Welzetta J. HardemanApril 1, 1936 ~ December 11, 2017 (age 81)
Welzetta Josephine Hardeman
Welzetta Josephine Hardeman was born April 1, 1936, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents Howard Franklin and Bertha Odeal Freanklin. She departed this life peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Monday, December 11, 2017, after a courageous battle with illness.
Rosetta, as she was affectionately called, was united in marriage to Alton Hardeman, Sr., and from their union six children were born.
She was preceded in death by her brother Howard Franklin, her daughter Clarice Jean Hardeman, and survived by her other children; Carol Hardeman, Alton (Cozia) Hardeman, Michelle Hardeman, Germaine (Isaac) Marsh, Gail (Kevin) Baltimore, six grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and other beloved relatives and friends.
Welzetta graduated from Schenley High School in 1954. Shortly after earning her degree, she married and became a home maker to her children. She was employed by the Pittsburgh Public School system as a lunch aide at Madison Elementary School where she took great pride in offering direction, support and love to all the many kids who passed through its doors.
She was a proud member of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church where she visited as a child and eventually became a member as an adult; there she was a committed deacon servant of the Lord.
Welzetta lived by the motto of, as the song says; "RESPECT"; because that is what she instilled in her children, as well as the other children on SugarTop. She also served as mom to many of the neighborhood kids who used the Haredeman House as a safe haven, and a second place to call home; laying the foundation for what was to become a strong extended family unit among friends for decades to come.
Welzetta was known for always practicing what she preached by encouraging others about obtaining a good, quality education, and serving as an educational, community and human rights resource as well.
She became a disabilities rights advocate as a result of learning to care for her oldest daughter Clarice, who had cerebral palsy. She was also the community educator to parents teaching them about accessing social services and providing information about summer and after-school programming for their children.
She was a volunteer for the Friends of the Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Reading Center, where she participated in fund-raisers and community awareness activities that helped the center sustain and be a recreational and educational support to community kids. She was a true community leader and advocate for the residents of not just Sugar Top, where she served as a member of the Milwaukee Street Block Club, Head Start, Pittsburgh Interfaith Network, Presbyterian Women and an Election Poll Judge, and to the residence of the Hill District at Large.
Welzetta was the epitome of Maya Angelou's "Ain't I A Woman," and exemplified Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman".
Her spirit will not simply disappear, she created a circle of life through her character and the values she displayed to all the lives that she touched, she inspired us by having us lean on her life-experiences. A loving, kind woman that we will sorely miss and will always appreciate and remember.