THURSDAY MARCH 08, 1934
It was -9.4 F and a wicked snowstorm was taking place. According to legend, based on Elijah Fuller (father) Sophie (mother) went into labor the coldest day of the year. It was so much snow they had to get a firetruck to take Sophie to deliver her second of ten children, and as it turned out her first girl. Doris was born on that cold day at Kings County Hospital.
Sophie Hubbard (of Hopewell Virginia) met and married Elijah Fuller (of South Carolina) in 1932. Doris “affectionately known by her family as Dottie” was the second child and first girl born to Sophie and Elijah. As the first girl, she was special from birth. She grew up in Brownsville a close-knit community during a time when communities were known by family names. Doris was part of the Fuller Clan one of 10 children. Each having their own personalities and characteristics, sibling rivalry, and differences growing up and throughout their lives however, everybody had Doris as their favorite. She was the most compassionate, understanding, gentle and generous in every way with her time, love, and money.
Doris went to Thomas Jefferson High school. In her teenage years, mommy was known in the community to be one of the “greatest dancers with the sexy legs” as she would be circled by both men and women, some envious and some just wanting to watch in awe as she ran circles around the dance floor. (She would later pass that gene to her children). Also in her teenage years, she met another known community family The Jacobs family. A cultural mix, religious West Indian background (Jacobs) and a New York City street smart southern family….. well back then you know the problems between American blacks and West Indians however the only male of the Jacobs family was trying to get away from that West Indian stigma and adopted and adapted to the city life.
Doris met Naomi Jacobs her childhood friend and classmate and when she got to bring her home to meet her family she realized her brother Cleophas known as Sonny already was interested in her. I guess he saw the caramel-colored Doris Fuller known as the Black Marilyn Monroe, a brick house in the neighborhood because of her beauty and fantastic shape (which she kept until the age of 85) he knew he wanted to marry her.
Maybe it was the west Indian swag the street city slickness we really don’t know but they met, married in 1953, and had 7 children together. Marrying young and having 7 children by the age of 30 she was unable to finish school. Her life was not easy during these years but she managed her household working with the hand she was dealt. Born during what is known as the Silent Generation, Doris was a very quiet person, never raised her voice, never really got angry but any hurt she went through she suffered in silence. Her joys came in organizing community activities for what she organized as the Warwick Street Block Association which included the Fresh Air Fund as well as the summer lunch program and volunteering at her children’s school PS 207 for a few years with her sister-in-law Naomi. She would organize trips to Manhattan on the NYC Floating hospital arranging for lunches and transportation to the ship. Later in life, all of her children would inherit her passion for community service in one form or another.
As the years went she separated from Cleophas Jacobs and decided to go back to school. She got her GED and went looking for her first job outside of housewife/ homemaker. She landed her first big job at Citibank, in Queens NY in the’70’s. Doris would then in 1981, go on to work in Manhattan at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company alongside 2 co-workers Umilta Gibson and Charles Cardone, who in turn would both remain lifelong friends until the day she left this earth.
During this time of rebirth so to speak she met Charles Ensley. Now I mentioned Doris was fine and classy so when she met Charles, 8 years younger than her and the fact that she had 7 children she swept this man off his feet. Talk about giving meaning to a Bad-Mamma-Jama
Herein lies the Jacobs Girls Effect
(I say Jacobs because she was now a Jacob with 5 Jacob girls) Doris came alive, began to blossom, and really began to live her life. Charles insisted they get married and was the happiest groom we’ve ever seen. The blended families Jacobs and Ensley’s (Charles sons Lamont “Monty” and Feriance” Troy”) began the Queen’s legacy. Doris began traveling, going on cruises, visiting family, and enjoying Friday night fish dinners, playing cards in the basement on Friday and Saturday nights.
Through the years Doris experienced a host of medical issues and always seemed to beat the odds. The one diagnosis she could not beat was that beast “Alzheimer’s” which she began exhibiting signs of approximately 12 years ago. Doris began transitioning over the last 2-3 days of her life and was able to have all her children with her at her bedside leading up to her transition. She knew she was loved and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Doris was preceded in death by parents Elijah Sr. and Sophie (nee Hubbard) Fuller and 8 siblings: Edward, Elijah Jr, John, Leroy, David, Lorraine, and Bernice (known affectionately as Ducky) and her beloved son Byron E. Jacobs. Doris is survived by her remaining sister Elaine Fuller, her children Denise, Cleophas “Caseem” III, Maria McCoy, Asanta Jacobs, Sojourna Jacobs, Tema Horton (Keith Horton), Michelle Barrot-Jackson, Daughter-in love Linda Stevenson-Jones, Carl, Milton, and Robbin (children by way of nephew and niece), Step-Sons Lamont Ensley, Feriance “Troy ”Ensley.
Sisters-in-Love Barbara, Priscilla, Liz, Marcia, Vickie and a host of nieces and nephews and one very special nephew Jason Hill (Bernice’s son).
Grandchildren: Tameeka, LaToya (Jerome)Makeda, Shanta, Natasha, Moneik, Shahad, Isaiah (Rosa), Tanisha, Caseem, Rashida, Denisha, Byron, Michael, Amir, Paula, Machai, Alex, Jeremiah
31 Great Grandchildren and 7 Great-Great Grandchildren. And Doris’ last surviving cousin Frederick Hodges.
At the time of Sophie Fuller’s passing at the age of 79, besides her 10 children, her legacy was 34 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren.
As of today, Doris Fuller Jacobs Ensley left behind at 86
17 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
Doris Fuller Jacobs Ensley’s Legacy Continues.
Out of One Many
Throughout the years Doris was cared for by HomeHealth Aids from Edison Home Health Care Solution. There have been many, however, a few deserve more than a quick mention as they have gone beyond providing service they became family. A deep level of appreciation and gratitude goes to those that took part in her final chapter delivering loving care.
We thank you for all the service, love, and compassion you showed during these times.
Thank You to Chioma, Julie for these last several months. Next, Khadi mommy’s bestest friend as Khadi always reminded her who she was to her…..Lastly only to give honor where honor is due to Blossom Evans who became like a daughter to Mommy. Blossom watched over and took care of Mommy to maintain her territorial rule in the house making sure everything was to her standards and approval. To you Blossom we are forever grateful……You did as you said…You stayed till the end.
From Charles Cardone -
I was blessed to meet Doris in 1981. Doris was my first friend in the corporate world. We sat side by side. Denise also worked for the same company. I quickly became one of the family. I attended family reunions, weddings, birthday parties etc…
Doris was a beautiful kind woman. We never ran out of things to talk about. I truly love her and will greatly miss her. Doris was blessed to have a caring and loving family, and I love them all. I know how hard this is for you, I love you all.
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