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Alvena (Pearce) Crump
August 18, 1930 ~ February 6, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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As the sun rises to commemorate a new day, a child is born to commemorate a new life. This new child,
Alvena Marjorie Pearce (Crump), was born to the late Alton Pearce Sr. and Flora (Mills) Pearce on August
18, 1930, in East Chicago, Indiana. She is preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Joseph R.
Crump, one sister LaVonne Lewis, and brother Alton Pearce Jr., two nephews, Reuben and Elliott Lewis,
and a niece Dawn Few. The sun set beyond the horizon on Monday, February 6, 2023, at her daughter’s
Nashville home with two of her five children by her side.
Alvena professed Christ at an early age and was active with her siblings in church, participating in skits,
singing in the choir, and attending BTU. She continued her activities there until she was introduced to
Adventism by her uncle James Pearce and was baptized into Gary Mizpah SDA Church by Elder J. H.
Lawrence. Alvena was an excellent student and graduated with honors from Washington High School in
East Chicago, Indiana. She set out to accomplish her goal of becoming a nurse. Alvena initially attended
EMC (Andrews University) for a short period, but eventually applied and was accepted into Loma Linda
University’s nursing program. Alvena loved her time in the nursing program and was doing quite well
until she contracted Tuberculosis, and her plans were halted. After time in the Sanitarium, Alvena
returned to East Chicago where she continued serving in the church as a pianist and Sabbath School
It was in East Chicago where she met her husband, Joseph Crump, and they were united in holy
matrimony. Alvena and Joseph enjoyed each other for 62 years until his death, in January 2016.
Together they formed a God-centered home with a strong focus on education.
Completing her education was always a priority, and Alvena was introduced to a program that would
allow persons to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. She embarked on her journey with four
children and completed her Bachelor of Education degree within three years, graduating just before her
last child was born. Alvena continued her education and completed her Master’s degree, an impressive
feat for a Black Woman at the time. Alvena spent over thirty years in Education, teaching at McKinley
School in East Chicago, Indiana, and over 24 years at John H. Vohr Elementary in Gary, Indiana. Always a
hard worker, Alvena made the decision to can and freeze food during the summer to cut expenses. She
believed work was essential to developing her children, her nieces and nephew, and the neighborhood
children. Alvena and her sister, LaVonne taught children the importance of working together to prepare
for future days. For all those who helped in the summer gathering, dinner was always available in the
winter. There were very few days when our table did not have some of her “children” there.
Upon retirement, she moved to Huntsville, Alabama, which allowed her to be near her grandchildren.
Never one to sit still, Alvena became certified as a Master Gardner and spent many days working in
Huntsville’s Botanical Gardens. She served in First Seventh Day Adventist Church as a deaconess and
sang in the Inspirational Choir while mentoring many young people from the church and her community.
Alvena was an avid reader and loved working in the garden. Those who knew Alvena found her a loyal
and committed friend who made herself available.
Alvena leaves to cherish her memories:
Five children: Edwin (Channelle) of Las Vegas, NV; David of Columbia, MD; Adriene Harris of Huntsville,
AL; Andrea (Frank) Thomas of Nashville, TN; and Joseph Darryl of Oak Park, IL. One Sister-in-law: Phyllis
Pearce of Gary, IN.
Five grandchildren: Sharea Harris of Hampton, VA; Corey (Quinetta) Thomas of Nashville, TN; Cameron