The life of John Henry Harmon Jr. was celebrated at Ebenezer A.M.E. church in Evanston on June 8.  John passed on May 26.  He had belonged to Ebenezer since he was a child. 

I attended the celebration and was comforted by seeing the large number of people in attendance and hearing family members, friends and ministers praise John for his devotion to his family.  John was always there for them. 

Vivid memories of John chauffeuring and assisting his mother and her senior friends were evoked.  The officiating minister commented on the rarity of having a child as devoted as John.  Exemplary devotion. 

Speakers also spoke about the devotion of John’s family to him after he became ill and was in a nursing home.  At least one member of John’s family visited him and/or advocated for him each day.  John’s brother-in-law went to see him everyday, even after working for more than 12 hours.  Exemplary devotion to a devoted person. 

I met John years ago at an NAACP meeting.  He would often call me thereafter to discuss NAACP matters and his concerns about violence, politics and racism.  His dedication to improving life in Evanston and beyond was commendable and will always be remembered. 

It became clear during the celebration that appreciation and respect for John went beyond the walls of Ebenezer.  Ministers from other churches spoke in celebration of John’s life, and resolutions from Second Baptist Church and Christ Temple were read. 

John’s life had not been lived in vain.  His devotion to his family and his family’s devotion to him were exemplary.

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...