Geraldine R. Campbell

Published 9:46 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

Dec. 16, 1928 – Sept. 16, 2017

RICH SQUARE – Geraldine (Jeri) Rice Campbell of Rich Square, NC died at Vidant Medical Center, Greenville, NC, on September 16, 2017.

A celebration of her life was held at Willow Oak AME Church in Rich Square on September 21. Arrangements were by Mills Funeral Home, Kinston, and Goldsboro Cremation Services, Goldsboro.

Jeri was born December 16, 1928 in Newburg, NY, the only child of Leona Rice of Garysburg and Thomas Jenkins of Weldon, NC. She was raised in New York City by her adoptive parents, Jean and Matthew Buffaloe of Seaboard, NC and graduated from Northampton County Training School in Garysburg.


Jeri met and married W.T. Harvey of Rich Square, NC and began their family of four children in the late 1940s. Her first job outside the home was at Mylecraft Sewing Factory where she rose from operator to supervisor. Later in life she found professional opportunities in fields ranging from corrections to catering. She directed a half-way house correctional facility for female offenders (NC Department of Corrections, Charlotte, 1971-1980); served as Captain and Commander of the High Point Detention Center (Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, Greensboro and High Point, 1981-1992); and assisted in sales and events planning for Catering by Ellyn (Greensboro, 2003-2006). She could handle a 15-passenger van; shoot a service revolver; and take orders for wedding parties!

Jeri, the retiree, returned to Rich Square around 2004, living first in a sprawling ranch house on Bryantown Road, and lastly in her “tiny house”, a Richland apartment on Main Street, where she could watch the comings of people out her front door, and going of birds from feeders out her back door. She loved her apartment; she loved her neighbors; she loved her independence. She simply loved where and how she lived.

Folks in and around Roanoke Rapids, Jackson, and Rich Square knew the ever-busy Miss Jeri in her bright red Volvo station wagon, a car she drove till she could drive no more. Church suppers could count on her deviled eggs; her pound cakes were a Christmas must-have; and her bean soups needed no extras. She rarely forgot a birthday; made regular posts to her Face Book account; watched Judge Judy religiously; collected Miss Read books; adored Lionel Ritchie for some reason; and thought any meal worth eating came with delicious hot bread.

Jeri was a beautiful woman, posing for glamour shots in Harlem in the 40s; a smart woman, scoring near perfect on the civil service exam in the 60s; and a wise woman, giving counsel heartfelt but sparing.

Jeri left to mourn her loss children, Wanda Harvey (Hampton Woods, Jackson); Thomas Harvey and wife, Marsheila (Rich Square); Nicholas Harvey I and wife, Eleanor (Grifton); and Gwen and husband, Roosevelt Carter (Portland, OR); and grandchildren, Nicholas II and his wife, Erin, and great-grandson, Nicholas III (Kinston); Loriel Harvey (Fairfax, VA); Willie Mills-Harvey (Morrisville); Jarvis Harvey (Roanoke Rapids); Jamari Carter (Portland, OR); Jamila Carter Meeks and husband, Clifford, and great-grandson, Xavior (Portland, OR).

She also left many cousins and cousins of cousins; friends and friends of friends; as Jeri was a woman who formed and cherished bonds of good will and great love throughout her near 89 years.