Southfield COVID-19 Community Memorial
The City of Southfield will install memorial flags as a tribute to residents who lost their lives to COVID-19 on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Campus. The flag memorial will be on display from May 10-28.
The City of Southfield is inviting residents to honor lost loved ones by submitting their names, a brief bio (350 character limit) and a photo (optional) to be included in an online memorial. Please email memorial tributes to email@example.com.
To date, 270 Southfield residents have succumbed due to the COVID-19.
Charlene Smith was Substitute Youth Librarian at the Southfield Public Library for over 17 years. She was also School Librarian/Media Specialist for the Detroit Public Schools and active in the Detroit Federation of Teachers Union. She had a loving way of encouraging students to succeed if they put their best foot forward. Charlene didn’t leave students feeling like she had taught them something, but with a sense that they had discovered something about their research themselves. The Library staff misses Charlene and her laughter every day.
Leon Parran Jackson was born on November 3, 1953 to parents William and Alice Jackson in Baltimore, MD. On April 1, 2020 he received his heavenly wings where he joined his beloved wife of 36 years, Sharon Sullivan Jackson, who had died just months prior. Leon was a long hauler who worked for GM for over 36 years in various leadership positions supporting key IT and financial global initiatives. Once he retired he worked with GM’s summer youth program where he mentored Detroit high school students. Leon was a devout husband and father always planning vacations for his family to create a lifetime of memories. Leon was the type of parent who made surprise visits to his children’s schools to always ensure they were giving and doing their best. This is a value that resonates with his children to this day. Leon’s family and friends will forever miss his contagious smile and positive spirit. He was a lover of all things Temptations and played their music daily. Leon is survived by his two children, Sharonda Jackson Marshall (Ryan) and Lionel Jackson (Maria), his five grandchildren, two sisters and a brother. Leon’s children are committed to carrying on his legacy by giving back to their communities and continuing to always strive to be their best and to give their best.
Malcom Allen Lewis was a math & science teacher in Detroit Public Schools. Mr. Lewis was the co-founder of the EAGLES basketball mentorship program and the Young Masters Chess & Art Center in support of inner-city youth. He also organized local and national chess tournaments.
Mary Elizabeth Teasley-Hunter was born in Dallas, Georgia on May 15, 1916, where she and her family lived until 1925 when they moved to the city of Detroit. Mary was a graduate of Detroit Pershing high school after which she attended Lewis Business College. She married Fred Hunter who proceeded her in death at the age of 100. She was the first black secretary at the Detroit Orthopedic clinic in 1943. In 1956, she was employed at Wayne County general hospital where she retired. Mary was a long time member of Tabernacle MBC until her death. After retirement she worked with Habitat for humanities where she met former President Jimmy Carter. She also served as chairperson for Core City neighborhoods. Mary was a pillar in her community. In 2010 Mary moved to Southfield, Michigan with her daughter Carol Carr and son in law Calvin Carr. She lived there until her death on March 30, 2020, at the age of 103. Mary leaves behind her children Carol, Fred, Mattie and Carl (Deceased) along with 9 grand children, 13 great grand children and 7 great great grandchildren.
Calvin Kenneth Carr was born on June 19, 1935 in Youngstown Ohio. Calvin moved to Detroit from Cleveland Ohio in 1972, in Cleveland he worked for USPS. On a visit to Detroit in 1972 he was told by his cousin Parker before he left “would you stay if I got you a job?”, Calvin said “I’m leaving in the morning, so get busy”. Parker called Calvin in the morning, before he left and said he got him a job at C&O railroad where he worked as a Forman. After C&O railroad he was employed at Ford Motor Company in 1975 as a supervisor in their tract maintenance department for 23 years until he retired in 1998. Calvin and his wife Carol always hosted Sunday dinners; Calvin was known for his peach cobbler, broccoli dressing, mac and cheese, cakes and bbq ribs. He was a loving father to Ramona and Calvin Jr., and his wife Carol's children: Michelle, Lacresha and Kara and Lashell who called him “Pops”. He was a resident of Southfield for 39 years until his death on April 7th, 2020. He leaves behind 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Robert Lee Ellis - A dedicated husband, father, entrepreneur and community servant; Robert Lee Ellis exemplified integrity, hard work and the importance of family. With a heart like no other, he vowed to ‘protect and serve’ his community as a Railroad Officer for Grand Trunk Railway System for 20 years. Additionally, he would go on to become the first Security Liaison Officer for Southfield Public Schools at Levey Middle School where he became a mentor and father figure to thousands of students who had the honor of being in his presence. After 20 years with SPS, Mr. Ellis would go on to retire and continue his seniority at 46th District Court where he served as a Court Officer until 2020. Mr. Robert Ellis will be forever immortalized for his intense love of God, passion for singing and caring for others. He was the epitome of a tender, thoughtful and tenacious husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend to all who crossed his path.
Leon Maurice Camp was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 20, 1945. He was a resident of Southfield‘s Historic Northland Gardens since 1976 until his transition on April 22, 2020. As an entrepreneur and business owner he was highly regarded by the many families living in the neighborhoods surrounding the Corner Pantry Party Store in Detroit, which he proudly owned for 40 years. He was an impeccable dresser, exceptional dancer and dearly loved by his family.
JoAnn M Jones was born on March 7, 1943 in Waukegan Illinois. She was the mother of 7 children. She spent her career as civilian employee with Great Lakes Navy Base. Upon her retirement she moved to Michigan to be with her children. JoAnn devoted her life to her children and grandchildren. She loved holidays and special occasions. She was a faithful follower of The Lord. She was a member of Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Southfield. She has been a resident of Southfield for 10 years. JoAnn made her transition from earth to Glory on April 10, 2020 after a two week battle with COVID.
Rev. St Richard Alvin Smith was the Senior Pastor and founder of Prayer Temple of Love Cathedral campus in Highland Park, Michigan. Rev. Smith served the Highland Park and Metropolitan areas with excellence and expertise. He worked very closely with former Highland Park Mayors (Blackwell, Miller, and Porter). For years Rev. Smith served as President of the Human Rights Commission. He was well known for his involvement with the March on Drugs and Crime (1974), Wayne County Metro Food Program Operation Feed All, Outreach Ministry in Cass Corridor, Eastside Detroit and Highland Park’s AA and Drug Programs, PTLC Home for Seniors, PTLC Saturday Tutorial Programs (K-12), PTLC Senior Adult Computer Program, and the PTLC Wellness & Health Programs for Children, Youths and Adults. Sadly our beloved Pastor passed on Thursday, April 16, 2020. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Dr. Clara A. Smith, two (2) children Ricardo (LaTonja) and Dojsha, (4) grandchildren Richard, Andrew, Jorian and Claire, (2) great grandchildren Brentley and Joriana, a special sister-in-law Trudy, nieces, nephews, Church Family, and thousands of friends.
Vergie James Vasser, Jr. was born February 8, 1961, the eldest son of 5 children to the late Pastor V.J Vasser & Maxine Vasser. James was born and raised in the city of Highland Park, MI but moved his family to Southfield, MI where they still currently reside. James was an outstanding devoted family man, a loving husband, caring son, amazing father, lovable grandfather and one cool uncle. On the morning of April 5, 2020, Covid-19 unexpectedly took James from away from all those he loved so dearly. James will be forever remembered through his wife of 30 years, Gloria Vasser, 3 daughters, Keisha, Toni & Jamea, as well as the rest of his family and friends.
Kiera Keymonte Allen, affectionately known as “KiKi” or “Princess”, was born in 1991 to Deborah Moncrease and Vernon Allen. She was baptized at the Historic Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit by Pastor Charles G. Adams and was an active member. She assisted with Hartford being designated a Michigan Historical Site. Kiera was educated in the Southfield Public School System. She excelled in academics beginning with the “Academic Games” at Adler Elementary and culminating with her induction into the National Honor Society. She graduated from Southfield High School with honors in 2009 where she served as Homecoming Queen in her senior year. Kiera attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA graduating with honors while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 2013. In 2016 she earned her Master of Arts degree with honors from the Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD). She dreamed of owning her own clothing line and fashion design company. Kiera joined Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan and later of Arizona were she was recently promoted. On Wednesday March 31, 2021 Jesus opened the doors of heaven and called her home. She will never be forgotten and always be loved.
Jason Hargrove was a wonderful hardworking D-dot driver. He was a husband and a father of 6 children. Knowing the risks he faced during the pandemic, Jason still went out his way to drive that bus everyday in order to move the community citizens about. He was deemed an essential worker and was very dedicated to his work as a Ddot driver. Jason is deeply missed by his family and community, and we thank and honor him for his services.
Rachael Raimey, my beautiful cousin/sister, was born on January 22nd, 63 years ago. Today she's no longer with us. Though our hearts are heavy we will still celebrate and rejoice for her. She truly made that dash count. She was an amazing musician, songstress, teacher, vocal coach, actress, daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother auntie, friend, retired Army Veteran and so much more; a woman of many hats. You are truly gonna be missed, Rachael Raimey. 01/23/58-04/21/20
Larry Donell Griffin was born July 12,1950, to parents Ernest and Mary Griffin in Detroit, MI. On April 16, 2020, he received his heavenly wings. As a teen you’d always find Larry singing Motown songs with a special love for the Temptations. Larry was affectionately known as Mr. Entertainment as music was all he thought about. While supporting his music career and children Linette Griffin Knight and Larry Griffin, ll, he worked at MichCon/DTE where he retired from in 2011. In 1998, he founded the vocal group Serieux, which recreated the classic soul music sound and dance moves of Motown. The following year, he met the love of his life and married Marcia Griffin. Serieux issued their first disc, “I Can Give You Love”, in 2007, featuring former Spinners, GC Cameron. While local, Serieux would often perform at Motor City Casino and for the City of Southfield, often with Alexander Zonjic. They continued to perform regularly throughout Detroit and the world, until needing to cancel shows due to the coronavirus pandemic. Larry's life was an example of staying true to yourself and following your dreams. His legacy will continue through his family and those he touched with his music.
Raymond Lim first moved to Southfield in 1991 to work as a physical therapist. He continued to do so for the next 29 years until he got sick with Covid19 and eventually died on 4/15/2020 at the age of 61. He spent most of his life helping rehab Southfield residents from injury or illness at Evergreen Health and Rehab Center and at Lahser Hills. Most importantly he was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. Raymond leaves behind his wife and travel companion, Cora Lim, their 4 kids and 2 grandchildren.
James A Sutton passed away on April 9, 2020. After James retired from the Detroit Free Press as a distribution manager, he expanded his landscaping business, Sutton’s Lawn Care. He enjoyed perfecting his business and had a great personal relationship with many of his customers. James was extremely passionate about softball and played throughout his lifetime. He was inducted in 3 Softball Halls of Fame, 27 National/World title championships and numerous awards. James loved to cook and was known for his barbecue. He was always willingly to barbecue at any event. He never met a stranger and had many friends. Many of his friends became family and family gave him joy. James is truly missed by his wife, children, family and his many friends.
Ada Louise Newby Cain, born on March 25, 1922 in Jones County, Georgia. Her name “Ada,” means “one who is adored” in Hebrew. Ada was adored by many neighbors, friends, family and church members, and was the proud mother of four children and grandmother to three. A very talented seamstress, Ada was employed at Ford Motor Company for 20 years, at a jacket factory in Hamtramck, and at Ex-Cello Corporation during WWII. She loved jazz, walking, gardening, rooting for the Lions, Tigers, and Pistons, and playing bingo and dancing the hustle at Sterling Place in Southfield. Ada was a faithful member of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church for over 50 years, a widow for 23 years, and overcame breast cancer at 86. . Even though she departed from this life on May 11, 2020, her sense of humor and infectious energy remain with us still.
Sandra Marshall was a devout Christian, Wife, Mother, Sister, Grandmother and friend. Her spirit was one that had the power of healing. Just being in her presence would bring a calming peace to one’s soul leaving you renewed. She was the glue that held our family together. COVID-19 took her home to be with our Lord on April 8, 2020, but the unconditional love, strength and wisdom she shared with her loved ones will never be forgotten.
Alvis A. Wilson, Jr passed away March 27, 2020. His wife, Kathy and children Alvis III, Alyssa, Kendall and Leah are heartbroken but are focusing to keep his legacy alive and to make him proud as he watches over us from above. His many friends continue to recall fond memories. He formed Diamond Hospitality to ensure that young students received a good meal every day.
Ivan Floyd Johnson was born on July 31, 1957 to the late Floyd and Rosetta Johnson. He is the second of three children. Ivan is fondly remembered as a kind, polite and considerate man who loved his friends at JVS Caring Companions Program, 1st Comm. Baptist members and family. However, Ivan's heart skipped a beat when he heard Michael Jackson's music! When he heard MJ's music, he began dancing and performed many of his moves! Ivan's 50+ years of practice paid off! Ivan's performance helped him to feel like he was on top of the world! Ivan brought true happiness to all who dearly loved him as we continue to celebrate his meaningful legacy.
Wanda Alexander -Woodward got her wings and went to walk with the angels on Friday, May 8, 2020. Wanda was a beautiful soul with a heart of gold and a smile that would light up any room. Wanda worked at Hutzel Hospital retiring after 26 years. She lived at The Park at Trowbridge Senior Apartments where she was very active in her senior community & crowned the Parks Homecoming Prom Queen in 2019. Her loss is felt immensely, she is missed beyond words.
Henderkien Koster called Southfield her second home. She loved her local family, the art and architecture of the area, the people she met, and our countless shopping and restaurant adventures over 30 plus years. Originally she was an immigrant from the Netherlands, having survived WW2, and settled in Ontario Canada in 1958 with her husband and young child. In March 2020 the border to Canada closed. She was alone when she succumbed to the pneumonia that followed her hospitalization with the virus. Her transition was truly a mercy to a far better place in the Kingdom of Heaven. While here on this earth, there was no one that loved and appreciated the beauty of life and nature more than my mother, Hennie Koster. May her memory be for a blessing.
Rose A. Parker was called to her heavenly home on April 16, 2020. Rose was a huge sports enthusiast and loved attending Detroit Pistons and Detroit Tigers games. She also loved music and singing, as well as playing bingo. Many will cherish and rejoice the memories of her life including her six loving children, 18 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, 32 great great grandchildren, and 4 great great great grandchildren.
Fredrick Douglas Murdock passed April 7, 2020, 1 month after turning 100 years old. Born in Statesville, NC, Fredrick completed high school and worked on family farms. He joined the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1946. Made Detroit his home and married Ida Dorsey in 1958. Retired from U.S. Post Office, member of Westminster Church of Detroit and Past-Master Mason of Mt. Pavan Lodge No. 2.
Evleen Shammami Arafat, a resident of Southfield for 32 years, lost her battle to COVID-19 on September 7, 2020. Evleen was a humble and caring soul; she fought a tough fight with dignity, hope and optimism, never complained and even in the end never stopped fighting. She loved her family and is greatly missed.
Michelle DeSouza was employed at WGPR from 1976-1994 where she began her career as traffic clerk and climbed to the position of Director of Broadcast Operation and telecommunications at Viacom CBS. She received an Emmy and Silver Circle Award for her contributions. Michelle mentored high school and college students in their pursuit of careers in broadcasting and marketing. She sung with the Brazeal Dennard Chorale and was active in her church and the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Brenda Perryman taught speech and drama at Southfield High School from 1988-2010. She directed the annual fall and spring plays at the school. In addition, she was an accomplished poet and write. For many years she hosted “Table Talk” on community access cable TV, Comcast 20/WHPR. Prior to coming to Southfield she taught speech and English in Highland Park.