Coping with Grief
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MARJORIE ELAINE BEVERLY HUNTER was born on October 24, 1936, in Caroline County, Virginia, to Ocea Gladys Banks Beverly and Charlie Howard Beverly, proud farmers who had eleven children. Marjorie was the ninth child. Growing up on the farm, Marjorie learned the value of hard work. She often expressed how long days of chores, planting, harvesting, tending to animals, canning, or staffing the family store contributed to the family’s wellbeing. Born with scoliosis, the doctor told Marjorie she would never be able to have children. Her parents directed her to God, who holds the future. Marjorie faithfully wore a brace and took exercises until her condition improved. In the home, Marjorie became enamored with the piano, playing it whenever she had a chance. There was not a lot of time for music because work was unending, except Sunday when Marjorie and her family often walked to Zion Grove Baptist Church. Marjorie began her school career at the Mappini Fork School, an African American and Native American school where each day started with a Word from the Holy Bible. Next, she attended Union Middle School and High School. As farm life evolved, Marjorie tended to her younger brother (William) and sister (Mary) more while her parents traveled back and forth up north for work. Soon after graduating from Union High School in 1954, Marjorie joined her family who had settled in Washington, DC. Marjorie joined Metropolitan Baptist Church. She continued her education at the Madame CJ Walker Beauty School and later worked as a beautician. Learning city life, she wanted to expand her skill set, so she enrolled in Cortez Peters Business College, where she majored in secretarial science. Upon completion, Marjorie landed a job with the U. S. Department of Interior. Her creative spirit found expression during this time in writing poetry. Marjorie’s life took another turn when she attended a YAC social where she met a young preacher, a son of Shiloh, named, Rev. Harold C. Hunter. Marjorie and Harold married on May 12, 1962. He became her partner in life and in ministry. Following the birth of their first child, Harold, Jr., their lives were interrupted in 1964 when Harold, Sr., was struck by a drunk driver while changing a tire. The terrible accident required him to spend a long time in the hospital, while Marjorie kept the family afloat. She visited the hospital daily, worked, and took in boarders to help with expenses. Harold, Sr., eventually came home and soon came baby number two, Joy, followed by baby number three, Crystal. When baby number four, Theodore, was born, Marjorie decided to stay-at-home to focus on ministry and raising the family. They enjoyed doing things together as a family, especially traveling to Progressive National Baptist Convention meetings. When time permitted, Marjorie obtained her Beautician Manager’s License and went back to school to study music at the University of the District of Columbia. On their journey, she faithfully served as First Lady of Olive Branch Baptist Church in Haymarket, VA, Little Zion Baptist Church in Bethel, VA, and King Emmanuel Baptist Church in Washington, DC. She also served as a deaconess, director of the Children’s Choir, and in other duties as assigned. Marjorie always served with grace, a kind heart, and an unyielding faith. She made sure all four of her children completed college. She self-published a book of poetry and commentary entitled, M.E. Beverly H. Great Masterpiece. She also worked in the DC Public Schools as a substitute teacher and enjoyed dabbling in city politics, often testifying at the City Council. Marjorie continued in music ministry playing for different churches, her last church being Faith Temple Pentecostal Church Deliverance Ministries, where she found great fellowship. Marjorie even played music on the street. No stage was too small or great to share the gospel with others. To cherish her memory, Marjorie leaves behind her four children, Harold Hunter, Jr., Joy Carroll, Crystal Waters (Lawrence) and Theodore Hunter; two sisters, Evelyn Bethea, Mary Williams; six grandchildren, Nicholes Brooks (Milana), Zawadi Elaine Carroll, Kenneth Carroll, Jordan Waters, Sydney Waters, and Cairo Waters; two great grandchildren, Tyson Brooks and Troi Brooks; two cousins Eli Rice and Gail Rice; eight nephews, Michael Hunter, Dennis Hider, Douglas Bethea, Leonard Williams, Larry Williams, Mark Williams, Herbert Beverly, and Cary Beverly; four nieces, Pam Hunter, Cornelia Hider, Cheryl Gardner, and Kara Beverly; and a host of other family and friends.