FARRELL, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – A homegoing celebration in honor of Mrs. LaVerne June Ponder-Ellerbe will be held Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Cedar Avenue Church of God, 1045 Cedar Avenue in Sharon, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Ellerbe departed this life Thursday, September 1, 2022.

LaVerne was born June 17, 1935 in Farrell, Pennsylvania to Mr. Nellion and Mrs. Elsie Louise Copeland-Ponder. She was the third of five children: sister, Juanita Boatner (deceased), brother, Nellion, Jr. (deceased), brother, Wendell Leon (deceased) and sister, Carol Jean Ponder.

Mrs. Ellerbe attended the JA Farrell School and was a 1953 graduate of Farrell Senior High School. Immediately after graduating high school, Mrs. Ellerbe enrolled as a student at Sharon General School of Nursing and completed the Registered Nursing Program as one of two African American students in 1956.

Mrs. Ellerbe would work as a registered nurse at Sharon General Hospital for 35 years, retiring in November 1997. Mrs. Ellerbe was a proud nurse that enjoyed the compassion, dedication, serious commitment and knowledge that is required on the job.

Mrs. Ellerbe married Christopher Ellerbe in 1957 and together they had four children, Crystal Lynne Ellerbe-Gregory, Christopher, Jr. (deceased one day after birth), Carol Diane (deceased at 2 ½ years old) and Gloria Lorraine Ellerbe. Mrs. Ellerbe and Christopher Ellerbe divorced in 1979.

Mrs. Ellerbe was a strong woman of faith, virtue, prayer and living by example on her Christian walk. A member of Cedar Avenue Church of God, she was saved April 14, 1963, a few days after the death of her daughter on April 9, 1963. Mrs. Ellerbe also belonged to a group of Christian believers and prayer warriors who literally walked the streets throughout the community praying for people, called the Prayer Partners. She was also a member of the group “Fools for Christ” and a former choir member. One of her favorite scriptures is 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 because it speaks about love and compassion and Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Mrs. Ellerbe was one of God’s devout soldiers during her life and will rejoice in the kingdom of God.

LaVerne is survived by sister, Carol Jean Ponder; daughters, Crystal Lynn Gregory and Gloria Lorraine Ellerbe; grandchildren, Terrica L. Gregory, Melvin T. Gregory, Vernon F. Scott, Jr., Marcus A. Gregory, Collette Gregory, Ashley C. Scott and Robert C. Trudo III; great-grandchildren, Whitney A. Murray, Wandell A. Murray, Malaysia A. Gregory, Terrica L. Murray, Sanaa N. Gregory, Tayonna L. Murray, Dwight S. Gregory-Allen, Malachi M. Owens, Jalen T. Gregory, L’Wren N. Gregory and Caaliyah C. Gregory and great-great-grandchildren, Ja’Elle L. Goudy and Imari A. Murray.

She was preceded in death by parents, Nellion and Elsie Louise Ponder; sister, Juanita Boatner; brothers, Nellion, Jr. and Wendell Leon; children, Christopher, Jr. and Carol Diane and great-grandchild, William Anthony Murray, Jr.

The family will receive friends Thursday, September 8, 2022 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the church.

Arrangements handled by J.E. Washington Funeral Services.

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