Zelma Marie Harvey, 85, nursing assistant, caregiver

May 08, 2006

Zelma Marie Harvey, a retired nursing assistant and caregiver, died of heart failure April 30 at St. Agnes Hospital. She was 85 and lived in Catonsville.

Born Zelma Marie Holloway in Sladesville, N.C., she attended public school there and moved to East Baltimore in the late 1930s.

She began working as a health care attendant when she was 17 and spent much of her life providing care for children and the elderly.

In 1944, she married Ned Harvey, who died in 1979.

Mrs. Harvey was most proud of her service with the Maryland Meals on Wheels program, said her daughter Alicia B. Harvey-Smith of Catonsville. Through the program she provided companionship to many seniors.

"She took being a good friend and neighbor very seriously," her daughter said. "She always wanted to find a way to help, no matter what it was."

On Sundays, Mrs. Harvey frequently had dinners at her East Baltimore home, offering up counsel, company and candied yams.

"People could come and get a good meal and get a good listener," Mrs. Harvey-Smith said. "She had an amazing way of touching the lives of anyone she came in contact with. People wanted to be around her."

Mrs. Harvey, who later moved to Catonsville, loved gospel music, cooking and planting flowers.

She was a member of Wayland Baptist Church, where services were held Friday.

Survivors also include two other daughters, Alice L. Johnson and Yvonne Barbour, both of Baltimore; five sons, Rufus S. Lynch of Atlanta, Lewis C. Lynch of Towson, and Gregory Harvey, Gerald Harvey and Carlisle C. Harvey, all of Baltimore; five sisters, Lillie R. Green of Swanquarter, N.C., Ruby Jackson of Virginia Beach, Va., Thelma Sauls and Dorothy Robertson, both of Norfolk, Va., and Victoria Credle of Scranton, N.C.; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

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