Donald Jerome Harvey, 69, of Springfield, MA, died suddenly on Sunday January 2, 2022, after a brief illness at Baystate Medical Center. Born in Hartford, Connecticut on March 9, 1952, son of the late William and Minnie (Pierce) Wheatle, he grew up in Hartford and graduated from Weaver High School, class of 1970. After high school, Donald continued his education at St. Augustine University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he studied liberal arts. He returned to Hartford and accepted a day care position at St. Monica’s Episcopal Church in Hartford. He then moved to Springfield, MA, where he worked as a case manager at Springfield Rescue Mission. Evenings and weekends Donald has also worked at Barker Steel and Yankee Candle in Deerfield, MA. Donald loved his job and had just retired in 2021 after more than 20 years of service with the Springfield Rescue Mission. A true man of relationships, Donald was always ready to lend a hand to others. He has used his life experiences to positively influence others on their journey. Donald was defined by his heart and his love for the people who were present in everything he did. He was always motivated to help others and he loved everyone, no matter what the circumstances of his life or those of others. His heart was large and it was important for him to share it with others. Growing up in Hartford, Donald developed his love for the arts, especially photography and drawing. He grew up in the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Hartford and then attended Somers Baptist Church where he participated in Bible studies and other ministries within the life of the church. He is survived by his son, Justin Jerome Thompson of Durham, NC; two granddaughters, Tatum Melody of Myrtle Beach, SC and Jaylen Thompson of Orlando, FL; two brothers, William Harvey and his wife Leslie of Durham, NC and Walter Cross and his wife Iris Nieves-Cross of Hartford, CT; two sisters, Deborah Johnson and Denise Johnson; a beloved cousin, Emma Pierce of Boynton Beach, Florida; and a childhood friend, the Reverend Darryl C. Burke of Bloomfield, CT. His family will receive his friends on Tuesday, Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m., at the Chapel of Carmon Windsor Funeral Home, 807 Bloomfield Ave., Windsor, CT. Interment will be private. In memory of Donald’s lifelong work at the Springfield Rescue Mission, the family requested that memorial contributions be made to Springfield Rescue Mission, PO Box 9045, Springfield, MA, 01102-9045 or by visiting, www.springfieldrescuemission.org. For online condolences and to view the service live or after, Tuesday, January 11 at 11 a.m., please visit, www.carmonfuneralhome.com.
Posted by Hartford Courant on January 9, 2022.