Services were held on May 9 for Wanda M. Clark.
Clark died on Thursday, May 2, 2013. She was 53.
She was born June 27, 1960 to Frank Lee Newman II and Edna Mae Wilson in Philadelphia. Clark was baptized as a member of Campbell AME Church. She was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and graduated from the Job Corps program.
She married Jeffrey Clark on June 25, 1995 and from this union their only daughter was born.
She supported her husband in his travels refereeing basketball games across the country.
Clark enjoyed shopping, traveling with her husband, spending time with her family and taking family vacations. Her family said she had an infectious laugh, was outgoing and sought out celebrities to pose for pictures.
Christmas and Easter were Clark’s favorite holidays. She took pride and joy in festively decorating her home and hosting holiday gatherings.
Her family said she cherished her daughter and grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter, Camilla; grandchildren, Mayana Camille. J. Clark Robert, J’Yonn Rae and Ryleigh Saran; mother-in-law, Mildred Clark; brothers, Frankie (Butch), Jeffrey and Mark Newman; sisters, Donna Rice (Keith), Kimberly Newman; cousin, Vickilyn Williams Mallory; in-laws, James Richards (Phoebe), Virginia Morgan (Jimmy), Dana Clark Sr. (Jacqueline), George Clark Jr. (LaVonne), Linda Clark and Millicent Clark; goddaughter, Lisa Kittrel-Dixon (Antwine) and other relatives and friends.
Services were held May 9 at Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1657 Kinsey St. Burial was in Ivy Hill Cemetery.
Walton B. Brown Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Morehouse College had withdrawn its invitation after pastor's criticism of Obama
Morehouse College has announced that the Rev. Kevin Johnson, senior pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church, will deliver the baccalaurate sermon as a part of graduation festivities.
“The focus of commencement weekend should be on the graduates, their families and the historic visit by the president of the United States,” Morehouse President John S. Wilson Jr. said in a news release.
“There is no better way to honor that priority than to have a distinguished [alumnus] give the baccalaureate sermon and two recent alumni offer baccalaureate hermeneutics to the graduating class.”
Johnson, who is a 1996 Morehouse alum, will deliver his sermon on Saturday, a day before President Barack Obama offers the commencement address at the Atlanta college.
“For 146 years, Morehouse has produced men who are progressive leaders, critical thinkers, committed to changing the world,” Johnson said in a statement.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to deliver the baccalaureate sermon and I commend President Wilson and his administration for continuing the Morehouse traditions of free thought and speech, which produced Howard Thurman, Martin Luther King Jr., Maynard Jackson, Julian Bond and other esteemed Morehouse men.”
Morehouse’s Wednesday announcement comes on the heels of a controversy that started when Johnson wrote an op-ed in the April 14 edition of the Philadelphia Tribune criticizing Obama’s lack of Black appointees to his second-term cabinet.
Earlier this year, Johnson had been invited to deliver Morehouse’s baccalaurate sermon. After his op-ed appeared, Wilson contacted Johnson by phone and stated that the article was “untimely” given that Obama is Morehouse’s 2013 commencement speaker. Wilson, who led the White House’s program on Black colleges before taking on the role of Morehouse president, changed Johnson’s initial solo address to a three-speaker panel during baccaularate services. Johnson then refused the offer on the grounds that it was a departure from the college’s tradition of having one baccalaureate speaker and all initial representations made to him.
Several Morehouse alumni criticized Wilson for the decision and accused him of trying to censor Johnson. In a letter to the campus, Wilson denied the charges and said he had asked Johnson to share the stage with two other baccularate speakers to “reflect a broader and more inclusive range of viewpoints.”
During the baccalaurate ceremony, the two alumni that will offer hermeneutics to the class are the Rev. Anthony Mark Miller, CEO of Giant Steps Leadership Academy in Philadelphia and Olusesgun “Segun” Abayomi, a candidate for the master of divinity degree at Boston University School of Theology.
Jabez T. Austin Jr. was employed by the U.S. Post Office for more than 30 years.
Austin died Sunday, May 5, 2013. He was 73.
He was born Oct. 3, 1939, to Marybelle and Jabez Thomas Austin Sr. in Philadelphia. He was educated in Philadelphia public schools where he attended Barry Elementary School, Sayre Middle School and West Philadelphia High School. From there he went on to serve in the United States Air Force from 1957 until he was honorably discharged in December 1959.
Austin often spent his summers in New Jersey where he met and fell in love with the sister of one of his friends. In 1962, this man of little patience wed a woman who had it to spare. He married Ethelyne Vaughn, and this union produced four children.
He worked at the Post Office for 33 years and proved to be a dedicated worker and eventual manager. His family said he cherished the time he spent in the Air Force and at the Post Office.
Austin’s family said he had a love for family, sports, music, writing, good food, movies and politics.
“He was a stickler for education and never accepted no for an answer,” his family said.
In addition to his parents, Austin was preceded in death by his wife and brothers, Benjamin and Robert Austin.
He is survived by his children, Jabez T. Austin III, Jerome D. Austin, Mary T. Austin and Joel B. Austin; eight grandchildren, Jameel Austin, Jazmeen Austin, Jacinda Alexandria Davis, Aamir Khadir Ishmael Austin, Naim-Shahid Jumah Austin, Hammad Zahir Kamau Austin, James Franklin Hilley III and Janai Eleathia Hilley; great-granddaughter, Saniya Thompson; brothers, Jotham Austin and Calvin Austin; sisters-in-law, Brenda Austin and Renee Chambers; daughters-in-law, Lynece Austin and Natalie Austin; son-in-law, James Hilley Jr.; aunt, Pansy Mae Pope; and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will held May 18 at 11 a.m. at Wood Funeral Home, 5537-39 West Girard Avenue. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Jabez T. Austin Jr. Legacy Fund, c/o AH Consulting Inc., P.O. Box 1084, Media, Pa, 19063.
Jean T. Lewis of Layfette Hills was a former elementary school teacher.
Lewis died Monday, May 6, 2013. She was 81.
She was born March 6, 1932, to Edward Daniel Turner and Maude Butler Turner.
Lewis taught in the Camden, N.J., and Wissahickon, Pa. School Districts from 1955 to 1991. She graduated from Cheyney University with a degree in education in 1955. She later received her master’s degree in education from Temple University.
Her family said she was a beloved wife, mother, friend, neighbor, sister and artist. Her artwork can be seen throughout Philadelphia. She was very talented and known for her poetry and paintings of celebrities, such as, Bill Cosby, Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson, Lena Horne, Ray Charles, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr. and Rev. Leon E. Sullivan.
Lewis was an active member of the Women’s Christian Alliance, Club 55 Plus and other community organizations too numerous to name.
In addition to her parents, Lewis was preceded in death by her husband, James Lewis.
She is survived by her daughters, L. Shorter and Linda M. Hoxter; son, William N. Hoxter III; grandson, Hutton D. Harmon; brother, Thomas S. Turner; sisters, Constance Jackson, Barbara Rheubottom and Hilda Wright; nieces, Diane, Carol, Joan, “Tammie” and Anne; nephews, Vernon, Vaughn, Ventnor, Donald, Thomas, Edwin, Montez, Edward “Terry,” Ted, and Tim; former husband, William “Sonny” N. Hoxter Jr. and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held May 17 at Zion Baptist Church, Broad and Venango streets. Viewing is at 10 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Merion Memorial Park, Bala Cynwyd.
Wright Funeral and Cremation Services handled the arrangements.
Philadelphia’s faith-based community is being tapped to spur action around preventing heart disease.
The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services has rolled out the “100 Congregations for Million Hearts” in Philadelphia. The program is part of a national effort to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
The initiative seeks to enlist the support of 100 local congregations in increasing awareness around heart disease prevention by focusing on hypertension control.
Participating congregations in Philadelphia will commit to designating a Million Hearts advocate from among the membership to serve as a resource for heart health information and a lay advisor for clinical referrals.
Congregations are also being asked to establish relationships with local experts such as community pharmacists and community health workers; disseminate messages about the importance of and action steps to hypertension control; distribute blood pressure tracking wallet cards and promote Heart Health Mobile — a mobile app that helps consumers determine and reduce heart attack and stroke risk.
Last month, CMS and the Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives held an event at City Hall to brief faith leaders about Million Hearts.
“The 100 Congregations for One Million Hearts is for this office a continuation of our commitment to addressing health disparities in communities in Philadelphia where there are considerable risk factors due to lifestyle behavior, diet and access to care that have served to put at risk the quality of life of many people in the city - many of whom have a relationship with place of worship,” said Rev. Malcolm T. Byrd, interim director, Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.
“We believe that congregations have strong commitments not only to the spiritual well-being of their members but the whole person’s well-being. The opportunity to partner with the city government, the federal government and other interests comes at a time when many congregations are appreciating the need to develop their members holistically.”
The national initiative is being led by HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease.
The efforts come at a time when heart disease is considered the leading cause of death in the United States.
“Cardiovascular disease is one of the largest medical problems confronting our nation. Nationally heart disease and stroke kills more than 800,000 Americans and its costing this country a lot. One of every six dollars spent on health care is spent on treatment for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Dalton Paxman, regional health administrator, HHS Region III.
“Heart disease and stroke are also the leading cause of health disparities. African Americans lose more of the quality of life from cardiovascular disease and stroke than from any other disease so it is really important that we address all these issues.”
Philadelphia is one of five cities participating in Million Hearts. The five-year initiative was previously launched in Baltimore and will launch in Chicago, San Diego and Tulsa. The cities were chosen for their high rates of hypertension, stroke and health disease.
“Another reason why we chose Philadelphia to be one of the launching pads for 100 Congregations for Million Hearts activities is that the city has shown a real commitment to integrating public health and clinical practice,” Paxman said.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is one of the local partners. According to the Health Department, approximately 23,000 Philadelphians have died of heart disease and stroke over the last five years.
“Philadelphia is still above the nation in cardiovascular disease mortality. We know that one of the reasons for this is Philadelphia has consistently higher hypertension rates than the rest of the nation,” said Claudia Siegel, director of the office of health information and improvement.
The Public Health Department is working with Million Hearts to develop the Heart Health Mobile app, which people can use to plug in their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. The department website now provides a monthly list of free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings held throughout the city.
“The objective is to help people know their numbers because the thing about hypertension and heart disease is that it can creep up on you,” Siegel pointed out.
The Million Hearts initiative seeks to improve access to effective care and improve knowledge about the ABC’s – Aspirin therapy, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and smoking cessation.