Cleopatra PherriboNovember 13, 2017
The family of Cleopatra “Sweet Pea” Pherribo is deeply saddened to announce her passing on November 13, 2017, at the age of 84, as a result of Alzheimer ’s disease.
Cleo was born on October 30, 1933, in Roxboro, North Carolina to Fred Harris and Grace Johnson Harris. She was raised in Hillsborough, North Carolina where she married Albert B. Pherribo, Sr. on April 9, 1949. Soon thereafter they moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where Cleo became active with The Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick. In addition to working in the church office, singing in the choir and cantoring at Mass, she was often requested to sing at weddings and funerals. Cleo also participated in the Capital Area Music Association (CAMA) and gospel choir.
In her professional life, Cleo worked at the Governor’s Energy Council, followed by over 23 years with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where she served as Chief of Staff to Speaker K. Leroy Irvis throughout the 1980’s, retiring as Assistant Director of Personnel. She served for many years as Judge of Elections and Democratic Committee Woman in Dauphin County and as Treasurer of the Greater Harrisburg Area National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); she was also a delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Cleo will be remembered for her love of life and family and travel, the sound of her beautiful voice raised in song and her cakes and pies.
She was preceded in death by her son Michael Pherribo and her parents. She is survived by children Albert B. Pherribo, Jr., Teresa Pherribo Chapin, Sheryl Pherribo Hooper; grandchildren; Tina Pherribo Nixon (James), Andrew Watson (Raquel), Michelle Pherribo, Chawntelle Pherribo, Kimberly Pherribo, Jennifer Chapin Webb (Stephen), Scott Hooper, David Hooper (Deidre), 13 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
The family asks that you consider donations to the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania (Team Cleo), 2595 Interstate Dr, Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110.