Martha Harris Archer
Aug 18, 1926Jul 04, 2018
Affinity Funeral Service
Sat, July 21, 2018
2 : 00 PM – 4 : 00 PM
ARCHER, MARTHA H. (MARTHA AMELIA SOURS, MARTHA YOUNG, MARTHA HARRIS) 91, passed away Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Martha was a lover of life, a life-long Episcopal, a proud Educator, a passionate raconteur, a true giver, a compassionate and loyal friend and a blessing to everyone she ever met. Her brothers and sisters, family and friends meant everything to her, but most of all, she loved her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her beloved nieces and nephews who were such an integral part of her life. Martha never met a stranger, and everyone who was blessed to pass her way soon found a kindred spirit, a concerned companion and a devoted friend, and in turn loved her for her effervescent beauty and enduring grace. Her smile, sincerity and personality were magnetic, drawing you in to share in her joy and vibrant spirit. Her sense of history profound, her love of family deep, her care and concern immediate, and her stories contagious, making everyone around her instantly feel as if they had always been part of her immediate family or at the very least a long lost and beloved friend. Martha was a woman of great beauty, strength, compassion, wisdom and grace, and to the very end was actively involved: supporting her children and grandchildren, sharing her keen insight with everyone she met, conveying a deeper understanding and loving support to family members and always seeing the very best in everyone she met. Over her many years, Martha cherished being a mother, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend. She loved children, black-eyed susan’s, orchids and nature, collecting (almost anything), sewing, and was especially proud to be a public school teacher. During the Civil Rights movement Martha was one of the first teachers in the city of Richmond to volunteer to teach in a minority school and following retirement, actually substituted into her late seventies. She loved to travel, especially on family visits and to the beach and spoke fondly and often of each, she loved her God, the Episcopal Church, the Moose, the Masonic Order and with her mother was a member of the Eastern Star. She cared deeply for Longwood (where she graduated), UVA, ASU, VCU, American, Forest Creek, the Redskins, Robert Service, Tennyson, Robert Frost and “The Road Not Taken,” tennis, politics and every sport, activity, dance, song, play, writing, book or movie that any of her loved ones were engaged in. Martha will be missed beyond words and is survived by her children, Thomas (and Rebecca) Harris, Cherie Bertozzi and Hope Bellgren; her beloved grandchildren: Amelia, Alexzander and Aaron Bellgren, Bren Bertozzi, Corinne, Ariel and Ian (and Fariha) Harris, Camille (and Dominik) Kosna, Tyler (and Kadie) Charles; great-grandchildren Kayleigh, Vivian, Nicholas and Kimber; her brother Ben Sours; her nieces and nephews, Martha, Carmen, David, Esther, Anne, Beth, Ed, Martha K, Paul, Grey, John, Susan, Mickie, Connie, Ruth Anne, Mary, Bonnie, Scott, Bud and their respective families; Glen, Mary Catherine and “her” special children (Pete, Mark, Skip, Millicent, John, Stuart, Pat, Cheri, Debbie, Linda, Lana, Madison, Jordan and Star) as well as, her devoted friends, Winnie, Dottie, Sarah, Barbara, Carol, Mike, Renee, Mike, Cindy, Ruby, Muriel and Carolyn.
She was preceded in death by sisters, Esther Allen Sours, Mary Francis Kearns, Katherine Moeschler and brothers, Charles Gray Sours, William M. Sours and James Sours and Spouses, John W. Harris, James Young, and Harold G. Archer, Jr.
Relatives and friends are invited to a Memorial Service on Saturday July 21st from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at Affinity Funeral Service, 2720 Enterprise Parkway (near the intersection of Broad Street and Parham Road) Richmond, Virginia and Sunday, August 26th at 2 PM at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 66 North Main Street, Chatham, Virginia 24531. Interment will follow.
The family extends their sincere appreciation to the Doctors and nurses who cared for her and to the medical staff at Johnston Willis Hospital for their efforts and concern. In memory of our beloved mother, memorial contributions may be given to SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN 2900 Rocky Point Drive; Tampa Florida 33607 US 844-739-0849
***Martha was a storyteller, please share your stories and memories***
Mama, The kindest, sweetest woman to ever grace my life. So beautiful and wise, you will be truly missed but will forever live in our hearts. Much Love, Brandy, Doug, Rylan, & Liam
Ariel Harris added 2 photos
This has been an incredibly difficult and painful week or so … and it may seem a bit unusual to share a story from mama but I would like to do just that since it was one of the few stories that we were fortunate enough to have from mom written by mom as we worked on her “computer skills” Please take the time to read – and enjoy!
GOD SPEAKS TO US IN MANY WAYS. I HAVE ALWAYS SENT HIM AND JESUS PRAYERS AND FELT THEIR LOVING CARE IN RETURN; THEY HAVE HELPED ME THROUGH MANY HARD TIMES IN MY LIFE BY GUIDING ME OR SENDING ME SOMEONE TO EASE MY PAIN OR SUFFERING.WHEN I FELL ON THE SIDEWALK NEAR MY APARTMENT I HAD STEPPED OUT OF THE STREET TO NOT HAVE A CAR HIT ME BUT I DID NOT LIFT MY FOOT HIGH ENOUGH AND TRIPPED ON THE CURB. I HIT MY HEAD, MY NOSE, MY CHIN, MY ARMS WERE PITTED WITH SCRAPES AND BRUISES AND MY KNEES STARTED TO SWELL. I HURT ALL OVER. I SCREAMED AND CRIED. TWO WONDERFUL WOMEN CAME QUICKLY TO MY AID. THEY COMFORTED ME WITH THEIR VOICES, HELD MY HANDS AND PRAYED FOR ME. I CONTINUED TO CRY AND SCREAM IN PAIN. ALL OF A SUDDEN THEIR PRAYERS STARTED TO FLOW FROM THEIR HANDS HOLDING MINE THROUGH MY HAND MY ARM MY BODY, MY OTHER ARM AND MY HAND. THEN THAT HAND SENT PRAYERS BACK THROUGH MY BODY TO THE OTHER HAND. I COULD HEAR WHAT THEY WERE SAYING. THE MESSAGES CONTINUED FOR ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE TIMES…THEN A STRING OF IVORY MEDALLIONS CAME FROM MY RIGHT HAND WITH NO WORDS…QUIET…AS IF GOD WAS SAYING TO ME…I WAS GOING TO HURT BUT HE WAS NOT READY FOR ME TO DIE…IT WAS NOT MY TIME…THE PRAYERS STARTED AGAIN BACK AND FORTH. I COULD HEAR THEM. THEY CONTINUED ABOUT FOUR TIMES THEN ANOTHER LINE WITH NO SOUND OF THE IVORY MEDALLIONS WOULD GO THROUGH MY HAND AND BODY AGAIN. IT REPEATED OVER AND OVER…I WAS AFRAID THAT THEY WOULD TURN MY HANDS ALOOSE AND THE BEAUTIFUL WORDS WOULD STOP. THEY WERE WONDERFUL.
MY GRANDDAUGHTER ARIEL CALLED 911 AND THE AMBULANCE CAME AND THE LADIES SAID THAT THEY WOULD NOT LEAVE ME UNTIL THE AMBULANCE HAD ME IN THEIR HANDS. THEN MY GRANDDAUGHTER CALLED MY SON AND DAUGHTER IN LAW WHO WERE WAITING FOR ME WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE HOSPITAL. ARIEL MET ME AT THE HOSPITAL AS WELL WITH ALL OF MY RELEVANT PAPERS. I WAS THEN CHECKED INTO THE HOSPITAL AND THEY TREATED ME. AFTER EXAMINING ME THEY SENT ME HOME WITH MEDICINE WHERE I STAYED IN BED FOR OVER A WEEK BEING NURSED BY MY GRANDDAUGHTER WHO REMAINED WITH ME.I SOON FOUND OUT THAT BOTH OF THESE WONDERFUL LADIES WERE MINISTERS AND I REALIZED IMMEDIATELY WHY I FELT SO MUCH AT PEACE THE VERY FIRST TIME I VISITED WHAT IS NOW MY HOME. AT NINETY YEARS OF AGE I INTUITIVELY KNEW I NEEDED TO MOVE TO A PLACE THAT WAS MORE ACCEPTING OF MY AGE AND PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS…BUT NOW BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT GOD HAS MORE FOR ME TO DO DURING MY EARTHLY STAY. OF COURSE SINCE HAVING THE HANDS OF BISHOP BROWN LAID ON ME AT THE AGE OF TWLEVE WHEN I WAS FORMALLY WELCOMED INTO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH I HAVE ALWAYS FELT VERY CLOSE TO MY LORD AND SAVIOR BUT NEVER WAS SPOKEN TO THIS CLEARLY BEFORE.ONCE BACK HOME MIRIAM AND CAROLYN…MY FOREVER SPECIAL ANGELS…CAME TO SEE HOW I WAS DOING. WHAT WONDERFUL FRIENDS AND HOW BLESSED I HAVE BEEN TO HAVE GOD SPEAK SO CLEARLY TO ME.MARTHA ARCHER – JUNE 29, 2016
I loved her like she was my own grandmother. I even would call her grandma. My dad loved seeing her and he thought she was the sweetest lady to ever grace his presence. My grandmother loved her and always asked about her. My whole family knew of how amazing she was. Every time I would come see her with her granddaughter, Ariel, she would tell me, â€œYou have your kids, then you have your kids by choice, and honey you are part of my family.â€ She meant so much to me, I loved listening to her tell me about how the world was years ago. Her stories never failed to entertain. She will be greatly missed, not just by me, her extended family, but by everyone she touched. She was truly an angel on earth and now sheâ€™s an angel in heaven.
Brenda Bertozzi lit a candle for Martha Harris Archer
Martha, Oh how you will be missed.
You were and are the quintessential mother, who always made it a point to include those in need even when they were proverbial outsiders.
Some of my favorite sayings came from you: ” This too shall pass.” and ” To thine own self be true.” I have fully manifested the latter in this life even if not in ways you had envisioned.
You were a mother to me but also a sister and a dear friend. Your wise oversight often saved me from some serious predicaments. We related on so many topics, and even so during the last call some months ago.
May your sweet heart rest in heaven with the angels.
I love you to the moon and back and am devastated by your passing.
Love, your girl, Lana
Hope lit a candle for Martha Harris Archer
It is not with sadness that I think of a life lived comforting others..I will forever hear your sweet, southern charmed voice “..and how are you darling?” Every time we had the opportunity to take a few moments, you would force me take a slow,deep breath and realize that the calm you brought was a gift.
You will be missed by everyone you touched but I am certain that God is overjoyed with his decision to have you come home with such grace.
Thank you Ms. Harris for being you and letting me see the world through a more pure lens.
Jacqueline A Pemberton lit a candle for Martha Harris Archer
This feels exactly like losing my own mother. I was blessed to have her and the family in my life. She always provided a safe place of refuge when life threw curve balls and we couldnâ€™t always duck. I heeded her counsel more than I ever did my parentsâ€™ advice. In the years since I last saw her, I often thought of her and would ask â€œwhat would momma harris tell me to doâ€. Peace and aloha to Snookie, Cherie, and Hope. I regret that I am unable to get to Virginia for the service as I would love to visit with family and talk story of this remarkable woman! Also, Happy Birthday Snookie! You were so lucky to have your mom for so many prior birthdays. It is a gift denied to many.
Debbie Driscoll Goodman
Rebecca Harris lit a candle for Martha Harris Archer
Snooky lit a candle for Martha Harris Archer
Martha had a way of touching everyone she met and making them feel like they were Part of her family.. I will always be grateful that our paths in this life crossed and I will never forget what a caring and loving friend she was to me