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Memories & Candles

“I had the pleasure of meeting cousin Elsie this past summer during the Jones family reunion. Although the meeting was a first I will have memories of...Read More »
1 of 17 | Posted by: CHERYL HOLDER - Somerset, NJ

“I will always remember Ms. Elsie; she could play the organ with her eyes closed, while having a serious conversation with someone. Whenever we had...Read More »
2 of 17 | Posted by: Wanda Davis - Germantown, MD

“My deepest condolences to the family, friends and extended family of Ms.Elsie Fleming. I didn't know her personally however I did know her daughter...Read More »
3 of 17 | Posted by: LeWyann Sherrod - Frederick, MD

“My deepest condolences to the family, friends and extended family of Ms.Elsie Fleming. I didn't know her personally however I did know her daughter...Read More »
4 of 17 | Posted by: LeWyann Sherrod - Frederick, MD

“God will take care of the family. The first of everything without her is the hardest. My blessings and prayers to the family. ”
5 of 17 | Posted by: Octavia Hill- Jeffries - MD

“dear Edwina and Kay Kay, so sorry for your loss. May the Love of God and His Peace be your strength in the Days ahead. love, Rosemary Mason ”
6 of 17 | Posted by: Rosemary Harmon - Silver Spring, MD

“To Mitchell and Michael, I was looking for someone's obituary when I ran across Mrs. Fleming's. I knew the name was familiar, but it was confirmed...Read More »
7 of 17 | Posted by: Gwendolyn Davis - Fayetteville, NC

“Toni,My heartfelt condolences to you and your family for the loss of your mom. God bless you all. ”
8 of 17 | Posted by: Irene Noland - Frederick, MD

“Dear Fleming Family -I cannot adequately express my sorrow for your loss. I thank God Miss Elsie was such a warm and loving presence in my life for...Read More »
9 of 17 | Posted by: Joy Chapman - La Plata, MD

“Jerome---I am sorry for your loss. There is nothing more precious than the love of your Mother. Your Mom is now playing the piano for the heavenly...Read More »
10 of 17 | Posted by: Emily Johnson - Germantown, MD

“Romi, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time, know that she is resting in our saviour's arms and at peace. ”
11 of 17 | Posted by: Mike and Renee Hall - Germantown, MD

“We give thanks to God for allowing dear Elsie to be with us for so many years. She was a blessing for Mount Calvary Baptist Church. She shared her...Read More »
12 of 17 | Posted by: Cornelia Robertson Terry - MD

“With Sincere and deepest sympathy for the Fleming Family.May you find peace and comfort at this time. ”
13 of 17 | Posted by: Mary Thompson - Frederick, MD

“Our heartfelt prayers go out to the family and friends of Elsie. We know that God will wrap his arms of comfort around you during this difficult...Read More »
14 of 17 | Posted by: Marshall and Rochelle Moore - LA

“Prayers an thoughts go out to the entire FlemingFamily. Your mother will be greatly missed by many people. May she Rest In Peace ”
15 of 17 | Posted by: Naomi Payne - Silver Spring, MD

“Love you so much, admire your courage and wisdom. What impact you had on the community and your family. Rest in peace. ”
16 of 17 | Posted by: Carolyn Underwood - Clearwater, FL

“Grace and Peace from God our Father and Savior Jesus Christ, I was so very sorry to hear of Miss Elsie's passing, we all go way way back.She...Read More »
17 of 17 | Posted by: Sonya Noble - Doylestown, PA


Elsie Mae Fleming, the eldest of five siblings born to Claude and Mariah Jones Colmes, was born April 3, 1932, in Hagerstown, Maryland. She resided in Hagerstown with her parents and grandparents until the age of six, when they relocated to Bethesda, Maryland. After several years, the family relocated to the Lincoln Park area of Rockville, Maryland, where Elsie was nurtured by her family and the members of her close-knit community. She attended Montgomery County Public Schools, including Lincoln High School in Rockville, MD. She graduated from Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. Thereafter, Elsie obtained an Associate's Degree from Montgomery College.

Elsie's maternal grandmother encouraged her to take piano lessons at an early age. It was soon revealed that God had blessed Elsie with exceptional musical talent. She was a natural who mastered playing any composition set before her, such as: classical, anthems, cantatas, hymns, gospels, pop, etc. She was an accomplished musician in her own right. God blessed her musical talents through a heavenly anointing. She was humbled, giving God the glory as she would tell you, "I got it from God." Elsie found great solace in playing the piano and organ. She often communed with God through her music by playing the piano in the wee hours of the morning. Even during her illness, she yearned to play. A few weeks prior to her passing, her son, Jerome, accompanied her to the chapel at Friends Rehabilitation Center where she played music on the piano.

Elsie accepted Christ at an early age, uniting with the First Baptist Church of Ken-Gar, in Kensington, Maryland. She came into the church working, attending Sunday School, singing and playing for the Junior Choir, and doing whatever she was directed to do by the church elders. She became a faithful, committed member of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in March 1940, serving as Church Clerk for 52 years, before retiring in 2005. In addition, Elsie was the Church Music Coordinator, organist, Chancel Choir accompanist, Director and Musician of the H. G. Brooks Chorus, and Director and Musician of the Combined Choirs. Most recently, she served as Interim Minister of Music, which required her services for numerous church musical events. She was an Honorary Deaconess, a past member of the Pulpit Committee, Sunday School teacher, member of the Executive Committee, and a member of the original Women's Ministry and Retreat Committee. It is not by chance that her former Pastor, Houston G. Brooks, named her "Old Faithful." She was a member also known affectionately as "Whatever Needs to be Done Office Assistant." Simply put, Elsie was one of "God's human hands" at Mt. Calvary for over 70 years.

Elsie was truly a loving woman who through her opened arms welcomed newcomers to the church, community, and her home. She never met a stranger and was a true friend that created individualized relationships with too many. To know Elsie was to love her. Her outgoing personality, smile, and sparkling eyes made everyone feel special. She enjoyed sitting around listening to and sharing old tales of yesteryear, with each storyteller trying to outdo the other. This was particularly true of her "in-between-service breakfast group" that, instead of attending Sunday School, sat, and told life stories that kept us all "in stitches."

Elsie was employed by the Federal U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare Services, later known as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked tirelessly for 31 years, climbing the ranks, and retiring as Supervisory Manager, Grants Management, in 1994. She was a committed public servant who gave her all, while simultaneously caring for her husband, rearing children, while unselfishly devoting her time and talent to Mt. Calvary and other community activities.

While unselfishly devoting her time and talent to Mt. Calvary, Elsie also supported other community groups. She was a member of the defunct Magnificent Nine Birthday Club, Golden Girls, Retirement Connection, American Baptist Churches of the South, National Council of Negro Women, a member of Tots and Teens, and a lifelong lifetime member of the NAACP with a life membership starting in 1985. Notably, Elsie was a founding donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Despite her busy schedule, she continued to periodically have lunch with former co-workers, just to keep in touch. Elsie really enjoyed eating out. She routinely suggested that choir members grab a bite after choir rehearsal at 9:30 p.m. or later. She usually found takers.

Elsie was very supportive of current and former young people of the church, church members in general, and activities promoting the well-being of the African-American Community. She established the Music Ministry Scholarship fund that not only financially assisted college-bound students with an interest in music, but also assisted younger students who wanted to take music lessons. This scholarship was funded out of her own pocket and the pockets of a faithful few choir members. In addition, Elsie supported scholarship fundraising activities sponsored by sororities and fraternities, and alumni of former black African American high schools in states such as South Carolina and Texas. Each year, she would make her contribution without being asked. She freely gave of her resources to help others further their education.

Elsie also provided resources and support to our young people when they achieved notable milestones in their lives, regardless of where they were --- in Atlanta, New Jersey, Atlantic City, Williamsburg, Jamaica, etc., Elsie was there. She had no problem getting behind the wheel, (or having Mitchell get behind the wheel), or catching a plane, or whatever mode of transportation it took to show up and let the persons know they had her support. She did not miss a graduation and did more than her part to celebrate the accomplishments and joys of everyone in her life.

Elsie not only supported the young people, she supported her friends during their times of joy and sorrow. Elsie drove to South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc., to attend the Homegoing Services

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