BATISTE, Onderee Runa|
Onderee Runa Batiste entered this world on June 21, 1960 in Taylor, TX to Joy Bell Jones and Norris Brown. She was raised in Austin, Texas by her mother and step-father Melvin Ray. Onderee was endowed with a love of music and praise from the very beginning of her earthly life.
Early on, her calling as a musician was evident. She sang her first solo with the school choir, enjoyed playing the piano in her great-grandparent's home, and her musical ministry officially began at the Center Union Missionary Baptist Church in Creedmoor, TX in 1982. This was followed by musical ministries at Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church Mission and Men's Choruses, and culminated at God's Power in Christian Fellowship, where she has served as Minister of Music for 28 years.
Onderee's accomplishments include: performances, recordings, ministry missions, psalmist, composer, music director, conference speaker, recording artist, piano instructor, and vocal coach. With these gifts she inspired, encouraged, and ministered to all she came across.
She sang with countless musical groups including: The J.M. Miles Singers, Ordinary People Philharmonic Christian Chorale, Inc., and other gospel recording artists including James Bignon, the late Brenda Waters, Kurt Carr, James Hall and many others. Family and sharing her love of praising God were of the utmost importance in Onderee's life.
She received her Associates of Science in Business Administration in 2001, adding to her numerous accomplishments. Onderee was a dedicated employee at the Austin-American Statesman, where she has been employed for 29 years.
She is preceded in death by her 2 children, Grace and Dominique; step-father, Melvin Ray; grandmothers' Annie Mae Jones and Elizabeth Jerrel, and grandfathers', Henry Jones, Jr. and Elmo Brown, Sr. Onderee leaves to cherish her memory her loving husband of 13 years, Chester Batiste; mother, Joy Bell Ray; father, Norris Brown; siblings: Barbara Brown, Darryl (Kym) Brown, Paul (Tanisha) Brown, Reggie Ray; Norrissa Brown-Johnson and Norris Brown Jr., her step-daughters, Jessica (Curtiest) and DeShonda, and grandson, Devin; nieces: Janika, Olivia, and Kierston and nephews: Romi, Darryl Jr., Jordan; 1 great-nephew, Miko, and 1 great-niece, Eliana; 2 godchildren, Chereigne Smith and Zechariel Price; countless friends, acquaintances, and an ever-growing spiritual family.
We would like to extend a special thanks to the God's Power Ministry family, Onderee's aunts, uncles and a host of other relatives; Elizabeth Stanley, Gillis Drayton, Barry Franklin, the staff at Seton Hospital, Gentiva Hospice at Riverside Rehabilitation Center, and countless others for helping us celebrate her life, her music and her ministry. A development of a scholarship in her honor is being considered. Visitation Friday, 1-7 pm, King-Tears Mortuary, Inc. A musical in her honor will also be Friday, 7 pm E.M. Franklin Chapel @ St. James Missionary Baptist Church. Services Saturday, 2 pm at St. James MBC, under the auspices of God's Power in Christian Fellowship. Interment Evergreen Cemetery. Services entrusted to Barry J. W. Franklin, CFSP and A Life Celebration by Franklin, Taylor, TX.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Aug. 3 to Aug. 8, 2014