On a warm summer’s day, July 27, 1953, God planted a new seed in His earthly garden. Miriam Michelle Ackerman was born to the late Franklin Leroy Ackerman and Fannie Copeland Ackerman and was the youngest of thirteen children. God’s seed began to sprout and what a great joy did this new baby girl bring to the Ackerman family.
Home-Going Celebration for Miriam will be held Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 12:00 Noon at Faith Church, 858 Bells Highway, Walterboro, South Carolina. Pastor Darryl Hunt, Host Pastor, Reverend Leon R. Maxwell, Eulogist. Interment, Glendale Memorial Cemetery. A public viewing will be held Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at Stephens-Maree-Tracy Funeral Home from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
(FOR THOSE ATTENDING THE FUNERAL, FACIAL MASKS ARE REQUIRED AND SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL BE ENFORCED.)
As a child, Miriam started her Christian walk, traveling with her mother to Hickory Hill United Methodist Church, Smoaks, South Carolina and with her father to Buckhead United Methodist Church, Ruffin, SC. She received her formal education in the public schools of Colleton County. Matriculating through the grade levels, she was a proud graduate of the Historic Walterboro High School Class of 1971. After her graduation, she continued her educational studies at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education on May 9, 1975. Following her graduation, she decided she would try the “Northern Life”, migrating to Boston, Massachusetts. There, she started her career in education, beginning her student teaching in Braintree, Massachusetts and later becoming an elementary school teacher. While in Boston, Miriam received Christ as her Savior, being baptized, and becoming a member of Concord Baptist Church, under the leadership of Dr. James Coleman. After a few years in Massachusetts, Miriam decided to move to “The Big Apple” settling in Long Island, NY, continuing to excel in her career. After a few years there, Miriam was afforded an opportunity to teach back home in South Carolina. Upon returning home, she started her first Carolina teaching experience at St. Anthony’s Catholic School. She taught there for several years before landing her first public school system teaching job at Jonesville Elementary. Miriam stayed there until she decided she wanted to move up a few grade levels, moving to Colleton Middle School Campus B. She grounded there until a building change required her to move next door to Campus A. During her thirty-eight plus years of teaching, she met so many people along the way, never meeting a stranger and was absolutely adored by everyone that met her. Her students loved her! Not only was she the sweetest lady around, she took care of each child as if they were her own. Miriam often took students for their haircuts, hair styles, shoes, clothes and even food and toys. She did not want to see a child teased or bullied. Mrs. Davis was fondly known for her Drama Club and Black History Programs. In 2009, after an amazing teaching career, Miriam decided she wanted to retire and enjoy her family, travel, and her soap operas.
In the early eighties, she was blessed with a baby boy, Cornelius. Later, she was reunited with a friend from her younger days, Hiram Sr. and they were blessed with a baby boy, Hiram Jr. in 1989. In 1990, Hiram Sr. and Miriam joined each other in Marital Bliss. When Miriam Michelle returned home from the north, she started attending Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Walterboro with her adopted mother Helen Griffin, later joining under the leadership of Reverend Isaiah Buzzy. During her long tenure there, Miriam worked in many compacities, but will be remembered for her angelic voice on the young adult choir and her “proper speaking” as the assistant church clerk. She absolutely loved serving. So, in the nineties, she joined her husband on many Sundays in Charleston at Crusade Deliverance Church, under the leadership of her brother-in-law, Bishop Tyrone L. Davis. Well, not only was her husband a deacon, her son Hiram, a musician, Miriam had the privilege of driving Hiram Jr. from church to church to play for various services. In the two-thousands, the family united with Who-so-ever Will Prayer Band Holiness Church under the leadership of Bishop Frank Weans. A few years after, Bishop Weans and a few other members, along with Miriam and her family, founded Spirit of Truth Pentecostal Holiness Church. After many years of diligent work with Spirit of Truth, the family followed Hiram, Jr. as he became Minister of Music at the Saint Stephen Church of God in Christ. The family became members and Miriam, as always, took up the task of working hard to build the Kingdom of God. Under the leadership of Pastor Edward L. Martin, she served in many capacities, but really enjoyed her time working as Pastor Martin’s first Pastor’s Aide Ministry President. She also worked closely with the youth ministry, teaching vacation bible school and helping with other various youth events. She worked side by side with the Missionary and Mother’s Ministry and loved helping and organizing many events, but will be remembered for her beautiful tables at the Annual Tea. Sometime later, Miriam again followed her son Hiram, and was united with Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Hampton, SC under the leadership of Dr. Ephriam D. Stephens.
Miriam was talented and was the epitome of a servant. She enjoyed the time with her friends Georgia and Ruth, as they journeyed together, opening and managing events and decorating businesses. She always wanted everything nice and over the top. In 2010, after the demise of her brother Riddic, she again followed her son, but this time, she started her career in the funeral industry. From 2010 until her health declined in 2018, Miriam worked side by side with her son from another mother, Dr. Ephriam D. Stephens. You could either find her sitting behind the desk on the phone, or sitting in the lobby in her corner chair, consoling each grieving family. She absolutely loved Ephriam and the funeral home, often telling him what he should or should not do, as if she was the owner. Miriam only had two boys, but always talked about how she cannot wait to have some granddaughters. Well, her dream came true, she ended up having four beautiful granddaughters. Oh, how they were the apple of her eyes. She loved her “babies” to the core. Miriam Michelle was also a great cook; she cooked the best fried cabbage and let us not forget the delicious cornbread dressing. Not only a cook, she was a baker and will be missed for her scrumptious coconut pies, banana pudding and coconut pineapple cakes. Miriam will be missed immensely for her love for God and for everyone she encountered; she never met a stranger. She could spark a conversation with anybody, always asking, “Now what is your name? Who are your parents?
Where are you from? Where did you go to school?” Miriam was also one of the founders and organizers of the Ackerman-Boatwright Family Reunion. She loved her family and loved throwing the best family reunions with always great entertainment, and great food. Miriam Michelle loved traveling, often hitting the road with her brothers Riddic and Johnnie, but in later years traveled mostly with her son Hiram, Jr. and her Sister-Niece, Shelia.
“Oh I want to see Him, to look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace, for it’s on the streets of glory, let me lift my voice, my cares are passed and I am home at last, ever to rejoice.” On the afternoon of Sunday, July 26, 2020, just a day shy of her sixty-seventh birthday, Miriam, in the stillness of time joined the innumerable caravan that journeys afar to an unknown land. Miriam was preceded in death by six brothers, Frank, Carl, Johnnie, Fruitan, Riddic, and Thomas Ackerman and two sisters, Daisy Epps and Mary Primus.
An array of fond memories will be forever etched in the hearts of, her former husband, which she still loved dearly, Hiram E. Davis; her loving sons Hiram EM Davis “Pooky” and Cornelius Dazell Russell; her loving adopted daughter, Krystalle Fields Ford (Eugene); grandchildren, Keyera Grant “Muffin”, Canilya Russell “CoCo”, Za`nia Russell “ZZ”, Liberty Russell “Lib”, Kai Ford, Kobe Ford, Kierrah Ford; bonus grandchildren, Jestin Murray, Milan Manigo, Kordell Grant, Keon Grant and Kayla Thomas; siblings, Robert Ackerman, Shirley Brown (EJ), Jacqueline Blakeney and Oscar Ackerman (Sharleen); nieces and nephew raised as her siblings, Ernest Brown (Ellen), Gloria Jean Robinson (Jacob) and Shelia Y. Brown Bell; a special cousin, Onetha Snipes; godchildren, Shawntay Hugie, Kalesha Davis-Sapp and Keri Emanuel; special nieces and nephews, DeNeen Adams, Tony Brown, Rhoda Epps, Conrad Epps, Tommy Ackerman, Tony Ackerman (Gwen), Tyrone Davis “Shing”, Norleen Adams-Hugie, Kimberly Mitchell (Billy) and Tammie Emanuel-Briggman (Darbis); in-laws, Mary Joann Ackerman Dubois, Ivory Pooser, Willa Dean Cummings, Jackie Davis (Mattie), Doris Twiggs (George), Bishop Tyrone L. Davis (Beverly); very special friends considered to be her siblings, Georgia Maree Jones (James), Julie Dicks (Ross), Ruth Stephens (Reverend Terry), Reverend Maeliza Grant, Susan Coaxum, Dorothy Gaskins and Jacquelyn Williams; friends she talked to on a regular, Marshall McMillon and Mary McMillon; her extended family she met while at Bethlehem, Edna McQuire, Karla McQuire and Linda Givens; numerous nieces and nephews; her son from another mother, Dr. Ephriam D. Stephens and her coworkers of the Stephens Funeral Homes along with a host of other relatives, loving students and caring friends.
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