It is with great sadness that the family of Erma Jean “Johnson” Harvey announces her passing after a brief illness, on Monday, May 31, 2021, at the age of 88 years. Erma Jean was born on November 7, 1932, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to the late Johnnie Johnson & Alma "Chatmon" Owens. From an infant, until she was close to 10 yrs old, she was raised by her Aunt Betty Chatmon.
Erma grew up in Okmulgee, Oklahoma where she graduated from the Dunbar High School and shortly after, relocated to Cambridge Massachusetts. There she spent nearly 40 years as a dedicated active participant in St. Paul’s AME Church. She was very spiritual and was firm a believer that God works through people and prayer.
Erma received many Appreciation and Community Service Awards, during her tenure at St Paul’s AME Church and Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center. She enjoyed giving back to the community and served many years on the Evangelism Committee and visiting the "Sick and Shut-in" with congregation members from St. Paul’s AME Church. She herself was paralyzed from a severe stroke in her late forties, yet this never deterred her, no matter what weather conditions she faced. She was frequently the first one to arrive.
Erma enjoyed her occupation, while employed at the Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center, Inc. a former subsidiary of Saint Paul's AME Church. She received Community Service Awards from 1988 – 2003 from the Hildebrand Family Self-help Center. She also received an award from the former Mayor Anthony D. Galluccio of the City of Cambridge for Dedicated Community Service.
In the years after retirement, she loved spending time with her family, traveling, and playing card games with her grandchildren. Her traveling included such places as Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon. She loved staying in resorts & hotels, eating the various multicultural cuisines of the area.
She loved going to the Cambridge Senior Center to interact with her army of friends. Everywhere she went she would stop, laugh and talk to people and leave nuggets of joy and wisdom along the way. She also enjoyed the conversations and time spent with tenants from 10 Centre St Apartments and the Hildebrandt’s homeless shelter occupants. She loved all of them.
Erma was preceded in death by her mother Alma, father Johnny, sisters Robbie Mae, Naomi, Carol, Elaine, & brothers Edgar Lee, Augusta, and Larry. She will be lovingly remembered forever by her two sons, Cary (Pam) and Keith (Dolly), step-daughter Gilda, sister Johnnie Mae and brother Terry.
She leaves behind a legacy of love for her eight grandchildren and step-grandchildren Karima (Pedro), Shane (Michelene), Rashaud, Taj, Tameika, Tiara, Keith II., Sharonda (LaRhue) as well as her five great grandchildren Shane Jr, Liam, Gabriel, Zoie and Clarence. As well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Memory Tribute and video montage will be created and published.
In addition, those who so desire may make memorial tributes in memory of Erma on the Bruce R Hawkins Funeral Home website: