WHELCHEL (Ford), Dr Larma Jean
Services for Dr. Larma Jean Whelchel are at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, June 4, 2022 at Trinity CME Church, 22571 GA Hwy 16, Sparta, GA.
Larma Jean Miller was born on March 19, 1939, in Moultrie, Georgia, where she was raised by her parents Lucille and Quincy Miller. She attended Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, where she met her future husband. At Paine, she received the honor of being crowned Miss Paine in 1961, served as a majorette in the marching band, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree the same year.
In 1963 she was married to LH Whelchel, Jr. who was then an itinerant minister with the CME church. Larma and her husband had four children and raised a family together starting in Birmingham, Alabama before moving to Durham, NC, Dayton, OH and Los Angeles, CA.
In 1986, Larma received a Master of Arts in Religious Education from United Theological Seminary, and in 1997 Dr. Ford-Whelchel received a Doctor of Arts from Clark University in Atlanta. Her dissertation titled The Implication of Aging, Health Status, and Survival Strategies in Older Black Women in a Large and Small Urban Georgia Population has become one of the most frequently referenced research studies in the domain. She would later become an adjunct professor of humanities at Atlanta Metropolitan College and Clark University in Atlanta.
Dr. Ford-Whelchel had a passion for the education of young children. She was a dedicated teacher, a conscientious administrator and was respected for her skills as a leader in early childhood education. She served as director of Head Start programs and early childhood centers in Durham, NC, Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Ford-Whelchel loved to tell stories of how her students came to learn and experience new things. Throughout her career, Dr. Ford-Whelchel was often found in her spare time creating new lessons or trying out innovative teaching resources that she used with her students. Many of his preschool students excelled and continued to skip grades once they started elementary school.
Dr. Ford Whelchel was predeceased by her husband, Dr. LH Whelchel, Jr. She is survived by her five adult children, April, Kenyatta, Noel, (Quanda); and grandson Love IV. The last sunset of this lifetime for Dr. Ford Whelchel occurred on May 31, 2022.