Bishop Dewitt A. Burton was the founder and senior pastor of the Tower of Pentecost Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia.
Burton died Thursday, March 14, 2013. He was 97.
He was born July 4, 1915 to Georgia Burton and the Rev. John H. Burton on the Choctaw Nation in McCurtain County, Ok.
Burton was the oldest of two children. In 1929, the family moved to Wilmington, Del. Burton was educated in the Wilmington public school system. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown. He also attended Lincoln University where he received training in sacred scripture, theology and religious practice. In 1985, Burton received an honorary doctorate from the Interdenominational Theological Center, C.H. Mason Seminary in Atlanta, Ga.
Burton founded his first church, Church of God in Christ of Winston Salem, N.C. in 1934. In 1939, Burton was appointed pastor of Emanuel Church of God in Steelton. He pastored the Emanuel Church for more than 40 years. During that period, he concurrently pastored the Reid Temple, Church of God in Christ in East Orange and the Garden of Prayer, Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia.
His family said the Emanuel and Reid Temple pastorates were great moments in his life. With them, he took a small band of willing workers in small quarters and built two of the most beautiful edifices of Christian worship in the Church of God in Christ.
In 1965, Burton was consecrated bishop and he accepted the responsibility of establishing the Eastern Jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Conference of the Church of God in Christ. In the same year, he was appointed assistant general secretary of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. Eight years later, Burton was unanimously elected to the position of general secretary of the Church of God in Christ, Inc.
Burton made a significant number of accomplishments in the Church of God including serving as national secretary of disbursements, national secretary of Elders’ Council, national secretary of Bishop’s Council, national secretary of the General Assembly and a member of the original Constitutional Committee.
He was the founder of the Hospital Fund of the National Church of God in Christ, co-founder of the C.H. Mason Seminary, Atlanta, Ga. and chairman of the Judiciary Board for Bishops’ Council.
The local jurisdictional service will be held March 21 at Tower of Pentecost, 7485 Briar Road. The viewing is 5 p.m. Services will follow at 7 p.m.
The national service will be held March 22 at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, Stenton and Ogontz avenues. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be Ivy Hill Cemetery.
Services will be held Thursday August 2 for radio legend Joe “Butterball” Tamburro.
Tamburro died July 27, 2012. He was 70.
A cause of death was not given, however he had been battling complications stemming from diabetes and heart disease.
Tamburro was a WDAS disc jockey whose career spanned almost 50 years. His career at WDAS dates back to 1964 when he joined the station as an advertising salesman.
He is survived his wife Cynthia, five children and five grandchildren.
The funeral and holy Mass will be held at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 1723 Race St.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting that donations be made in his name to the American Diabetes Association, 150 Monument Rd. Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 19004.
Richard Reginald Schell, known as “Reggie,” was a former leader of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.
Schell was steadfast in ensuring the betterment of Black people.
He died May 9, 2012 of kidney disease and heart failure. He was 70.
He was born July 6, 1941 in Philadelphia to Richard Schell and the former Eleanor Nesbitt. He was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and upon graduation he joined the United States Army where he was stationed in Germany. Schell served four years and received an honorable discharge.
Schell had vast occupational endeavors, having worked as a plumber, contractor and a printsetter. His job as a printsetter piqued his interest in attending Temple University for Journalism.
He married Carol Cooke, who is deceased, and from this union, two sons were born, Richard and Marcus.
In 1969, Schell formed the Philadelphia Chapter of The Black Panther Party with the determination in establishing the rights of his people and address community concerns.
Working with the Black Panther Party and affiliates, Schell helped establish the Breakfast Program, Community Medical Centers and Community Clothing Programs. He was an integral participant in the renaming of Columbia Avenue to Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
In 1969, he met Celia Turner, who was an intricate part of the struggle. In 1972, a daughter named Dessalina was born to them.
Schell extended his political activism as he traveled around the country and around the world, visiting China and France. He was an active member of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition.
He was preceded in death by his parents and older sister, Barbara Schell-Lancit.
Schell is survived by brother, Robert; sisters, Marian (Yonn) and Ellen; children, Richard, Leslie, Marcus (April) and Dessalina (Anthony); grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; aunts, Thelma Sawyer and Marian Bowman; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held May 15 at Alfonso Cannon Funeral Chapel.
Cheryl Vernae Grant Shepherd, also known as “Cookie,” was a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In her early days in Philadelphia, Cheryl taught at Warren G. Harding Middle School and later at William M. Meredith Elementary School. She started a disciplined dance program for the students at Meredith. She was a mentor to both mothers and students.
Shepherd died on January 17. She was 61.
Shepherd was born on February 7, 1950, to Helen Grant and Daniel Martin Sr. in Harlem, N.Y. She moved to St. Helena Island, S.C., in the early 1950’s and was primarily raised by her maternal grandparents, the late William Boles Chaplin and the late Louise Capers Chaplin.
She was raised in the Christian faith. She was baptized at Ebenezer Baptist Church on St. Helena Island at an early age and became a congregation member. She lived across the road from a small prayer house where she could hear the charismatic praises going forth in songs like ‘Come On InThis House (It’s gonna rain)’ from the swing on her porch.
Shepherd graduated from St. Helena High School where she was also a drum major in the high school band. Her family said she was “fierce struttin’” as she led the band down the St. Helena roads.
She spent summers in New York City with her mother, step-father, the late Joseph Porter, and two sisters Donna and Kimberly. In her teen years, she worked at the great Macy’s on 34th Street in Manhattan as a summer job.
Shepherd later attended Spelman College, Allen University and Montclair State University where she earned her degrees and credentials in health/physical education and dance.
While at Allen University, she met Ronald Shepherd with whom she traveled and sang in the University choir.
She later moved to Newark, N.J., where she taught physical education and coached the girl’s track team at Malcolm X Shabazz High School. While there, she and Ronald married in 1974. Soon after, she moved to Philadelphia. In 1977, she and her husband welcomed their only child, Chaz Lamar Shepherd. Chaz became the joy of her life.
Shepherd also taught for a time at Freedom Theater. She started Philadelphia’s first young people’s dance company, “Lessons In Dance Studio.” There she trained Chaz but kicked him out due to “his funky attitude.” She used her son as an example to the other students, showing that no one was exempt from the expectation of excellent behavior. She was also on the board of the Annenberg Theater.
In her last days, she found joy in seeing some of the vision God gave her of her son manifest. Chaz’s life was her joy and inspiration though she had her own individual ministry beyond him. Her later joy was her “Snug-a-bug,” Harlem Sorah Shepherd, her only grandchild.
Harlem called her “Grammy” as Shepherd wished and she enjoyed her granddaughter sleeping with her and running around the house. Through her health challenges, Chaz and Harlem gave her hopeful days.
Shepherd leaves to mourn: son, Chaz Shepherd; granddaughter, Harlem Sorah; mother, Helen Porter-Spahn (William); father, Daniel Martin Sr. (Ruby); two sisters, Donna Cunningham (Stan) and Kimberly Porter’s three brothers, Daniel Martin Jr.(Reba), Max Martin (Kim) and George Robert Chaplin; one niece, three nephews and a host of loving relatives and friends.
Services will be held Jan. 26, at Mt. Enon Baptist Church, 500 Snyder Ave. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 11. Waller Robinson Gray Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Betty Rosa Spivey was a gospel pianist, vocalist, directress and arranger. In addition to her involvement in the local church community, her many talents were exposed to gospel music lovers everywhere as she accompanied various groups and singers to all parts of the world, such as Kitty Parham and the Stars of Faith European Tour, the Victory Choral Ensemble, Gloria Neal and the Ladies of Song, guest artist with the David Winslow Singers and many others. She died Aug. 25. She was 60.
Spivey was born on Sept. 26, 1950, in Philadelphia to the late Ward D. Spivey, Jr. and Helen E. Thomas Spivey. She was educated in the Philadelphia Public School District and a graduate of John Bartram High School. An avid reader of religious and socio-political issues, she attended Community College of Philadelphia and Temple University, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Library Media Sciences. She was employed by the School District of Philadelphia and retired in April 2011 after 30 years of service. During those years, she often coordinated the music for graduation ceremonies and school plays for Alcorn and Vaux Public Schools.
Reared in a Christian home, she received her religious training from her parents and the Sunday School of Emmanuel AME Church. From an early age, she knew her Bible, taught by her late great uncle, Eugene Spivey, Superintendent of the Sunday School, Reverends John C. Spivey and Rosa Belle Spivey. She received her formal piano instruction and training from Ms. Rydonia Leecan, Mr. Howard Spivey and the late Lois W. Norris. Upon her death, she was a faithful and devoted member of Trinity AME Church in Philadelphia.
Her outstanding gift and anointing of music emerged at the age of 10 when, upon hearing her “toy with the keys,” the late Presiding Elder Arnold D. Nearn, assigned her to play at the South District Sunday School Convention. Nervous and uncertain of her talent, she majestically played her first song, “Where He May Lead Me,” which set the course for her service as a pianist and organist in God’s Church. Many were often amazed at “the little piano playing girl from Elmwood who could find anyone’s key”! Throughout her music career, others described her as “humble in spirit and generous of her gift.”
The Savior indeed led Betty to faithfully serve as musician to many beloved Church congregations, educational institutions and the entertainment field. She did not share but gave her all in celebration and love of the music ministry. Being deeply steeped in the traditions of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, she loved it dearly and served God well throughout her season. The following reflects 50 years of her gift to churches and choirs for Kingdom building: Emmanuel AMEC, St. Matthew AMEC, Waters Memorial AMEC, Jones Tabernacle AMEC, Morris Brown AMEC, New Bethel AMEC of Germantown, Zion AMEC, the AME Mass Choir, Campbell AMEC, St. Phillips Methodist Church, Christian Hope Baptist Church, First District Choir of Holy Temple C.O.G.I.C., Simpson Fletcher United Methodist Church and others too numerous to name. Additionally, she rendered service to the Women’s Days of Mt. Zion AMEC, Darby, Zion AMEC, Philadelphia, Trinity AMEC, St. James AMEC, Newark, NJ and the Queen’s Contest of Women’s Missionary Society during the tenure of the late Bertha Guyton She continued to serve as AME Mass Choir Director and member of the music staff to the Philadelphia Conference and First Episcopal District AME Church until she was called to the Heavenly Chorus.
Part of her ministry to her beloved African Methodist Episcopal Church involved assisting overseas districts in social, religious and political issues. She developed a sweet fellowship with the clergy and laity of the Cape Town, South Africa (15th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church); often holding prayer and song ministry while providing rich dialogue and guidance.
Among, one of Spivey’s greatest achievements was her organization and development of Triumph, a talented group of Philadelphia gospel singers who performed across the United States. An acclaimed tour was their accompaniment of Patti LaBelle in her Look to the Rainbow Tour. She played at such places as the famous Gershwin Theater on Broadway, the Westbury Music Fair in New York, Valley Forge Music Fair and the Shubert Theater in Philadelphia.
She wrote the plays “Glass Houses,” “Where You Gonna Run?,” “Rejoicing in Hope” (with Minister Walter Stewart), and “At the Cross” one of which she planned to present after retirement. She choreographed and provided keyboard accompaniment for Don B. Welch Productions in the national plays Hallelujah Mahalia and Heavenbound. Serving as pianist and organist, she appeared in the gospel musical productions of “The Gospelers” and “Master, I Want to Live.” Traveling and performing throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the United States, she composed, recorded and arranged songs for gospel groups and vocalists everywhere.
Spivey is survived by: mother, Helen E. Spivey; sister, Marian Spivey Sudler; brother, Ward D. Spivey III; sister-in-law, Elaine Spivey; nephew, Robert L. Sudler Jr.; two adopted nephews, Maurice Showell and Reginald Graves; aunt, Geraldine McMillan; and a large host of relatives, friends, god-nieces and nephews from her years of fellowship.
A memorial service musical celebration will be held on September 10, at St. Matthew AME Church, 215 North 57th Street. It will start at noon. Congleton Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
George E. “Butch” Ballard, was a drummer with big bands.
As a kid growing up in Frankford, Ballard followed the American Legion parades through his neighborhood, and would march along with the drummers. His father gave him a set of drums he bought from a pawnbroker when Ballard was only 10.
Ballard took drumming lessons for 75 cents a session, and by the time he was 16, was allowed to sit in on the Herb Thornton Band, which he heard playing at the Philadelphia Boys Club. From there, he went on to perform with some of the biggest jazz artists of his era, and was still swinging at 90.
Ballard died on Oct. 1 at the age of 92.
Ballard was born in Camden and grew up in Frankford. He attended Northeast High. He married his wife, Jessie, in 1940.
After performing with a band in Philadelphia, Ballard, at the age of 19, began playing with Louis Armstrong’s band, the Dukes.
Three years later, he moved to Harlem — taking the A Train, of course — and joined the band of Cootie Williams, Duke Ellington’s former trumpeter. Singers with the band included Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Pearl Bailey.
During World War II, Ballard joined the Navy and served in the South Pacific with the 29th Special Construction Battalion (Seabees). He also played in a military band.
After the war, he got gigs in New York with Armstrong, Illinois Jacquet and Ellington’s son Mercer.
In the late ‘40s, Ballard joined Count Basie’s Orchestra when Basie’s drummer, Shadow Wilson, left to play with Woody Herman.
In 1950, he turned down Duke Ellington. Ellington had contacted him to back up drummer Sonny Greer, who was not always reliable.
Ballard became Greer’s backup, but when Ellington asked him to permanently replace Greer, he refused. He said he didn’t want to change his drumming style to suit Ellington, who favored double bass drums.
Although Ellington hired Louie Bellson as his permanent drummer, Ballard continued to play occasional sets with the Duke in 1952 and 1953. He was the drummer on the classic “Satin Doll.”
Ballard also found time to be involved with politics in Frankford, where he was Democratic leader of the 23rd Ward. He also was a sought-after percussion teacher.
Over the years, he played with jazz legends John Coltrane, Fats Waller, Bootsie Barnes, Cat Anderson, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Eddie Vinson, Arnett Cobb and Clark Terry.
Ballard is survived by: son, Brenton Randolph; a brother and sister; and three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife.
Services were held October 10 at Second Street Baptist Church of Frankford.
–The Philadelphia Daily News contributed to this report.
Dolores Marie Williams was always the “go-to” person. She experienced every inch of life in the time she was here and had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica and Brazil during the later part of her life. Williams died on December 2. She was 54.
Williams was born in on June 28, 1957, in Portland, Ore., to Charles and Loretta Williams. She was described as always a happy, outgoing child. She loved to perform as she always had big dreams.
Williams was raised in North Philadelphia with her older sister Claudia and her little brother Anthony. She spent her childhood on Napa Street, creating bonds with dear friends who remained in her life forever. She was a faithful member of the Jackson 5 Fan Club.
Williams had an ability to understand how to navigate through various areas of life. She began Women Organized to Motivate, Empower and Nurture (W.O.M.E.N.) Inc. in 2004 and inspired a collective effort with her sister Claudia and sister-friends to develop and empower themselves and others.
Her family said she was a fascinating person. She had an extraordinary ability to connect instantly with people she met. She was open and honest. Family was very important to her. She believed in festive environments and celebration. She loved exquisite things and believed life should be lived to the fullest. She loved to sing, loved to laugh and was a devoted line-dancer.
She was also a part of the Phyllis Wheatley Lodge’s Top Cats Drill Team. In addition to modeling, she performed in a local production of “Hello Dolly.” Dolores played Irene Malloy and the whole cast was invited to New York by Pearl Bailey.
Williams went on to graduate from J.W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in 1974. When Williams was young, she wanted to be a lawyer and attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). However, she began working and married in 1977, giving birth to Jacquelyn Marie Tisdale in 1979 and Stephanie Joy Tisdale in 1983.
Williams was a devoted mother. She experienced the joys of motherhood early on and spent her entire life dedicating her energy to the ones she called “My Girls.”
Her family said she would sew them pretty dresses, make them fresh foods, and devote her time and energy to nurturing their spirits.
Their education was most important to her and she always supported their academic and extracurricular activities as well as their spiritual and emotional development. She had a natural ability to guide and support her children and the life they now lead is a reflection of her extraordinary character.
In the early 80s, she joined Christian Stronghold Baptist Church and began to use her gifts through evangelism and prison ministry.
Williams always wanted to live outside of the box and was determined to achieve her professional and life goals.
She went from working at Temple Hospital to working in housing and property management, helping to sustain housing opportunities for low-income families. She worked throughout the city with Tenant Action Group, Haddington Townhomes and later Montgomery and Abbotsford Homes.
While her girls were still young she began taking classes at Temple University and was determined to pursue her dreams of a college education.
She was admitted to Southern New Hampshire University’s Masters of Science Program and graduated with an M.S. in Community Economic Development in 2002. She also made Triumph Baptist Church her new spiritual home during this time and continued to study and deepen her relationship with God.
Williams organized the first holiday gift fundraiser at the Overington House, a transitional living facility for homeless women and children, and commissioned the creation of a mural of empowerment within the facility.
During this time, she also began nurturing another dream: New Beginnings Financial Services. Growing from the idea of self-transformation, New Beginnings included a framework for life-coaching, parenting-development, financial wellness, and community empowerment workshops.
New Beginnings was established in 2009, as a Credit Education and Sustainability Coaching Consultant Group, specializing in providing educational services and supporting the personal financial literacy needs of the people who are facing bankruptcy; countless clients would later testify to her intelligence and solution strategies.
Williams also began to explore her interest in real estate. She decided to move to Charlotte, N.C. and attended real estate school while living away from home for the first time.
In Charlotte, she was fearless in her new surroundings and continued to expand her network of friends and associates.
She also began to experience deeper moments of reflection and transformation. She began to study the “science of the mind” and started to learn more about herself, her past and what she wanted her future to be.
She returned to Philadelphia and began to continue on her journey of spiritual awakening and understanding. Upon her return from Charlotte, she joined Enon Baptist Church and received the Right Hand of Fellowship on her birthday in 2011.
Williams leaves to mourn: children, Stephanie Joy Tisdale and Jacquelyn “Zahrah Aya” Tisdale; parents, Charles and Loretta Williams; siblings, Claudia Gordon and Anthony Williams; sister-in-law, Pamela Williams and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and cousins.
Services were held on December 10 at Triumph Baptist Church. Lenwood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Farel Frederick Johnson, affectionately known as Freddie, who died Nov. 30 at age 96, was quite the entrepreneur.
In his native Jamaica, he owned Freddie’s Bar and Restaurant and served as a personal tour guide for the famous actor Errol Flynn, during his visits there. In the United States, he owned and operated a barbershop in West Philadelphia for over 40 years.
“He was a devoted father and devoted friend,” said his daughter Elaine Johnson-Adams.
Johnson was born on Aug. 8, 1915, in Cold Springs, Hanover, Jamaica, West Indies, to Zachariah Cuban and Alice Johnson.
He spent his early years in Jamaica, where he developed a love for cricket, croquet, bird shooting and fishing. He completed his formal education at 18 and went on to hone his culinary skills. While in Jamaica he had five children, Clifford, Ronald, Citrine, Locksley and Audrey.
Johnson came to the U.S. in 1943 during World War II to find a better life for his family. He worked as a chef, cooking for soldiers, and a factory worker for Campbell Soup Co. He received his barber’s license in 1952 and became a surgical barber at Philadelphia General Hospital.
In the early 1940s, he met his first wife, Dorothy Williams, who had two children, Vares (Colleen), and Grace. In 1944, he married Dorothy and from their union came five children, Farel, Alice, Faith, Elaine and Crystal.
He was the Sir Knight and assistant secretary for 20 years of The William Penn Lodge #1 of Philadelphia under the Grand Jurisdiction of the Alpha District Grand Lodge #1 of The Independent United Order of Mechanics, Friendly Society, of The Western Hemisphere, Inc.
Johnson is survived by: 10 children, Clifford “Jakes” Johnson , Ronald Johnson (Valerie), Citrine Johnson, Audrey “Blossom” Johnson, Locksley Johnson (Patricia), Farel Frederick Johnson Jr. (Joyce), Alice Johnson (Ralph), Faith Johnson-Bonecutter (Bruce), Elaine Johnson-Adams (Barry) and Crystal Torrence (Darryl), and adopted daughter Stephanie Gilchrist (Charles); more than 40 grandchildren and a multitude of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his second wife, Ola Johnson, and his partner and companion, Maxine Seney.
Services will be held Dec. 8 at Yeadon Presbyterian Church, 541 Holly Road in Yeadon. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 11. Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Julian Paris Nix, also known as “Jules,” was filled with joy and never let his health challenges get the best of him.
He died Feb. 16, 2012. He was 12.
Nix was born Sept. 10, 1998, in Montgomery, Pa., to Julian Nix and Reneè Schurr.
As a young child, Nix was very fun and loving. Those that knew him loved his bright blue eyes, looking at his big angelic smile and listening to his infectious laugh.
He was extremely personable and always found a way to make someone else smile. Nix lived a full and enjoyable life. He spent his spare time swimming in his grandfather’s pool, riding his scooter, playing video games and being with family. He was also taking piano lessons and learning to speak Spanish.
Nix loved spending time with his family, dancing and listening to music. His favorite artists were Phil Collins, The Police and Sade.
He loved his sisters very much and was often heard talking about them. Being the youngest child and only boy, Nix soaked up being the center of attention. He especially looked forward to his special outings with his big sister, Alexus.
He had a very special relationship with his father, especially since he began solely raising him at the age of one. Nix shared an unbreakable bond with his father and took pride in being in his shadow. He adored him and loved spending time with him, especially at the pool hall.
Nix attended Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Holmesburg with his grandmother, Barbara Nix. He looked forward to attending church and would often be seen walking around greeting the other attendees.
Early on, Nix had dreams of being a chef and owning his restaurant where the only thing on the menu would be pancakes and bacon. However, he recently talked about becoming a teacher. This could have much to do with his love for school.
Nix was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. In order to ensure a quality education, his parents sent him to Elwyn Davidson School in Elwyn. Nix loved going to school. He loved his teachers, classmates and all those who were responsible for his care. Nix made sure he was on time for school every day with help of his trusted alarm clock.
He recently began to take extra time with his grooming, spending long periods of time perfecting his appearance. Nix was a true teenager. He was starting to develop stronger friendships with his classmates and moving strongly towards his independence.
Nix’s father was his sole care provider until the age of six. In December 2004, Julian met Maggie and they formed an immediate bond. Maggie began to care for Nix as her very own shortly after their meeting.
Nix and Maggie bonded while attending MOCA (Mothers of Children With Autism) meetings. They spent time together and she taught him manners, respect and how to be the best person he could be. Nix was also blessed with another sister and brother, Maggie’s daughter, Brianna, and son, Emanuel.
In 2004, Maggie and Julian, along with Manny, Alexus, Brianna, Savanna, Brianna and Jules joined together and became one big, happy, blended family.
Nix is survived by his father, Julian; stepmother, Maggie; mother, Reneè; sisters, Alexus, Brianna and Savanna; stepsister, Brianna; paternal grandparents, Barbara and Elwood Nix; aunts, Angelita (Michael), Pierrette (Darren), Brittany and Jen (Rob); uncle, Jamie; cousins, Delilah, Andrew, Darren and Paris; special caregiver, Rebecca; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held Feb. 24 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Holmesburg, 8101 Erdrick St.
Dr. Wayne P. Weddington Jr. was an otolaryngologist with the Albert Einstein Medical Center.
He died May 6, 2012, following a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
He was the second of four children, born to the Rev. Wayne P. Weddington Sr. and Amanda Lee Weddington on Dec. 24, 1936, in McGehee, Ark.
In 1954, following graduation from Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Ark., Weddington was awarded a full, eight-year, medical scholarship from the Reliable Life Insurance Company of St. Louis, Mo.
He married Dolores Jean Johnson in December 1957.
Weddington enrolled at what was then Arkansas AM&N College in Pine Bluff (now University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff) and graduated in May 1958. He enrolled in the Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and graduated with his medical degree in 1963.
He enlisted and completed his medical internship as a member of the United States Air Force. After completing tours of duty in Vietnam and Thailand, he was honorably discharged with the rank of captain in 1968.
Weddington and his family moved to Philadelphia in 1968 as he completed his residency at Temple University Hospital.
He established a board-certified ear, nose and throat practice in Philadelphia, which he maintained for decades until 2005. He became chair of the department of otolaryngology at Germantown Hospital. In 2005, he joined a medical group at Einstein Medical Center.
Weddington was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and past commodore of the Northstar Yacht Club. He was an avid fisherman and hunter.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Emaluise Weddington Cann and Gwendolyn K. Bailey.
He is survived by his wife; three children, Pamela, Wayne III and Brian Weddington; grandson, Perrin Weddington B. Tomlin; sister, June Weddington Fucles; and nephew, Clement Cann.
Services will be held May 15 at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson St. Viewing will be at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. The service will be followed by a Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity ceremony. Burial will be in Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown.
In memory of Weddington, donations can be made to the Howard University Alumni Association, 2225 Georgia Ave. NW, Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20059 or the American Cancer Society.
Louise E. and William W. Savin Funeral Home handled the arrangements.