Erika Fabre Oliver, a true angel on this earth, passed away on December 3, 2023, in Norfolk, Virginia at the age of 37. She was born on January 29, 1986 in St. Petersburg, Florida to her loving parents, Patricia Goff and Mark McQuay. Erika was also blessed with the love and support of her fathers, Russell J Goff Jr. and Andre Devon Shipman.
Erika’s journey through life was marked by her unwavering faith and love for her family and friends. Her heart knew no bounds, and her love continues to beat within the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know her. Erika shared a special bond with her mother, Patricia, whom she cherished dearly, as well as her beloved sister, Italy, her niece, Italiana Settles (affectionately known as Tali).
Erika’s love extended beyond her immediate family. She adored her dog, Bella, and found solace in the vastness of the ocean. A devoted daughter, sister, and aunt, Erika gave her all to ensure the happiness of her loved ones. She had a passion for shopping, planners, fashion, and traveling. Though her dreams of joining the military or becoming a flight attendant were hindered by the type of Sickle Cell she faced, Erika refused to let that define her. Instead, she focused on living a life that touched hearts. She had a passion for dancing, the outdoors, movies, reading, spa days, makeup, perfumes, and shoes! Many encouraged her to pursue a modeling career due to her undeniable beauty, but her heart was set on making a difference through her interactions with others. Her infectious goofiness brought joy to those around her, and her love for God was evident in every aspect of her life.
Despite battling Sickle Cell Disease and Liver Failure, Erika remained a warrior until the very end. She understood that she belonged to Jehovah, and she found peace in the knowledge that she could rest until the day her loved ones would be reunited with her. Erika lived a life that was fueled by faith, strength, and power that surpassed that of hundreds of men. She was not one to wallow in self-pity or utter the phrase, “Woe is me.” Instead, Erika chose to keep her eyes steadfastly fixed on God and His love. It was this unwavering devotion and commitment to living for God, though imperfect, that set her apart. Death held no fear for Erika, for she knew who her Heavenly Father was. She was unashamed to let the world see her deep faith and reliance on Him. This unwavering trust in God allowed her to triumph over any challenges that came her way.
Erika was preceded in death by her father, Mark McQuay; her great-grandmother, Gussie Oliver; her great-grandfather, Arlis Oliver; her grandfather, Larry Shaw; her cousin, Jontae Shaw; and her grandfather, Freddie McQuay; and many more.
Erika’s family and friends will forever cherish the memories they shared with her. She leaves behind her parents, Patricia Goff “Mommy” and Russell J Goff Jr. “Papa”, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; her father, Andre Devon Shipman and his wife, Rochelle Shipman, of Jacksonville, Florida; her sister, Italy Braxton and her husband, Jarrod, of Virginia Beach, VA; her brother, Dustin and his wife, Jamie of Clearwater, Florida; her niece, Italiana “Tali” Settles of Virginia Beach, VA; her maternal grandmother, Dorothy Shaw, and paternal grandmother, Doris McQuay, of St. Petersburg FL; her great-grandfather, James Alderman and his wife, Linda Alderman, of Tampa, FL; grandmother, Vivian Shipman of New York NY; aunt, Shawnetta and her spouse Tommy Jackson of Texas; grandparents, Ella and Henry O’Neal of New Orleans, LA; her dog, Bella, whom she loved dearly and will be loved and cherished by her sister Italy, niece Tali, and Jarrod; great-aunt, Barbara Hale of St. Petersburg, FL; her aunts: Sharon and Willie Little (Uncle Al), of St. Petersburg, FL, and Carolyn Hester of Tampa, FL, Kathy and Leslie “LES” Johnson, Tangela Clark-Ware of Tampa, FL, and Deborah McQuay and Dorothy McQuay of St. Petersburg, FL. She leaves behind a multitude of cousins, aunts, family members, and friends who loved her immensely. Cousins you know who are, raise your hands!
Erika, you are forever in our hearts, and your memory will continue to inspire us. Rest peacefully until we meet again.