Martha Dell Harvey (nee Parker) was born on December 7, 1930 in Tarboro, N.C. to George Washington Parker, Jr. and Lucretia (nee Briley) Parker. She and her sister Jesse Lee were
raised by their paternal grandmother, Jessie Turner Parker, after their parents divorced. Marty and Jesse had three half-siblings from their father’s second marriage: Erma, Cynthia and Andrew. One of her most vivid memories during her growing up was the bombing of Pearl Harbor on her 11th birthday in 1941. Although she left Tarboro at any early age, she always
stayed close to her roots and never lost her soft southern accent. After high school, Marty joined her sister Jessie Lee at Virginia State College, where she formed many long-time friendships with a group of young women who called themselves the “Honeybunches”. These women stayed close throughout their lives and Marty became godmother to the daughter of her close friend and roommate, Constance McGhee. It was at Virginia State that Marty met the love of her life, Ernest Harvey. They were married on August 18, 1951 and made their home in Philadelphia, Pa. The newlyweds spent their early years of marriage at 766 S. Martin St., living next door to the residence of world famous opera singer Marian Anderson. They were blessed with two sons, Ernest Jr. and Earl (DaDa). The family later moved to Dondill Place located in the Yorktown development in North Philadelphia. Wherever they lived, Ernie and Marty were always warm and welcoming to everyone. Especially during the early years on Martin St., relatives from both the Harvey and Parker families lived there. Later, the friends of Ernie Jr. and DaDa were also always welcome to stop by and enjoy a delicious dinner. Their generosity and kindness were well known to family, friends and neighbors alike.
In the 1970’s Marty returned to school and Temple University, completing a degree in Education. She went on to have a successful career for the next 20 years as an elementary
school teacher with the Philadelphia School District. Ernie and Marty were able to realize their dream of spending retirement in Atlantic City, NJ. when they moved there permanently in 1995. One of the joys of Marty’s life was the Atlantic City boardwalk, which she walked faithfully almost every day. Her other joy was in her grandchildren, all of whom spent time with her on the boardwalk and beach during their summers. On Friday, November 6, 2020, Marty lost her long battle with dementia. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Ernest Sr., and sons Ernest Jr. and Earl (DaDa). She is survived by her sisters Jessie Lee Sharpe and Cynthia Strong, grandchildren Ernest A. Harvey III, Renata Cruz, Alexis Barrett-Harvey, Collin Barrett-Harvey, four great-grandchildren, a daughter-in-law, Audrey Harvey and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of extended family and friends.
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