Ada H. Sharpe, of Charlotte, born December 5, 1908 in Wilson County, NC, died peacefully at Sunrise Senior Living Facility, August 21, 2010 – just 3 1/2 months short of her 102nd birthday. A graduate of Fayetteville State teachers College, she taught primary grades in several of Wilson County’s two-room Rosenwald Schools and the first of its three Black consolidated high schools, Speight, for over 39 years. Moreover, she was active in numerous civic organizations, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and volunteered at OIC and Wilson Memorial Hospital for over 12 years after retirement.
God blessed her marital union in 1933 with Willie Gorham Reid, Sr. (died 1963), a successful barber, with 1 son, Rev. Dr. Willie Gorham Reid, Jr., a Presbyterian minister, who preceded her in death in 1990. In 1972 she married a successful farmer, entrepreneur, financier and well-known civil rights activist Mark B. Sharpe (died in 2009 at age 98); from this union she gained 9 adopted children – Barbara, Rudolph, Eugene, Trumilla, Dorothy, Earnestine, Betty, David, and Gail, who died in 1995. It was providential that she taught Mark’s 7 older children in primary school and had the joy of also nurturing and mothering them in their adult life. A praying and deeply spiritual servant-teacher for God, she was the oldest living member of Jackson Chapel Baptist Church, having been baptized there over 73 years ago by Rev. B.F. Jordan. In 2005 when she and Mark moved to Sunrise Assisted Living in Charlotte, they chose to become members of Indian Hill A.M.E. Zion Church, and their daughter, the Rev. Dr. Dorothy Sharpe Johnson, became their pastor. Other living relatives include a nephew, Theodore (Estelle) Artis; a niece, Minister Jacqueline (Earl) Hill; many cousins, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Sharpe’s memorial service will be held at Long and Son Mortuary Chapel, 2312 Beatties Ford Road, Wednesday, 7-8 p.m. The funeral will be held at Jackson Chapel Baptist Church in Wilson, corner of Nash and Pender Streets, Thursday, with her pastor, Dr. Dorothy S. Johnson, preaching the eulogy. The visitation hour will be from 11-12 noon and the burial will be in Rest Haven Cemetery.
Published in Charlotte Observer, 23 August 2010. Obituary online here.
In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Leander Harris, 24, wife Lucy, 27, and daughter Ada, 1.
In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Leander Harris, 33; wife Lucy, 35; and daughters Ada, 11, Rosa, 9, Daisy, 7, and Ida, 5.
In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Leander Harris, 44; wife Lucy, 48; and daughters Ada E., 21, schoolteacher, Rosa, 20, Davie, 18, and Ida, 15.
On 30 November 1933, Gorham Reid, 30, of Greene County, son of Bill and Bettie Reid, married Ada Harriss, 25, of Black Creek, daughter of Leander and Rosa Harriss. Elder Primitive Baptist minister Paul Bunch performed the ceremony at L.H. Harriss’ in the presence of David Bynum, G.S. Woodard and S.L. Woodard.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Willie Reid, 36, and wife Ada, 31, schoolteacher.