Donald Jerome Harvey, 69, of Springfield, MA, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, January 2, 2022, after a brief illness at Baystate Medical Center. Born in Hartford, CT on March 9, 1952, son of the late William and Minnie (Pierce) Wheatle, he was raised in Hartford and was a graduate of Weaver High School, Class of 1970. After high school, Donald continued his education at St. Augustine University in Raleigh, NC where he studied liberal arts. He returned to Hartford and took a position at St. Monica’s Episcopal Church Daycare Center in Hartford. He later moved to Springfield, MA where he worked as a case manager at Springfield Rescue Mission. In the evenings and weekends, Donald also worked at Barker Steel and at Yankee Candle in Deerfield, MA. Donald loved his work and had just retired in 2021 after over 20 years of service at the Springfield Rescue Mission. A true people person, Donald was always willing to lend a helping hand to others. He used his experiences in life to positively influence others in their journey. Donald was defined by his heart and his love for people that was present in everything he did. He was always motivated to help others, and he loved everyone regardless of his own or others life circumstances. His heart was vast and it was important for him to share it with others. While growing up in Hartford, Donald developed his love for the arts, especially photography and sketching. He was raised in Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Hartford and later attended Somers Baptist Church where he participated in Bible studies and other ministries within the life of the church. He leaves to mourn his passing, a 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, FL; and a childhood friend, The Rev. Darryl C. Burke of Bloomfield, CT. His family will receive friends on Tuesday, January 11, 10-11 a.m., followed by a funeral service 11 a.m., in the chapel of the Carmon Windsor Funeral Home, 807 Bloomfield Ave., Windsor, CT. Burial will be private. In memory of Donald’s life work at the Springfield Rescue Mission the family has requested that memorial contributions be made to Springfield Rescue Mission, P.O. 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 11th at 11 a.m., please visit, www.carmonfuneralhome.com.
Published by Hartford Courant on Jan. 9, 2022.