Ronald L. Houston Sr. was a dedicated educator.
Houston died June 13, 2012 at Prince George Hospital in Maryland. He was 69. He was a resident of Philadelphia for 43 years.
Born on June 22, 1942 to Robert and Flora Houston in Princeton, W. Va., he attended Princeton High School, graduated from Bluefield State College in Bluefield W.Va. with a degree in chemistry and was a member of the Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Houston received his master’s in education from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.
Houston spent his adult life in the field of education, as a teacher in secondary schools, as a principal and most recently as the director for the school improvement at the Delaware Department of Education. He was also the state director for Title I and held officer positions in several education associations. He played a key role in the enforcement and administration of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in the Delaware public schools.
Prior to his work at the Delaware Department of Education, Houston was a researcher for 13 years at Research for Better Schools, a college professor, school administrator and teacher. He was instrumental in the development of several reform efforts and is published in the area of education of disadvantaged children.
Outside of his career in education, Houston was an avid Temple University basketball fan and loved spending time with his five grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Houston was predeceased by two nephews, Dialo Evans and Robert Houston Jr. and his sister, Barbara Houston Chandler.
He is survived by his two sons, Ronald Houston and his wife, Ia , and Shawn G.A. Houston and his wife, Michelle; sister, Delores Houston Anderson and her husband, Carl; two brothers, Robert W.L. Houston and Claude D. Houston; five nieces and nephews, Jill Houston, Sherry Houston, Calvin Benjamin Chandler Jr., Todd Houston and Jamil Evans; and five grandchildren, Ronald III, Cheo, Asha, Nathan and Jade.
Funeral services were held June 21. Burial was in Northwood Cemetery at 1501 Haines St.
Condolences can be sent to Alfonso Cannon Funeral Home, 2315 N. Broad St., Phila., Pa. 19132.
Sylvia Robinson, known by many inside and outside the music world as “The Mother of Hip-Hop,” died early Thursday morning at a hospital in New Jersey. She was 75.
Robinson, the singer, songwriter and record producer who formed the Sugar Hill Gang and along with her husband, Joe, founded Sugar Hill Records in 1979, left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.
She had a notable career as a rhythm and blues singer long before she discovered the Sugar Hill Gang.
She sang with Mickey Baker as part of the duo Mickey & Sylvia in the 1950s and had several hits, including “Love Is Strange,” which was a No. 1 R&B song in 1956. She also had a solo hit, under the name Sylvia, in spring of 1973 with her own composition “Pillow Talk.”
But Robinson was revered as “the mother of hip-hop” for her decision to record the nascent art form known as rapping, which had developed at clubs and dance parties in New York City in the 1970s.
In 1979, the label All Platinum, which Robinson and her husband had founded, was awash in lawsuits and losing money.
Facing financial ruin, Robinson was inspired when she heard people rapping over the instrumental breaks in disco songs at a party in Harlem. Using her son as a talent scout, she found three young rappers from the New York City area — Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike and Master Gee — and persuaded them to record improvised raps as the Sugar Hill Gang over a rhythm track adapted from Chic’s “Good Times.”
The record was called “Rapper’s Delight” and reached No. 4 on the R&B charts, proving rap was a viable art form and opening the gates for other hip-hop artists.
Robinson later signed Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, recording their seminal 1982 hit, “The Message,” the groundbreaking rap about ghetto life that became one of the most powerful and controversial songs of its time and presaged the gangsta rap movement of later years.
Robinson had been ill for approximately five months before passing Thursday of congestive heart failure at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, family spokesman Greg Walker told Sister 2 Sister magazine.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Sylvia, who was married to the late Joseph Robinson Sr., was mother to three sons, Joseph Robinson Jr., Leland Robinson and Rhondo Robinson.
— The New York Times and S2S.com contributed to this report.
Arlethia Sandra Gaymon Smith, 57, was a native Philadelphian who resided in the Logan section of the city. The teacher’s assistant died suddenly on Dec. 23 from complications of heart disease.
“We were all shocked that Mommy took ill and just did not recover. She had asthma really badly and would sometimes go into distress. This time was very different,” reflected her youngest daughter, Sarah.
Smith was born on Oct. 10, 1954, the second child of James and Fannie (née Aikens) Gaymon.
“Our Mom was devoted to her parents, especially her mother, who lived long after their father died. She showed us how family should stick together and take care of each other,” said another daughter, Felicia Summerville.
Smith received her education in the Philadelphia public schools and graduated from William Penn High School in 1972. She met Alfred A. Smith, and they married on Aug. 26, 1972.
“After our dad’s death, Mommy worked so hard to make sure that we would be all right. She pulled the load of four children on her own, setting a good example for us,” remembered daughter Frannie.
Her daughter Shandell shared her memories.
“One thing our mom and grandmother instilled in us was faith in God. They made sure we were active in Sunday School and church from birth to adult years,” she said. “Mom insisted that we participate in all that was offered at the church where we grew up, Foster Memorial Baptist Church. We watched her work with different ministries and serve in the kitchen for special occasions.”
Smith was still employed with the School District of Philadelphia at the time of her death. She had served as a teacher’s assistant for approximately 24 years.
“Mommy was dedicated to the children at the schools where she worked,” Sarah said.
“Her specialty was working with children with special needs. She had patience and was excited when they made even small strides in their development. She would encourage them to try new things so they could gain more confidence,” remembered Sarah.
Felicia continued with her memories.
“Everybody who knew our mom knew that she could make you laugh at the simplest things. She took delight in seeing people have fun. Her favorite pastimes included shopping, cooking and spending time with her grandchildren and goddaughter,” Felicia said.
“Her most memorable moments were having her granddaughters over every weekend and her grandson, Dooddie, calling her every day just to say, ‘I love you, Grandmom.’ The last call for her every night was from her first grandchild, Tashinique. That is how her night ended on December 22 a few hours before her passing.”
Smith is survived by: four daughters, Shandell Smith, Felicia “Ruby” Summerville, Franny Smith and Sarah Robinson; son-in-law, Loavel Summerville III; four granddaughters, Tashanique Butler, Caliah Williford, Christina Dawkins and Ta’shyia Butler; four grandsons, Christopher Dawkins, Semaj Thorney, Alan “Dooddie” Barrett and Sajae Thorney; one sister, Audrey Gaymon; two sisters-in-law, Ruby Beale and Tina Cosom; two brothers-in-law, William Smith and Clarence Smith; godsister Theresa Lanzey; goddaughter, Jasmine Lanzey; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins; and her Bache Martin Family.
Services will be held Dec. 30, at Foster Memorial Baptist Church, 2401 N. 18th Street. The viewing will start at 9 a.m. The service will start at 11. Sabbath Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Zora Brown was a champion of breast cancer awareness among African Americans.
She died Sunday, March 2, 2013 in Oklahoma City. She was 63.
Brown, a breast and ovarian cancer survivor, was the founder and chairperson of Cancer Awareness Program Services and the Breast Cancer Resource Committee, an organization dedicated to lowering the breast cancer mortality rate among African Americans.
She was a trustee for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer.
“There is a hole in our hearts as we mourn the loss of Zora Brown, who despite her many years of dealing with two cancers and multiple relapses, maintained an amazing and courageous spirit that inspired everyone around her,” said Dr. Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the Philadelphia-based AACR.
“Her life’s work as a cancer advocate has been extremely important in increasing public awareness about cancer, especially among women. Our lives have been enriched by knowing her. In her memory and honor, we will do our utmost to work even harder to expedite the prevention and cure of this disease that takes so many.”
At the end of her life, Brown was living with stage III ovarian cancer but she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1981, at just 32 and then again in 1997. Her experience with cancer led her to devote her life as an advocate for women and for African-American women in particular, with breast and ovarian cancers.
In 2011, Brown shared her story in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011.
In June 2012, she testified at a U.S. Senate Cancer Coalition forum where she explained that cancer, which will strike one out of two men and one out of three women in their lifetimes, was a journey that began before she was born because of a family history and genetic predisposition.
“The AACR and cancer research community lost an amazing and gracious woman with the passing of Zora Brown. I cannot stress enough the importance of her work as an advocate for cancer research. She, along with other advocates, are the unsung heroes in fight against cancer,” said AACR President Frank McCormick, Ph.D., director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Zora’s strength in battling her cancers and her passion for advocating for women with cancer were an inspiration to us all. She will be dearly missed but certainly never forgotten.”
Brown also served with distinction as a member of the board of trustees for the AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer since 2008 where her voice and resolve as a cancer survivor and advocate were richly appreciated.
“We have just lost a great leader in the fight against cancer. In spite of her own challenges with cancer, she untiringly extended her hands to help others and was a fervent promoter of the prevention and cure of breast cancer,” said Dr. Yuet Wai Kan, AACR Foundation Board Chairman and professor of hematology, University of California, San Francisco.
“She was also a strong advocate for cancer research through congressional testimony. Her eloquence and clarity of purpose will be missed by all trustees of the AACR Foundation.”
After her first breast cancer diagnosis led to a mastectomy, Brown learned that cancer mortality rates for African-American women were continuing to increase while rates were decreasing for Caucasian women. Alarmed by these statistics, she formed the BCRC in 1989, an advocacy organization that vowed to lower the mortality rate among African-Americans by the end of this century.
Brown was born March 20, 1949. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Following this she obtained a job as secretary at the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association and then took a position with the Ford Motor Company, where she served for six years in the lobbying office.
In 1976, Brown took an administrative assistant’s post at the White House in a division concerned with women’s programs during the nationwide efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. During this time she formed a lifelong friendship with First Lady Betty Ford. She continued her government service as director of Minority Enterprise at the Federal Communications Commission.
After founding BCRC, Brown began her role as an activist speaking in African-American churches with events that initially included Marilyn Quayle.
In the late 1980s, she partnered with the Revlon Company Foundation; Lilly Tartikoff, wife of the then-NBC president; Phylicia Rashad; and Jane Pauley to produce “Once a Year…For a Lifetime,” a documentary movie explaining the benefits of regular mammography that made its television debut on Nov. 16, 1990.
In 1991, President George Bush appointed her to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), which is an 18-member advisory body of outside experts whose primary task is to advise the secretary of Health and Human Services, the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and ultimately the president of the United States on a range of issues affecting the nation’s cancer program and, specifically, NCI operations. She served on the board until 1998. Due in part to Brown’s influence, Congress appropriated $500,000 for breast and cervical screening for low-income, uninsured, inner-city women.
As part of the BCRC, Brown organized the CAPS in 1992, to institute comprehensive educational and prevention programs focusing on cancers affecting women. In 1993, she established “Rise-Sister-Rise,” an all-African-American, free gathering on Saturday mornings in local venues that taught women the rules of healthy living and cancer prevention.
Brown has been recognized widely for her work in breast cancer awareness among minorities. In 1990, she was honored by Senator Fred Hollings of South Carolina, who invited her to become a board member of the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.
She has also appeared in a Washington Post feature called “Portraits of the City,” which lauded her for her work.
In 1992, she received the Marilyn Trist Robinson Community Service Award from the Washington Association of Black Journalists. In the same year she received the Susan G. Komen Community Service Award and the Breast Cancer Award from the National Women’s Health Resource Center. In 1993, she received the Gretchen Post Award and was cited by the U.S. Senate in 1995.
“She was so full of wonderful life every time we interacted. These tragically too-early losses inspire us to redouble our endeavors against cancer,” said AACR Past President Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., Nobel laureate and the Morris Herzstein professor in biology and physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco.
Brown is survived by one sister, two brothers and other relatives and friends.
News and talk radio veteran Bernie McCain spent nearly five decades in an industry that often boasts more casualties than survivors. His was a career that crossed numerous media outlets and many continents. For the last 20 years, McCain held court daily on WOL-AM in Washington, D.C., spinning his own unique style of hosting and discussing the issues of the day. On Saturday, Oct. 13, McCain died of natural causes.
He was 76.
McCain was born in 1936 in Newark, NJ, which also is where his career began at 1430 WNJR (which stood for North Jersey Radio), a "soul" AM station. He lived all over the world using his mellow baritone voice as his calling card. McCain held many titles, including music director, news director, program director, talk show host, general manager, news photographer and cinematographer. He was responsible for assisting in the launch of two stations (WKIE in Richmond and 2DK in Antigua). McCain's media tours of duty took him to Africa, London,
Paris, Germany, Venezuela, Cleveland, St. Louis, Richmond, San Francisco, Oakland, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Maryland.
McCain — also known by the moniker “Uncle Bernie” — was the first program director of Radio One’s flagship station WOL-AM in 1980, and was listed on staff as an on-air personality at the time of his death.
From the 1970s through the late 1980s, McCain worked in the Delaware Valley at WHAT-AM as program director (where he was responsible for creating the popular "Mornings With Mary" Mason show), and later served as a popular overnight talk show host on WWBD 96.5FM.
During the 2000's, he would often appear as a special guest on the late Reggie Bryant's “In Pursuit of Truth” on WURD 900AM. In response to Bryant's death in 2010, McCain gave a unique behind-the-scenes perspective to the life of a Black talk show host.
“Reggie and I understood something, and it’s one of the oldest axioms in radio: Radio is theater of the mind,” shared the 48-year radio veteran. “But it is all theater. It is comedy, tragedy, and joy. And when you open up the mic, it’s not your mouth, it’s your mind and your soul that you’re sharing with everybody else. You have to think about this: before anybody calls you, they are listening. That means they need to be listening to something. The something comes out of a single person, that lone individual is sharing with whoever will listen what is taking place inside of their brain, their mind, their being, their
soul. They are sharing that.
“What they are looking for is not ananswer to yes or no, up or down, left or right. They’re looking for that person who responds with their thoughts, with their mind, with their soul, with their feeling, and with their beliefs. That’s it. Because then you’ve got another person on the other end who is giving what you believe you have given. It doesn’t matter if that person is angry or agitated and diametrically opposed to what you are saying. If they’re diametrically opposed to what you are saying — if they’re emotionally, psychologically, politically, physiologically opposed to what you are saying, that’s their honesty. You can’t get better than that.”
Syndicated talk show host Bev Smith noted that McCain's passing marked the loss of another one of the Black community's griots, or story tellers.
“Bernie lived being a part of the engine of change on the African American community,” said Smith. “Bernie was totally dedicated to the black community — he loved us — and there are not too many people like Bernie out there right now because people now (in media) love
themselves and they want to be glorified. Not Bernie. The world is a sadder place with his passing.”
McCain's passion for the medium kept him in the mix for a long time. He watched the ebbs and flows of the radio market and pointed out that mass popularity does not necessarily equate to massive wealth — especially for Black talk show hosts.
When asked why do it, he explained: “Who can satisfy when what you really are looking for is your own consciousness. Are you able to go night-by-night and say, ‘Lord, I lay me down. I don’t know whether or not I’ll wake up, but I’ve done the best I’ve done this day. Amen.?’ That’s it. No other man can give me accolades for what I have done because I didn't do it for accolades -- and I didn't do it for another man either."
According to the family, McCain was surrounded by his loved ones at the time of his death, including his wife, Wanda McCain; his two daughters, Leslie and Cairo, and Ted Travis. A private family funeral service was held this weekend, with plans for a public memorial service at a later date. WOL-AM has erected an online memorial at www.woldcnews.com featuring video and audio of Bernie McCain at work.
Jamar Keir Ferrell, affectionately known as “Maury,” was born on January 23, 1969, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Willie and Willa Mae (Kittrels) Ferrell. He was the fourth of the Ferrells’ six sons. On January 15, 2012, Jamar entered into eternal rest after a yearlong battle with lymphoma. His family and friends will gather on Saturday, April 14, 2012, in a private ceremony in a “Tribute to our Gem.”
Jamar received his education in the Penn Wood School system and graduated from Penn Wood High School in 1986. During his school years, Jamar was a great little league pitcher and also excelled in track and field. The triple jump was his specialty.
Jamar’s first job was working in the family’s business, Ferrell Franks, which was located in the Gallery in Center City. It was here where he met his true love Sitti Moses. After years of courtship, they joined hands in marriage on June 11, 1994. Anyone in their presence could see and feel their love for one another. Sitti was constantly at his side during the final stages of his illness, as were many other family members.
Jamar joined Horizon House as an employment training specialist in 1993. He was a strong advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities and dedicated his personal and professional career to enhancing their lives.
Jamar’s true passion was music. He was known as “DJ Brother Jamar.” He was in popular demand for birthday parties, clubs, block parties, weddings and anniversaries. He shared his mixing skills on Power 99 FM radio station on Sunday nights with host Tiffany Bacon. Jamar rocked everything from rare to classic R&B, soul, disco, funk and hip hop.
He will be remembered for his willing spirit, his generosity in sharing his knowledge and wisdom and giving invaluable advice to others.
He is survived by his wife, Sitti; parents, Willie and Willa Mae Ferrell; brothers, Terryl (Shawn), Stephen (Cydney), Lamonte (Gwendolyn), Jacin and Dion (Tiffany); three nieces; three nephews; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Muisha and Bob Barnett; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Daniel Brodie, affectionately known as Poo, may have been small in size, but he had a personality as big as the world. He was a beloved husband, son, father, brother, nephew, uncle and friend. He died of natural causes on December 10. He was 46.
You could count on him entering the room to the cheers of “Big Poppa in the house.” He loved spending time with his family and friends, during holidays, special occasions or for just no reason at all. He was the life of the party, always good for a laugh, and as we all know Poo “raised everybody.”
Brodie was born on June 24, 1965 in Philadelphia to Joan Brodie. He received his early education at St. Gregory Catholic School where he was a top student in his class. He later graduated from Overbrook High School, where during his senior year he participated in a co-op program for Mellon Bank, which led to his 16-year career in the banking industry. His family said he worked hard and diligently, climbing the ladder of success. After leaving Mellon Bank, he worked for several different companies. His last place of employment was at UPS in Logan Township in New Jersey where he was a manager or as he would say, “Running that.”
In 1987, he met Marcy Starks who he pursued aggressively, winning her heart with kind acts. He was a true Don Juan. They married in 1990. They had three children.
Brodie gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and joined West Park Church of Deliverance where he served on the usher board. He later joined New Heritage Church of Deliverance under the leadership of Pastor Michael Boyd.
Brodie leaves to mourn: wife, Marcy; three children, Daniel Jr., Roy and Ayana; mother, Joan; sister, Donna (Eric); three brothers, Nolan, Michael and Bruce; sister-in-law, Vanessa (William); eight brothers-in-law, Calvin (Joyce), Clarence Jr., Melvin, Gregory, Thomas, Kenneth, Anthony and David (Elizabeth); two aunts, Joyce (Donald) and Lisa; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Services were held December 16 at Vine Memorial Baptist Church, 5600 West Girard Ave. Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Daisy Isabel Bailey Bryant was a true woman of sophistication, distinction and grace. This was evident by her keen sense of style as she always dressed in classic suits, hats, and high-heeled shoes.
Bryant was employed by the Quartermaster’s Department of Defense in South Philadelphia. Before retiring after 36 years, she was honored with the Philadelphia Woman of the Year Award for Personal Excellence & Dedicated Service. Bryant died October 12. She was 87.
Bryant was born on November 16, 1923 in Philadelphia to the late James Hezekiah and Hilda Mae Bailey. She was the second child of three daughters.
Bryant attended Smith Elementary, Barrett Junior High School and graduated from William Penn High School for Girls. She went on to continue her education in Business Administration at Temple University.
At a young age, Bryant joined First African Baptist Church where she became an active and faithful member for over 77 years until her health began to fail.
She loved and supported her church. She was honored with the First African Baptist Church Woman of the Year Award for Outstanding Dedicated and Continuous Service. She served on many ministries including the choir, trustee board, usher board and a teacher of the Vacation Bible School. She also volunteered serving in the soup kitchen ministry.
Her life was guided by her love of the Lord and her family. She was a loyal and faithful servant. She was very generous, caring and compassionate often volunteering her time visiting with the sick and shut-in.
Bryant was a founding member of the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., Beta Omicron Chapter of Philadelphia and was recognized for 50 years of membership.
As a Girl Scout troop leader for many years, she was a positive role model mentoring and molding young ladies. She taught them etiquette, good manners and stressed the importance of having an education.
She demonstrated her artistic abilities as a milliner and jewelry designer creating hats and earrings to complement her outfits. She was an entrepreneur selling her hats labeled “Hats Hand-made by DASI.”
Loved ones said she enjoyed her life. As a young child, she played the violin and she never lost her appreciation for music and the arts.
Bryant was a patron of The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts and The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO). She went on numerous trips; traveling often to visit her family in Jamaica, Minnesota and Massachusetts. Aunt Daisy, as her nieces and nephews affectionately knew her, would regularly extend her encouragement and support. She was truly a fixture in their lives always acknowledging birthdays and attending special events from birth through adulthood. You could always count on Aunt Daisy to support the cause whatever it may be. Although, she did not have children of her own, she affectionately supported and loved her nieces and nephews as if they were her own.
In her spare time, she also loved to bake. Bryant was the perfect hostess. Friends and family would look forward to being served them her delicious sour crème pound cake, zucchini bread, Christmas cookies and spinach dip. She was always prepared far in advance for any unexpected visitor.
Bryant leaves to mourn: sister, Doris L. Nathan; nieces, JoAnn Canty, Patricia L. Brinkley and Renee J. Nathan-Evans; nephews, Joseph A. Nathan III (Jacquelyn) and Arthur Alexander III; Jerrell Brinkley Sr., Douglas Evans; dear friend, Novella Harrison; a host of great nieces and nephews; relatives and friends.
Her older sister, Amy R. Alexander, preceded her in death.
Services will be held Oct. 21 at First African Baptist Church, 1608 Christian St. The viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The service will start at 11. Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Gabriel S. Hardeman was a pioneer of modern gospel music.
He was a singer, songwriter and a pastor.
Hardeman died June 16, 2012, in Philadelphia. Details of his death have not yet been released.
Hardeman was the founder of the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation. He is known for songs “Feel Like Fire” and “To The Chief Musician.”
He co-wrote Stephanie Mills’ 1987 number one R&B hit “I Feel Good All Over” with his wife Annette Hardeman.
WDAS-FM Radio personality Patty Jackson says Hardeman’s songs “I Feel Good All Over” and “Love Under New Management” were gospel songs that were regarded as R&B staples.
“It just really showed you his great talent in what he wrote about — the passion in his work,” says Jackson.
“I think one of the greatest gospel songs to go down in recording is ‘Feel Like Fire.’ It’s a song that makes you happy. It’s a song that kind of gets into your spirit.”
Aside from writing songs for gospel acts such as Edwin Hawkins and the Wilmington-Chester Mass Choir, Hardeman recorded his own albums for the Messiah and Birthright labels before making a comeback with the Stellar Award nominated the “To the Chief Musician” CD in 2001.
“He was a wonderful person. He really lived his life to the fullest. He did so much,” says Jackson.
After suffering from interstitial fibrosis, Hardeman underwent a single lung transplant on Feb. 16, 2009, at the University of Pennsylvania.
The College Park, Ga.-native lived in Philadelphia for most of his adult life until he and his wife returned to Georgia to care for his aging parents.
“I care for my mom and we had a very in-depth conversation about the challenges that happens in your life when you reach a certain age and you have to care for your parent. It was such a sacrifice for him but it was something that he wanted to do,” Jackson added.
Services will be held June 23 at Hickman Temple AME Church, 50th and Baltimore streets. Viewing is at 10 a.m. Services will follow at 11.
Roland A. Cropper Sr. served as a social worker for the Vineland School District, later accepting the position of vice principal at Vineland High School. After 31 dedicated years in education, he retired to a life of travel, cooking and golf. He died October 22 of cancer. He was 79.
Cropper was born in Yeadon on December 29, 1931. He was a graduate of Yeadon High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University. He was a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He later received his master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.
He taught and coached football and basketball at William C. Taylor High School in Warrenton, Va., where he met and married Jean Jackson, his wife of 55 years.
He served his term in the U.S. Army and later moved to Vineland, N.J. where he taught physical education, coached football and track.
Cropper is survived by: wife, Jean J. Cropper; son, Roland Cropper Jr.; brothers, Donald, Wilfred (Mary), Henry, Soloman (Alice); sister, Helen Jane Cropper; brother-in-law, Charles Thompson; nieces, nephews and a multitude of relatives and friends.
He was predeceased by parents, John Sewell Sr. and Mabel Drew Cropper; brother, John Sewell Jr.; and sister, Constance Cropper Thompson.
A private service is being planned by the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cropper’s memory to the American Cancer Society or Hospice.