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A staunch proponent for education succumbs quietly

Eddie Pearl Black Degraffenreidt

A staunch proponent for education succumbs quietly

By Staff Writer

      Eddie Pearl Black Degraffenreidt, retired Broward County English Curriculum Specialist, Administrator and Educator, passed peacefully on Wednesday morning, March 13, 2013.

     Eddie Pearl has been reunited in Heaven with her husband of over 58 years, the late Andrew DeGraffenreidt, II, first African-American City Commissioner for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Eddie Pearl was not only a loving and supportive wife to Commissioner DeGraffenreidt, but she was also the driving force behind his successful political career.

     Eddie Pearl was an exceptional mother to her children, Andrew DeGraffenreidt, III, Fredi DeGraffenreidt Mitchell and Carol E. A. DeGraffenreidt, and she was a supportive and generous mentor to her grandchildren and great- grandchildren whom she often referred to as her “prodigy”. 

     Eddie Pearl was a graduate of Tougaloo College and earned her Master of Education Degree from Penn State University. As Broward County’s first African-American Language Arts Curriculum Specialist, Eddie Pearl often traveled to foreign countries to assist American Embassies in enhancing their school’s English/Language Arts programs. 

     Eddie Pearl also participated in writing the English portions of the SAT and ACT protocols.  Locally, Eddie Pearl participated in numerous religious, cultural and community service organizations. 

     Eddie Pearl was a member of First Baptist Piney Grove Church for over 50 years and served tirelessly as a Deaconess, Sunday School teacher, Pine Needle Newsletter journalist and Youth Department Director. 

     Eddie Pearl was also a member of both Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Links, Incorporated for over 50 years.  Eddie Pearl was a charter member of the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, and she was a long-standing member of the League of Women Voters. 

     Eddie Pearl was a surrogate mother to numerous children throughout both her neighborhood and the country and provided not only her special brand of wisdom and experience, but additionally financial support. 

     Eddie Pearl’s life was an inspiration and a blessing to everyone who knew her. She will truly be missed by all. The wake will be held on Friday, March 22, 2013, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at First Baptist Church Piney Grove, 4699 West Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.  The funeral will take place at the same location, the following morning, Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 10 a.m. The Internment will be at Forest Lawn on Copans Road, with the Repast following immediately in the Social Hall of First Baptist Church Piney Grove. Services will be provided by Roy Mizell and Kurtz Funeral Home. For additional information regarding funeral arrangements call (954)467-3426.



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