On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, William Harvey Zeigler, fondly known by many as ‘BOTTS’, left this earth peacefully at his home in Damascus, MD at 102 years old. Harvey was born on March 4, 1920, in Damascus, to the late Ellsworth and Bertha Zeigler.
The sixth sibling of eight sisters and three brothers, Harvey was raised in a nurturing family, surrounded by a large, close knit extended family and friends in the Damascus community known as “Razor Blade”. The family and friends of Razor Blade attended a one room Elementary School House nestled in the Friendship community. In 1938, Harvey graduated from Lincoln High School in Rockville, MD. He was a lifetime member of Friendship United Methodist Church and devoted himself to all aspects of services to the church. He served as church trustee, an administrative board member, and youth advisor. However, his greatest satisfaction was mentoring the youth.
Harvey served in the army during World War II and after being honorably discharged, settled back in the Montgomery and Frederick County area where he continued to experience discrimination. Recognizing his passion for equality and fairness, Harvey became a community and civil rights activist and joined the NAACP. His accomplishments included striking down job discrimination, promoting the hiring of African Americans in government agencies, championing the inclusion of Black History in the curriculum of the Montgomery County Public School System and advocating integrating the Montgomery County Fire Department.
For his community service and activism, Harvey was recognized with a number of community awards. He was inducted as a member in the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame. He received the Montgomery County Lifetime Inez McAbee and William Harvey Zeigler Humanitarian Award; the African American Living Legend Award and was selected as a Visionary Elder of the National Visionary Leadership Program of Howard University which can be seen at the Library of Congress.
.In Harvey’s honor, District 14 approved a Bond Bill for $200,000 to establish the Damascus Heritage Society Museum. In 2004 Harvey and his sister Inez McAbee, and Warren Fleming founded the Damascus Connection Committee to continue the struggle to improve Civil Rights disparities.
Harvey was married to the late Bertha Bowins Zeigler and from this union, four daughters were born - Rose Zeigler, Zepharra (Barbara) Fitz, Minister Sheila Zeigler- Arnold, husband Wayne, and Keely Zeigler.
He is survived by his four daughters, brother-in -law, John Thomas Bowins, eight grandchildren: Kamonte McCray, wife Traci; Darrell Fulton, Jr.; Remigia Nance, husband Maurice; Asharelah Watford; Durriyyah Blake, Sirr-Melchizedek Fulton, wife Octavia; Shakinah Fulton; Sharrell Lupoe, husband Marcus; and twelve great-grandchildren: Alix, Skyi, Khalil, Ceideya, Malachi, Kamonte II, Kayla, D'Yani, Marcus Jr., Javon, Amari, and Eviana; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, great- great nieces and nephews, cousins, and dearest and closest friend Warren Fleming.
Harvey was preceded in death by three brothers, Edwin, Junior and Wormack Zeigler and nine sisters - Eleanor and Gladys Zeigler, Nettie Gray, Dorothy Frazier, Inez McAbee, Sara Blagmond, Mavis Prather, Geraldine Myers and Rona Randall.
Harvey truly cherished his 102 years relationships with his many friends and family in the Montgomery and Frederick County communities. He knew everybody and everybody knew him. On, March 4, celebrating his 102nd birthday, he received visits from friends and family and numerous telephone calls and cards.
Harvey, (BOTTS) will be deeply missed
Services will be live streamed: https://dmvmemorials.com/obituary/williamharveyzeigler/
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