Marvella Louise Travis, was the eleventh of seventeen children of the late Howard W. and Rena V. Elliott. She was born on November 22, 1934 in Cambridge, Maryland. Marvella went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
She was raised in Cordtown, Maryland and attended the public schools of Dorchester County where she received her GED. Marvella also completed several courses at Sojourner Douglas College.
Marvel, as she was affectionately called, faithfully served in the Dorchester County Board of Education for thirty-one years. After retiring in 2000, because of the love she had for helping children, she returned to the Dorchester County Board of Education to continue making a difference in the lives of children. On April 15, 1978, she was joined in Holy Matrimony to Kenneth E. Travis of whom she loved dearly. They enjoyed thirty-seven years together
In February 1965, Marvel gave her life to Christ. She faithfully served at Union Chapel A.M.E. Church in Cordtown, Maryland where she wore many hats before her health began to fail. She accepted the call into the ministry and preached her trial sermon on January 18, 1998. She was ordained a local Deacon on March 18, 2000, under the leadership of Bishop Vinton Anderson. Her relationship with the Lord continued to grow under the leadership of Rev. Kismat Alim. Hungry for the Word, she enrolled in a structured course of Bible study at the Christian World College of Theology in Salisbury, Maryland and received an Associate of Ministry degree in 2001. She also received a Certificate in Christian Counseling there.
Marvel loved to sing and could sing. She was a member of several groups including “The Renette Gospel Singers”, “The Fifty Voices of Cambridge”, “The Cambridge Mass Choir”, “The Singing Angels”, “The Dorchester County Workshop Choir” and was the only original member of “The Sunrise Singers of Cordtown” still living. Prior to her departure, she was a member of the Gospel Choir of her beloved Union Chapel A.M.E Church.
In her church, she was someone who could be depended and trusted to perform at a high level, whatever task was assigned. Marvel was very talented and would make sure that whatever she was asked to do would be done in a first class manner even if she had to go the extra mile to make it happen; often selling tickets to ensure that an event would be successful.
Prior to her health issues, she served on many Boards such as: Usher Board, Steward Board, Finance Committee, Married Couple Ministry (President), Pastor’s Aide, Sunday School Education Ministry, the Cemetery Committee and the Missionary Society. Marvel, also, was an active member of the Ministerial Staff of Union Chapel A.M.E. Church. She served as a member of the Good Shepherds Association as the Program Organizer and the Harriett Tubman Organization of Cambridge.
Marvel loved her family and loved to reminisce about “all” the good times they had together. She loved it when they talked about how they grew up “poor” and “needy”; being poor but not realizing it because of all the love they had for one another. She would compare how they grew up, to how children of today “grow up with everything.”
She would often have events at her home just to bring the family together and remind them of the value of the family staying and praying together. Also, a point of interest was talking about how important it was for the Elliott family to show love to each other and to those who were less fortunate than her family. These kind of rules were laid down by her father and mother, Howard and Rena.
Marvel often said that her favorite hymns were “I Must Tell Jesus” and “If I Can Help Somebody.” Her favorite Scripture was Prov. 3”5-6, “5) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. 6) In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.” Marvel tried to instill Christian values in her children and grand-children through her words and deeds. She was relentless in her pursuit for them accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; often pleading with them to live a life of “righteousness.”
Marvel was preceded in death by her parents, Howard W. and Rena V. Elliott; her husband, Kenneth E. Travis; two daughters, Beverly A. Elliott and Vanessa A. Jenkins; one son, Terrence L. Jenkins; 14 brothers and sisters; and several other family members.
She leaves to mourn her loss: one son, Tyrome (Sandra) Elliott of Catonsville, Md.; one daughter, Renako Randall of Baltimore, Md.; two brothers, Palestine (Mary) Elliott of Odenton, Md.; Frederick (Constance) Elliott of Cambridge, Md.; nine grand-children, Shonda Jenkins, Anika Jenkins, Rasheka Molock, Kian Randall, Levone Ward, Cristi Carruthers, Kenneth Elliott, Lauren Elliott, and Ryan Elliott; seventeen Great grand-children which includes JaBron Moore who “felt like my own son”; one adopted daughter, Elsie Anderson; nine great- great grand children; sixteen devoted nieces; eleven nephews and a host of cousins and friends. She loved all of these dearly.