It was great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother and Matriarch, Bertha J. Feamster which occurred on April 3rd, 2022.
Bertha was born October 30, 1944, in York County, Virginia to Bertha Mae and William R. Evans Sr., her life was surrounded by love. She was the middle child of five and the only daughter and often referred to as “Sis.” Her family was a tight-knight family whose roots were firmly established in faith in the word of God which they saw as their first and final authority. The family attended and served in their local church, Zion Prospect Baptist Church, where Bertha’s father was a Deacon and her mother a Deaconess. It was there where she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord at a young age, and it was also there where she learned the value and the beauty of serving God in the house of worship which would eventually become a core value for her that she would carry throughout the rest of her life.
Bertha attended the James Weldon Johnson School in York County and upon graduation, Bertha was accepted into Norfolk State University where she attended until she enlisted in the US Air Force to serve her country. While in the Air Force, she met and married the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Feamster, they were married on July 2, 1966, on Stewart Air Force base in Newburg, New York and eventually settled in Bob’s hometown of Philadelphia, PA. This blessed union would yield three beautiful children, Jerlyne, Allegra, and Christopher, lasting 44 years until Robert’s passing in 2011.
Bertha was a devoted member of Providence Baptist Church for over 40 years and was lovingly known as “Mom Feamster”. Her nurturing spirit was adored by members of all ages at the church. During her time at Providence, she enjoyed singing praises to the Lord as part of the Inspirational Choir. Bertha and her late husband, Deacon Robert Feamster started Family Circle and became its first coordinators, a role and responsibility that they stewarded for many years. Bertha was a natural teacher and encourager, and teaching children was her joy which made her an ideal candidate to become a Sunday School Teacher and Vacation Bible School Teacher for the second and fourth grade students. A dedicated prayer warrior and intercessor, Bertha’s love for prayer and the word of God caused her to be a regular fixture at Tuesday Night Prayer Meetings, Mid-week Bible Study as well as the Women's Bible Study and Fellowship. Bertha also answered the call for missions and held several offices eventually becoming the president of Providence’s Missionary Society for many years working diligently in community outreach with various shelters in the area. Most recently, Bertha joined the Production Ministry assisting in Providence’s efforts to reach congregants online during the recent global pandemic. Bertha committed to working camera A making sure that the video team always caught Pastor’s good side. She was always willing to help out whenever and wherever she was needed, and she always made certain that her children and grandchildren were actively involved in various church activities and understood why God was so important in her life as well as theirs.
Bertha was employed by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and later the School District of Philadelphia for many years in different capacities, her favorite role being that of a Teacher’s Aide working with the younger children as she loved helping them with their reading skills and watching that look on their faces when they realized they got it. Throughout her tenure with the school district, Bertha received many awards of recognition and appreciation for her untiring efforts and outstanding service, loyalty, and dedication to putting children first. Bertha believed that the strength of a community is determined by how involved the people are within it and she was fully committed to that vision. Bertha served as a Volunteer for Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and not an election day went by without her presence as she regularly gave her time as an Election Day volunteer for the Judge of Elections. Always committed to the holistic development and advancement of children, for many years Bertha served as a Girl Scout Leader of Brownie Troops 500 and 1585 as well as an Assistant Boy Scout Leader for Troop 304.
The life of Bertha J. Feamster is one that is filled with love and life. For those who received her daily scripture texts remember that she always signed off with the words “LOVE ABOUNDS.” That’s because this phrase reflected her relationship with God, her heart, and her hope for not only herself but also for those around her. Bertha inspired so many and always encouraged those she met, mentored, and mothered to seek God first above all else and to live according to the potential that God had placed into each person never settling for second best but always reaching to greater heights. To those who call her Mommy, Mom-Mom, Aunt, Sister, Adopted Mom, Spiritual Mom or Friend, Bertha will always remain a bright light of God’s love and life in abundance.
Bertha is lovingly remembered by her three children – Jerlyne, Allegra, and Christopher, her three grandchildren – Jonathan, Phillip, and Alexa, her Brothers - William R. Evans Jr, James Evans, and Lloyd (Mattie) Evans, her Sister-in-law Jeri (John)Reed, Brothers-in-law Alfred Feamster and Nichol Feamster, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends who will all continue to cherish her loving memory and faithfulness to God. Here’s to a life well-lived, well-loved, and well pleasing to the Lord.