Barbara Jean (Fosett) Grady was born February 27, 1933 to Leona Alan and Fannie Mae Fosett in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Barbara Jean was the matriarch of our family and fondly called “Fritchie” by many on her mother’s side of the family. She died in the home she loved on Sunday, December 6, 2020 of natural causes in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She loved this home because her single prayer to God was if he would provide the funds she’d remain there until her death! She laughingly said “they gonna have to roll me out of here!” God has a sense of humor!
Beside her home, her family she treasured her membership at Fairhaven Mennonite Church, where she served faithfully until the Lord led her to follow Pastor Jimmie Ruffin as he led and established New Life Community Church where she worshipped until her death. She considered Pastor Jimmie and Lady Kim Ruffin her family!!
Fritchie attended Fort Wayne Community Schools and graduated from South Side High School and went on to her first and only job as a Receiving Clerk at International Harvester…a job her stepfather William E. Henry made possible for her to secure. She retired from IH/Navistar after 30 years of dedicated service om 1982.
Upon her high school graduation, she met and fell in love with Cheryl and Sandra’s father, George Alvie Jones, Jr. whom she we on July 5, 1953. To this union was also born a son Darryl, who preceded Barbara in death.
While working at IH/Navistar she met Robert L. Grady, Sr. who took her as his bride on November 24, 1974 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With this marriage she was blessed to have Roberta Chambers, Margaret and Lisa as her stepdaughters and Robert L. “Sonny” Grady, Jr. as her stepson. Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. preceded her in death.
In her former years she was active in HI-FI Club which was a local civic organization. Later on, she volunteered with Youth for Christ in several capacities. She found her niche at Parkview Memorial Hospital serving as a volunteer Chaplain worker. Her most cherished work were over the last 10 years volunteering as a receptionist at Charis House. She sadly had to leave that position when COVID-19 made it impossible for her to serve. Mom loved traveling, shopping, crocheting, watching movies and time with family. Her passion for sharing Christ was a light for all to see. To see Christ lifted she financially supported several charitable organizations. With Navigators she’s contributed monies to provide over 2600 Bibles with compassion she’s underwritten the monthly sponsorship of over 20 children. Barb also rang the bell as a breast cancer survivor.
She is survived by her daughters, Cheryl Renee Jones, and Sandra Kay (Pastor Anthony); four grandchildren, Steven (Victuria Townes), Erica (James) Khan Lydia Payton all of Fort Wayne and Zachary Payton of Orlando, FL. She was the best great grandmother around so much so that each set of great grandkids had their own name for her. so Dailyn, Xamir, Sebastian, Niobi and Cairo will always cherish their “Gigi” and Greyson, Gem, Joanna, and Jamila will forever miss their “Grammy.” Finally, her half-brother the patriarch of our family , Paul Minniefield, Jr. is left to mourn her loss along with many cousins and friends.
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