Ethel E. Armstrong, a Little Silver native who moved to Fair Haven in 1953 and never left, died Sunday at 101 years old, the Asbury Park Press reports.


On his blog, Mayor Mike Halfacre, says she was Fair Haven’s oldest resident.

According to her obituary, Mrs. Armstrong was

a devoted member of Fisk Chapel A.M.E. Church, Fair Haven, where she served as an usher and as a member of the Willing Workers ministry and she was actively involved with the Senior Citizens of Fair Haven.

She was quoted in a 2006 New York Times article about the shrinking African-American population in Fair Haven, which dropped from 448 in 1960 to half that number in 2000, despite slight overall population growth.

From the Times:

These days, on most Sundays there are no more than 35 people attending services at Fisk Chapel, though it was not always that way. “It’s sad to see,” said 99-year-old Ethel Armstrong. “Even in 1974, when the new church was built, we had a large congregation. There are so few people coming now.”

More from the obituary:

A viewing will be held from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Saturday at Fisk Chapel A.M.E. Church, Fair Haven. The funeral service will begin immediately following the viewing hour. Rev. Thomas Johnson is officiating. Interment will be held at White Ridge Cemetery, Eatontown. Childs Funeral Home, Red Bank, is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Ethel’s memory to Fisk Chapel A.M.E. Church, 38 Fisk Ave., Fair Haven, NJ.

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