Bertha Elizabeth Powell Harvey was born April 30,1934 in Oakdale PA to Margaret Belle Powell and James Edward Powell, Sr. From the very beginning family was established as a cornerstone of her life. Her first name “Bertha” was in honor of her maternal grandmother, Bertha Robinson. Her second name “Elizabeth” honored her beloved paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Powell Armstead. Make no mistake, though, she had a very strong preference for being called “Betty.” Just “Betty.”
At a young age, having attended First Baptist Church of McDonald beside Grandma Lizzie, Betty accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized in the faith. She fondly and vividly remembered participating in the Baptist Young People’s Union, as well as the soaring anthems of the Silver Leaf Choir.
As she grew into adulthood, she became a beautiful woman with a natural sense of style and high fashion. Betty loved clothes and wore them beautifully. She was always well presented and turned out. Eventually, she was noticed by the fashion movement of the Pittsburgh Courier and named to Pittsburgh’s “Ten Best Dressed” list—ultimately going into the Hall of Fame. In the early morning of May 17, 2023, she was blessed to cast off earthly clothes and put on the heavenly raiment of crown and robe.
The dearest things in her life were God, family, and friends. She served God in various ways, but primarily in song. She loved to sing and found great purpose and joy in contributing her voice to local choirs, including Rodman Street Baptist Choir, Edwin Hawkins Pittsburgh chapter and, of course, First Baptist Church of McDonald choirs.
As a young woman she married the late William “Clay” Harvey, and they raised three daughters: Vickie, Monica, and Lisa. She took pride in being a mother, and was intent on exposing them to people, places, and things beyond the scope of home.
Betty had many acquaintances, as well as several dear friends. Some have passed on, while others remain. She loved and cherished them all. She was known to be faithful with good (often hilarious) conversation, and right on time with a thoughtful card for birthdays and special occasions.
Deceased in addition to her parents, are two brothers: James Edward Powell, Jr` and Frederick Neal Powell; a granddaughter Hilary Dunbar and also deceased as family and friend is ex-husband, Clay.
Surviving is her youngest brother, Thomas (Rochelle) Powell of Stamford, CT; her eldest daughter, Victoria Renee Dunbar of McDonald, PA; middle daughter, Monica Lee Harvey of Bethel Park, and youngest daughter, Lisa Jo Harvey of Pittsburgh and a granddaughter Kendall Dunbar.
Betty left this life a much loved and admired woman. To God be the glory.
The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. Psalms 118:14
Arrangements are private under the direction of Nation Funeral Home, 220 E Lincoln Avenue, McDonald, PA 15057.
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