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Aarie W. Scruggs

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Aarie W. Scruggs Obituary
Aarie Winonna Smith Holt Scruggs, 80, of Brackenridge, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. She was the beloved wife of James C. Scruggs, the joy of her life, who she married July 19, 2004. James preceded her in death on May 15, 2007. Aarie was baptized at Shiloh Baptist Church at the age of 12, the same time she started accompanying the choir at Shiloh Church and a gospel group called "The Goldeneers." The Goldeneers later became the Wings of Melody, along with Alfonso Dean Jr., who she accompanied for many years. Aarie was a graduate of Har-Brack High School, class of 1955, and a graduate of New Kensington commercial school in 1956. She played at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church until August 1972. At that time, she had to have minor surgery. During her stay at the hospital, the Rev. Asa Roberts, pastor of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, visited Aarie and asked if she could accompany the "Young Peoples Choir" at his church one Sunday a month. She said she would think it over. Pastor Roberts was not one to take "no" easily. She finally agreed to play for the Young Peoples Choir, which was later named The Asa Roberts Singers. At that time, Mt. Calvary had several other choirs but not many members to fill them. In a short time, she left Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and joined Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, under the guidance of Pastor Roberts. All the choirs were combined into one and renamed the Mt. Calvary Mass Choir. In 1992, Pastor Roberts named her minister of music. Aarie loved to volunteer in the community and served for many years on the board of the Highlands Community Center, was chairperson for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Program and served two years as president of the Alle Kiski Valley NAACP. Aerie also enjoyed playing at The First Baptist Church in Tarentum for Lenten services every year, and having a short concert in the fall at that same church where the Rev. Robert Walker was the pastor. Aarie was passionate for crocheting afghans, baby blankets and purses for her family and friends. Preceding her in death were her father, Carey, in 1959; and her mother, "Big" Aarie, in 1992; a brother, Ebenezer (Jack) Smith; a sister, Ida Smith McNeal; and her three favorite cousins, Mildred Hood Bates, Dorothy (Doll) Hood and Robert (Bobby) Hood. She will be greatly missed by a host of relatives and friends. She is survived by her sons, Michael and Marshall Holt; her daughter, Melony Shook; her grandchildren, Martin, Lauren and Dominique Shook; and great-grandchildren, Arielle, Emmanuel and Yeshuah Long.
Viewing will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday in ROSS G. WALKER FUNERAL HOME LTD., 217 Freeport Road, New Kensington. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 1150 Asa W. Roberts Way (formerly Fourth Avenue), New Kensington. Burial will follow in Mt. Airy Cemetery, Natrona Heights.
Published in The Valley News Dispatch on June 14, 2018
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