When I was 12 years old, I decided to go to Plant City, Florida in August and stay with my father’s mother grandma Sarah [Richardson] McBride which turned into a three years stay. I loved every minute of it bonding with my grandma Sarah with all my aunts, uncles and cousins. Now, it’s a fact that even after I moved away from Plant City, Florida then moved back to Albany, NY; Plant City, Florida has remained my choice of hometowns to live. However, during this time while I was living in Plant City, Florida great tragedy struck my family in Albany, NY. It occurred on September 19, 1958 one month after I left Albany, NY. My uncle Robert Lee Jones played football at Hudson High School; they were playing Catholic Central at Troy, NY. It seems that at the last play of the game uncle Robert Lee Jones was tackled and while underneath the pile of other players; in this position he choked on his own vomit. At this game there was no medical staff on the playing field; which in those years the requirement for medical staff to be at school games was optical in New York State. This tragedy left my grandmother, my mother and father in a traumatized state of mind. They all my grandmother, my parents and my brother Delmorris Sampson who was only 11 years old at the time; watched helplessly sitting in the bleachers as uncle Robert Lee Jones was carried off the football field. Just imagine they were all at the game watching the whole event transpire. Therefore, when I moved back to live with my parents no one ever talked about Uncle Robert Lee’s death. It wasn’t until 2013, when my cousin Thomas Jones, grandma Bet’s nephew her youngest brother Leslie Jones told me about an article he had read with regards to Uncle Robert Lee’s death. Cousin Thomas Jones had “googled” the following:
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 6:32am…Robert Lee Jones, Hudson’s halfback, would die while making a tackle on the defensive…Students found out about it the next day in school….This chain of events culminated at their 50th class reunion when a decision…Owner B. J. Cantele donated the stone and installation services.
And this is how my family found out the details surrounding Uncle Robert Lee Jones death; when reading this article I notice a contact name Szepessy Frank with a phone was given. We contacted him and were invited to lunch with the sponsoring group of alumni called Friends of Bobby. After meeting with Frank Szepessy, he took us to Cedar Park Cemetery gravesite where the headstone for Uncle Robert Lee Jones was placed. And just recently we received an email from another class mate, Sal Cozzolino inviting our family to their 59th Class Reunion Gravesite Memorial Service in honor of our Uncle Robert Lee Jones. Can you imagine over 50 years later; his classmates still remember and honor him. Our family will forever be grateful to everyone who was involved in the honoring of our beloved family member Robert Lee Jones.



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