Funeral services for Constance D. Harper, Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Ohio’s largest black newspaper, the Call and Post, will take place on Saturday, November 1, at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church located at 8712 Quincy Avenue in Cleveland. Family Hour will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the “Celebration of Life” service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and be streamed live.
Considered a legend in Cleveland journalism, Connie Harper was scheduled to be inducted into the Press Club of Cleveland Hall of Fame on November 7 before falling ill while visiting her alma mater, Central State University, last week. She passed away on Friday, October 24 at the age of 81. She will be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously.
In addition to her long career in journalism, Ms. Harper served as vice president of Don King Productions, traveling to many countries around the world promoting championship fights.
She also gave generously of her time and talents to help those less fortunate. She was a member of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church and Delta Sigma Theta, an international black sorority, and served on several boards including those of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland and the Vocational Guidance Center. She received numerous awards and accolades throughout her life. In 2013, she was named a YWCA Woman of Achievement and received a Business Trailblazer Award from the Christian Business League. Earlier this year she received the Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award at the McGruder Award luncheon at Kent State University.
“The funeral services for Connie Harper will be a celebration of life,” said the Rev. Dr. Jawanza K. Colvin, pastor, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. “A newspaper editor, civic leader, community organizer and woman of faith, she was an extraordinary woman who had an extraordinary journey. Her presence in the community and friendship to so many makes her passing a time of heartfelt grief with deep appreciation for a truly beautiful and vibrant soul. She will be missed and long remembered.”
In a written statement, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson said: “Connie Harper’s voice spoke for many. Her leadership and support will be missed.”