Lives, produced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., professor at Harvard University was, "Fascinated by family trees. He uses them to teach his students at Harvard." Mr. Gates did thorough research and discovered how Native Americans, did not mix much with the black slaves they captured. Some American Indians either returned the slaves to their white masters or kept them as slaves for themselves. The very talented actor Don Cheadle, who played the leading role in Hotel Rawanda, discovered this profound truth during an interview with Henry Gates. It was revealed that Cheadle's family was owned by Chicasaw Native American Indians. When slavery was finally outlawed, his ancestors were not accepted as Chicasaw or American citizens. They became a lost group that did not belong anywhere based on their skin color. The relationship of marriage between the slaves was also not acknowledged by law. Therefore, our ancestors could be sold as property along with the cows, pigs or any other source of property held by their master. Such entertainers as Chris Rock, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Joyner, Tina Turner, Linda Johnson Rice and Mia Angelou discovered things about their ancestors that were profound and gratifying. During this interview #Chris Rock stated, "So many stories about our ancestors have been loss. Who wants to remember all that pain."

Whether my ancestor Lula, was part Native American or half white, does not matter. The true God and our Grand Creator Jehovah, sees all of these titles along with the hatred expressed through them as supercilious. Almighty God is not partial and those who practice such things ". . .will be done away with." (1 Corinthians 13:10) LuLa went on to have numerous children including my father, Earlie Coleman. Mary, who was a descendant of Richard Johnson, eventually married Bob Platt, after the death of her first husband, Jerry Coleman. From that marriage the Platt family evolved which includes my cousin Willie (June) Platt.

During the reunion June, reminisced and acknowledged that Mary Platt, another cousin and daughter of Worth Platt was eighty-eight years old. She was the oldest member of the family present at the reunion. Mary was unbelieveably wrinkle free and exhibited very few tendencies of an eighty-eight year old. Her father Worth Platt now deceased, rode a bicycle with a basket throughout our hometown of Mullins, South Carolina. He was the brother of Will, June's father. Uncle Worth utilized this bicycle to deliver vegetables from his garden and stay in contact with various family members for the stablization of the Platt-Coleman structure. At the family reunion, we laughed about how this man never used curse words to express himself. When Worth Platt saw people mistreating others, he would make statements such as, "You needs to be worked over lightly." Uncle Worth was loved and highly respected as a man who maintained a certain dignity and appreciation for family values although he was truly a character.

Sunday's family reunion program featured numerous aspects. The welcome address by my sister Doris Duren, was acknowledged and accepted. Through the reading of scriptures and memorial candel lightings for family members that were no longer present, we fellowshipped together as a family that had survived numerous tribulations. Remarks were given by June, and Rose regarding the importance of our reunions continuing. My oldest sister Janie Genwright, actuated young family members in the audience to volunteer as sponsors of the Platt-Coleman reunion. Volunteers unanimously agreed that our next reunion would be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a popular vacation location that we grew up visiting about forty-five minutes from our hometown of Mullins. Finally, more than six generations got to introduce themselves and their families. From Mary Platt, who was eighty-eight down to two and one year olds such as Chante, Christian and Jeremy. Our family history was truly revealed and discovered for its continuation right into the future.

Recently, Willie (June) Platt died. We will miss him but only for a short time. Remember what Jesus promised at John 5:28, 29, "Do not marvel at this because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, . . ." During a conversation with June's daughter Yvonne, I expressed that her father left their family a beautiful legacy. He was a man who loved his family. May each of us demonstrate the same love and concern for each other.

Almighty God is the Originator of our Families

Our Heavenly Father Jehovah created the family and he gave us guidelines through the Bible for our roles within this unit. When we apply what God instructs us to do, we are happy and fulfilled within the family. The publication entitled, What Does The Bible ReallyTeach? summarized our family success by stating, "Family happiness depends mainly on our recognizing that the family originates with Jehovah, the one Jesus called "Our Father. (Matthew 6:9) Every family on earth exists because of our Heavenly Father-and he certainly knows what makes families happy." May we continue to put complete faith in our Creator's ability to direct us as family members. Then we can enjoy family reunions that enrich and enhance our lives as servants of the true God now and in the future.

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How to plan and organize a Family Reunion. This video is from Youtube.

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Comments 3 comments

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Angelladywriter 2 years ago from Media, Pennsylvania Author

Hi Yvonne and the rest of the family,

We send our love and prayers at this time concerning the death of your sister Desiree. I made adjustments within the article concerning the death of your father and your sister. We love you and your family and we are so proud to be your cousins. Your family did an amazing job on that family reunion. The memories from that gathering will always be cherished. Once again, we send our love and prayers.


Allen Hunt 3 years ago

Please pass on to your membership, friends and family.

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Yvonne Platt Brown 4 years ago

Hi Claudette, You did an amazing job on our Family reunion. your writing skills is excellent, thank you so much, i am so proud to be a part of this Family.

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    Claudette Coleman Carter (Angelladywriter)63 Followers
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    Claudette Carter, graduated from Widener University and enjoys focusing on her love for God as well as the positive things in life.



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