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Neva SergeantMeva (Neva) Daphne Sergeant, nÃ©e Haye, died Monday, April 19, 2021, at home. She was 92 years old.
She was the first of nine children born to Amos and Mary (Parry) Haye in Cascade in the parish of St. Mary in Jamaica, West Indies. Meva moved to Kingston at an early age to live with an aunt. She worked at Dairy Farms in addition to other jobs and later met and married Wendell Sergeant. They had six children.
Wendell immigrated to the U.S. in 1969 and Meva and the children joined him in 1975. She soon went to work as a nurse's aide at Eastchester Park Nursing Home in the Bronx. For many years, she commuted by subway, leaving home in Brooklyn at 5 a.m. to get to work for 7 a.m. In 1986, after all her children had graduated high school, she moved the family to the north Bronx so that she could be closer to work. She retired in 2000 after 25 years.
Meva, the family's matriarch, was, as a cousin puts it, "an upright, decent and nice person." She was loved by those who knew her.
Not one to seek attention, Meva was private, spiritual and she had a great sense of humor, always quick to deliver a punchline. She was an excellent cook and was often sought after by friends to prepare favorite dishes such as escovitch fish and curried goat. She was also a great baker and was often called upon to make Jamaican snacks such as grater cake/pink on top and coconut drops.
Her children remember her as a strong, supportive, kindhearted, and hardworking woman. Meva was also a snappy dresser, never missing the opportunity to top off her church outfits with a matching hat. But, most of all, Meva was a family woman. She was a devoted mother and a doting grandmother and great-grandmother. It was abundantly clear to relatives and friends that her children meant the world to her, and she was extremely protective of them. She could often be heard saying, "I just want to see my children pass the worse."
"She lived her life for the kids. She went through some hard times, but it was all about the kids," remarked one cousin.
Meva had a strong sense of empathy for others and was also a comforting source for many friends who would seek her out in times of troubles. Her closest friends recall her as someone who looked out for others and advocated for them in adverse situations.
Meva maintained a close connection with her brothers and sisters, and extended relatives. And she also fostered a close-knit environment in her own home. It was important to her that her children live harmoniously and support each other.
Even though her children went off to live in other states and countries, her home was always the center for major holiday gatherings.
It was also important to Meva that her children excelled in school, and she encouraged them to pursue the highest levels of education that they could achieve. She also instilled in them a commitment to finding a church home wherever they lived.
Meva enjoyed traveling with her family. She has visited many countries including Egypt, South Africa, Japan, and the United Kingdom. She has traveled across the U.S., favoring Hawaii, where she visited more than a half dozen times.
An avid sports fan, Meva devoted many hours at home and at the games cheering on her favorite teams, the New York Yankees, and the New York Knicks. She also enjoyed track and field, often taking the trip to cheer on her children and grandchildren who excelled at the sport.
Meva is survived by her six children, Jean, Margaret, Jacqueline, Shelley, Lola, and Wendell; one son-in-law, Gregory; eleven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren; three brothers, Norris, Lasbury and John, and one sister, Alma; many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. She is predeceased by four siblings, Sislyn, Rosetta, Valentine and Bergman.
A wake will take place at the Pelham Funeral Home located at 64 Lincoln Ave., Pelham, N.Y. on Friday, April 30th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 1, at 11 a.m. (viewing at 10 a.m.) at Crawford Memorial United Methodist Church, 3757 White Plains Road, Bronx, N.Y. 10467. Those wishing to watch Neva's service on live stream may do so by logging onto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5shgwBtSRoU
In remembrance of Neva Sergeant's life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to Alzheimer's Foundation of America.Donations are tax deductible. Not for profit 501(c)(3). Tax ID # 91-1792864 (Please designate all donations go to research).
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