Armenta P. Harris 

Published 9:44 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

Early Sunday morning, April 16, 2023, Laura Armenta Poole Harris, 101 of Surry Virginia, transitioned from labor to reward in the home of her loving daughter, Diane of Alpharetta, GA.  The 4th of 8 children born to the late Bossie & Laura Poole in Surry VA. “Ment” as she was fondly called; a name given to distinguish her from her mother Laura. She was preceded in death by her husband Samuel “Sam” Harris, 3 brothers Wardell, James, and David Poole, and 2 sisters, Geneva Chain, and Lorena Green.

Armenta is survived by 2 children, Eric Harris (Beverly) of Va. Beach, VA, Diane Harris Barton (Kenneth) of Alpharetta, GA; 3 grandchildren Erica Harris Cuffee (Bryan) of Va. Beach, VA.; Byron Harris of Vancouver, WA, and Kenneth Barton III, of Macon, GA; 3 great-grandchildren Bryanna, Brooke, and Beverly Cuffee all of Va. Beach, VA. 2 loving sisters; Pearle Bradley of Macomb. Il and Anna Vaughan of Lawrenceville, VA.  Several nieces, nephews, cousins, God Daughter LaTisha Roberts-Wells, special friends Martha Cindy Jackson, Gladys Hardy, and James and Judy Lyttle.

Armenta’s primary education was in Surry County, Isle of Wight County Public Schools, and a graduate of the Historic Booker T Washington High School in Norfolk, VA.  Ment enrolled in the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University, now Norfolk State University.  Armenta was employed by various employers and retired from Isle of Wight Schools.

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Armenta and Sam became very active and boldly faced segregation, fighting to integrate the schools where their children were educated.  During the country’s struggle to enforce the decision in Brown vs. the Board of Education in 1954, Armenta and Sam later fought to integrate Surry Schools in federal court.  They were commended and awarded for their efforts.  

She was an active member of Brown’s AME Church, Smithfield, VA, serving as a Stewardess, Deaconess, and Missionary.  Armenta faithfully attended Prayer meetings, Bible Study, and Vacation Bible School.

A visitation was held in Atlanta Georgia on April 22, 2023 and a funeral service was held May 20, 2023 at Brown’s AME Church, Smithfield. Internment was at Emmanuel Baptist Church next to her loving husband, Samuel Harris.   Arrangements were made by Poole’s Funeral Home, Surry Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Surry County African American Heritage Society; PO BOX 389, Surry, VA 23883.