Joseph and Bertha White Harry

Joseph and Bertha White Harry

Joseph and Bertha Harry live forever through the scholarship legacy they created at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. The Norfolk couple who lived in the Norview neighborhood never had their own children and passed away years ago – Bertha in 1985 and Joseph in 1990. But each year they send more 40 students to college.

Joseph moved to Norfolk as a young man from Bluefield, West Virginia, where he was born in 1890. He married Bertha E. White, who was born in Mathews County in 1899. Joseph Harry first worked at D.P. Pender Grocery in downtown Norfolk. For 43 years he was a grocery buyer for Colonial Stores. He was a 32nd degree Mason and was active in several Masonic organizations. Bertha volunteered with the American Red Cross and belonged to the Norfolk Garden Club. Neither of the Harrys attended college, but they arranged for a nearly $1 million donation from their estates to provide the opportunity for area students to attend Old Dominion University or Virginia Wesleyan College.