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Deacon Elbert R HerveyJuly 1, 1944 ~ June 6, 2017 (age 72)
Elbert Russell Hervey was born on July 1, 1944, in Coffeeville, Mississippi (Yalobusha County), to the late Amos and Louella (Brown) Hervey. He was the seventh of eight children, reared by dedicated Christian parents. One brother, Prentiss M. Hervey and two sisters, Edith Hervey McNeal and Rachel Hervey Duke, preceded him in death.
Elbert accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior early in life at the Rocky Mountain Missionary Baptist Church at Water Valley, Mississippi. He later moved to Michigan City, Indiana, where he eventually established membership at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and faithfully served as a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher and Chairman of the Deacon Board; a position he upheld with the highest level of integrity, until his transition.
In May, 1963, Elbert graduated from Central High School, Coffeeville, Mississippi, as Salutatorian of his class. He was also an esteemed member of the Central High School Basketball team and participated in several other clubs and school-based activities.
Elbert accepted a call to serve his country in the United States Army in 1965. He was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he served with the First Battalion Company-C to receive his basic training. He became a U.S. Sergeant ES and was assigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska, located in Anchorage. William E. Lakey, Captain of Artillery, in a letter addressed to Elbert’s Mother, on June 6, 1966, said, “Your son has excelled in every endeavor he has been given and performs his required task and duties with enthusiasm. He is conscientious and well-liked by his superiors and peers.” Those three words spoken by his commanding officer when he was just entering adulthood, “excelled, conscientious, and enthusiasm," precisely describe the sincerity with which Elbert approached every role he embraced in life; son, brother, uncle, husband, father, friend, employee and Christian. After serving for three years in the United States Army, he received an honorary discharge in 1968. After moving to Michigan City, Indiana, in 1969, he recommitted to service and joined the Indiana National Reserve where he served as a Staff Sergeant E6 for 11 years.
On Saturday, June 30, 1979, after a five-year courtship, Elbert and Mildred Smith were united in a holy matrimony which endured for 38 years; “until death do us part.” They found in each other comfort, love, joy and a lifetime of companionship. Their four-decades of love resiliently withstood the test of time; “for better or worse, for richer or poorer and in sickness and in health.” Both Elbert and Mildred believed wholeheartedly that any difficulty, illness or setback experienced by one of them was the other partner's responsibility. Thus, Elbert became “dad,” without hesitation, to Mildred’s nine children upon matrimony. He walked with them through their life’s toughest battles and cheered them on as they achieved their dreams. And Mildred, without hesitation, took on the role of caretaker in Elbert’s later years, when sickness approached.
From 1967 Elbert was employed by the Weil-McClain Company, Michigan City, Indiana, where he worked for four decades. He used his reputation with his superiors within the company to help many young men in the city secure employment. After retirement, Elbert became employed with Michigan City Area Schools where he served as a bus aide prior to taking medical leave. From his employment at Weil-McClain and Michigan City Area Schools, he was known for his kindness, easy-going spirit and optimism.
Elbert also served as a 40 year member of Lake Michigan Lodge #46, where he was a Pass Master. Additionally, he was a Thirty-Second Degree Scottish Rite Mason, from the Valley of South Bend.
Elbert Russell Hervey departed earth to join his heavenly father, on June 6, 2017.
He leaves behind a devoted wife, Mildred Smith Hervey of Michigan City, Indiana and four daughters, Loran Alford, Dayton, New Jersey, Donna G. Hervey, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Renee Hervey Williams (Melvin), Los Angeles, California and Janee Hervey, Michigan City, Indiana.
Furthermore, Elbert’s memory will be cherished by the nine children he gained upon matrimony to Mildred; Larry Daniel Burks (Shirley) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Barbara Jean Burks of Michigan City, Indiana, who both preceded him in death. Ellis Burks III, (Diana), Doraville, Georgia, Lillian L. Mayfield, Chicago, Illinois, Regina Burks Holloman, Indianapolis, Indiana, Alisa (Anthony) Simmons, Michigan City, Indiana, Keith Burks (Kandi), Michigan City, Indiana, Keven Burks, South Bend, Indiana and Antwan Lapre Burks, Orlando, Florida.
Elbert leaves behind one treasured brother, Edward C. Hervey, Michigan City, Indiana, who seldom missed a day visiting him during his tenure of illness, and two beloved sisters, Daliah (Butler) McLeod, Water Valley, Mississippi, and Grace (Willie) Hardy, Memphis, Tennessee.
His presence will also be deeply missed by 29 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and a host of adored nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, co-workers and Masonic Brothers.
Special acknowledgement is extended to Elbert’s sister-in-law, Annie Hervey and special friends; Larry Starks, Frank Miller and Dave Mitchell.
Eternal gratitude is humbly rendered to the esteemed Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Stanley Mason, who was not only Elbert’s spiritual advisor, but a true friend who supported him ceaselessly, both in sickness and in health.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Saturday at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church with Dr. Stanley Mason officiating. Burial will follow at Swan Lake Memorial Gardens with military honors. Viewing will be 9 a.m. Saturday at the church until the time of the Masonic service (10:15 a.m.)