Today (April 12th) we celebrate John Earl Hargrove on what would’ve been his 88th birthday. John died gently, as he had lived, on April 7th in White Plains Hospital from complications of a stroke.
He was born April 12, 1929 to Mack and Evelyn Hargrove in Henderson, North Carolina. He grew up as a country boy—farming and holding odd jobs to help provide for the household. He was a brilliant high school student and talented football player contributing to the many scholarships awards he was offered to attend college. He was sensitive to his mother’s need for assistance and choose to enlist in the United State Army in order to continue contributing to his family. He served in the Korean War and, after distinguished service, he was honorably discharged.
John moved to White Plains, New York in 1950 to pursue better job opportunities. He married Boncille Mindingall in 1953 and moved to Elmsford, New York with 3 step children. They had one son, John Earl Hargrove Jr, before Boncille passed away in 1954. John married Margaret Anderson in 1962 and gained a step-daughter, Lena Anderson. John and Margaret have remained married for 57 years. Their great love for one another enriched all who knew them.
John worked as an Assistant Health Aide in the Psychiatric Ward at the Grasslands Hospital (now known as the Westchester Medical Center) for 25 years. His passion for people was evident in his ability to care for patients, and he was well known for bringing his sense of humor to situations that were difficult. He always prayed fervently for others and had the listening ear of God entwined in his spirit.
John was a devoted member of Mt. Hope where he joined the fellowship in 1953. He was a loyal member of the choir rendering a solo now and then with the sultry down-home style he had adopted from childhood. He served as a Steward for 5 years and then on the Trustee Board for 26 years. He was the Treasurer of the Trustees and has been celebrated as the Frederick Douglass Award winner in 2016 for his contributions to the church and community. He was a reliable servant always available to help opening and closing the church and kept a watchful eye on the church. He remained humble and straight forward in his attitude and demeanor, never saying a discouraging word to anyone. When pressed by adversity he was likely to “tell it like it t’is” or sing a song in response. He was able to find redeeming value and beauty in others, even when no one else would see it.
He was a faithful member of the White Plains/Greenburgh NAACP and supported all of the initiatives led by his step-daughter, the current President. His most devoted game-changer was in Education where he contributed regularly.
John leaves behind on earth and watches over in heaven his loving wife Margaret, his son John Jr. his step-daughter Lena, his cherished granddaughter Julia Anderson-Lee, Cassandra Hargrove and Christopher Hargrove, his dearest niece Inez McMillan, and a host of cousins, nephews and nieces.
The Entire Staff of Lee's Funeral Home, LLC respects that the family of John Hargrove entrusted the care of their loved one to us, and that they value the level of service & attention our funeral home provides. We are honored, in turn, to provide comfort, assistance and service to the family of John Hargrove during their time of bereavement.