Robert Samuel King was born in Philadelphia on Oct.16, 1921. He was the second of four children born to the late Samuel James and Hermine Mary King (nee Zimen). He died on April 19, 2012 after a brief illness.
Educated in the Philadelphia public school system, he attended Overbrook High School. There he excelled in math and science (with a keen interest in physics) and graduated in 1939. This is also where he met his high school sweetheart and devoted lifelong companion, Rosalie Olivier.
Following graduation, King was drafted into the military in 1943 and served his country during WW II as a member of the Army Combat Engineering Corps. He was involved in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, the Rhineland campaign, campaigns in Central Europe and was serving in the Pacific Theater in the Philippines at the end of the war. While in the Army, he was selected for an elite training group, called the Army Specialized Training Program, a new training program created to prepare Black enlisted men for promotion to officer status. It was the first such program of its kind at the time. As officers were required to have a college degree, the Army sent King and the others to West Virginia State College, where he studied engineering. After participating in this groundbreaking opportunity, he once reflected that his colleagues in this program were, “the finest group of Black men he could ever imagine.”
It was an experience that changed the course of his life. He held various positions of rank including Staff Sergeant/Communications Chief, and achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant before he was honorably discharged in February of 1946.
Honoring an old promise, King married the love of his life, Rosalie Ernestine Olivier, on Aug. 21, 1949. The happy couple was blessed with two daughters, Rev. Gwendolyn S. King and Nancy G. King-Strand (deceased).
He took full advantage of the GI Bill and matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics in 1956. He also pursued graduate studies at Temple University.
As a civilian, King was employed as an insurance underwriter at the Veterans Administration and an inspector for the Philadelphia Ordnance District, before joining the Naval Air Engineering Laboratory and Engineering Center in 1956. In joining NAEC, Bob fulfilled his dream to become a nuclear physicist, which had been a personal goal of his since high school. During his 18-year tenure, he worked for the center as a supervisor and supervisory mechanical engineer. He ultimately became Ship/Aviation Systems Section Supervisor in the Weapons/Ship Branch of the Naval Air Engineering Center Engineering Department. In 1974 he became Affirmative Action Officer for the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and served there both as Director of Development and Director of Student Affairs until 1981.
A natural leader, whose intelligence, wit, and clarity of vision were recognized by many, King responded graciously and without hesitation to the call of service in his community. In 1969, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the University City Science Center. During that time he also served as a director of the West Philadelphia Corporation and as a member of its executive committee; and carried memberships in American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS).
His other community involvements were extensive and included; president, West Philadelphia Bicentennial Committee; Executive Board, Garden Court Community Association; Board of Directors, Keystone Automobile Club; Regional Advisory Board of Directors, AAA; Board of Trustees, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital; President of the Board, Stephen Smith Towers; Board of Directors, Citizens Crime Commission of Philadelphia; Board of Directors, Presbyterian Medical Center; and Chairman of the Board and President, Berean Savings Association (the oldest black bank in the country). King also joined the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Council for Higher Education in 1974 as a consultant and executive secretary.
King’s commitment to education was one of his greatest hallmarks and raisons d'être. In 1968, he became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Community College of Philadelphia. When he became Chairman of the Board in 1972, he worked tirelessly when the college obtained the former U.S. Mint building to develop a permanent campus for its students. He devoted himself nearly full time to the college as the new campus began to take shape. In an interview shortly before the move to the new campus, he said,”CCP is the nearest thing to a city college that this city will ever have. I feel fortunate to be part of making it happen.” Through his tireless dedication, he made a difference in the lives of many, providing an opportunity for them to access affordable education. In September 1984, CCP honored King for his selfless and untiring service by creating the Robert S. King Scholarship, a two-year award given annually to 20 outstanding high school graduates from the Philadelphia region, many of whom might have had trouble affording this opportunity without it.
King often wore the mantle of leadership in many of his social affiliations as well. They include: President, Bullhorn Toastmasters’ Club (NAEC), Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. – Zeta Omicron Lamda Chapter; Vice President then President, Ole Philadelphia Club; Financial Secretary then President, Frontiers International, Philadelphia Club; Member, Philadelphia Seminar; President, Viri Viginti Club; Member, Philadelphia Seminar; Member, NAACP.
Not only life partners, Robert and Rosalie King were a team whose commitment to improving education often carried them into service together. Together they served as president and vice president of the H.C. Lea Home and School Association, as well as co-chairs of the Parents Committee at Gettysburg College.
For King, family came first. Whether it was a school play, concert, special event, ceremony, or Grandparents’ Day, if it involved his girls or another family member, you could count on him and Rosalie to be there. He never missed an opportunity for family to gather, especially around a shared meal, or to just to have fun. He had a great sense of humor, with a wry, impish smile and poker face that served to help him lovingly carry out many a jest on an unsuspecting subject. He was also a wonderful storyteller.
King was a devoted husband, a loving and generous father and grandfather, a caring uncle and cousin, and a loyal friend and colleague. A committed family man, he treasured as well time spent with his siblings Elwood, Eleanor Carter King and Frances King Vaughan (all of whom preceded him in death).
He loved the outdoors and spent many summers as a youth in Princess Anne, Md., playing and working with his cousins, aunts and uncles. He loved to travel, especially vacations with his family. He also liked camping and traveled across country with his family so his girls could see the beauty and wonder of the U.S. and Canada. Later in life, he and his wife toured the world extensively. Whether revisiting areas where he served during the war, to his mother’s homeland in Eastern Europe, or to see the Pyramids in Egypt, where he and his wife rode camels, King was passionate about travel and learning about local customs. Gardening and photography were his avocations. Also a voracious reader, he would keep up with the latest happenings and issues in politics, finance, science, higher education and medicine, to name a few subjects.
He was a humble man of integrity and faith, who had a quiet, reserved demeanor that belied his wit, his piercing intelligence, and his ability to get things done. As a leader, he made a difference in the lives of all with whom he came in contact. He was a capable and willing mentor to many, encouraging them along their life’s journey to realize their potential and vocations.
Robert leaves to celebrate his life: his devoted wife of 62 years, Rosalie E. King; his daughter, Rev. Gwendolyn S. King; his granddaughter, Ashlie A. King-Bratton; his grandson, Derek Robert E. King-Bratton; his great-grandson, Jaylen Ashur Holland; his first cousin, Beulah E. Johnson, his sisters-in-law, Sydney E. King and Leola M. Williams, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Homegoing services will be held April 27, 2012 at St. Phillips Evangelical Lutheran Church, 53rd Street and Wyalusing Avenue, Philadelphia at 11 am. There will be a viewing will be prior to the funeral service from 9:00 am until 11:00am. Interment will be at Rolling Green Memorial Park, West Chester.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Robert S. King Scholarship Fund – Community College of Philadelphia.
Hazel Elizabeth Wadlington was born in Merchantville, N.J., to Mathilda Woodards and John W. Woodards Sr. on June 16, 1920. She died on April 24, 2012, at age 92.
Wadlington attended the Merchantville public school system and attended Temple University, majoring in early childhood development. She was wed to Eugene Elmore Wadlington and raised six children: Rashida Raheem, Linda Wadlington (deceased), Kenneth Wadlington, Curtis Wadlington, Cheryl Ann Wadlington and Jean Francis.
Wadlington worked at Veterans Administration and Philadelphia School District; the Philadelphia Naval Yard in the 1940s and as a teacher’s aide at Hickman Temple Daycare and Learning School. Wadlington was a member of Philadelphia Chapter of NAACP and took part in the original March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.
Wadlington was a longtime volunteer and donor to veterans’ causes and a member of Sayers Memorial United Methodist Church in West Philadelphia. She received the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Award in the 1960s for selfless service to others. She was instrumental in integrating John Bartram High School in the 1960s, which made national news. Wadlington was a member of the Parent and Teacher’s Association (PTA) at Bryant Elementary School and held meetings at her home. Along with help of the late state Sen. Hardy Williams, who was a lawyer at the time, they took action, which forced the Philadelphia School District to build Add B. Anderson Elementary School so that children who lived below Cedar Avenue would not have to walk far to attend school. Wadlington and other women actually put their baby coaches and lawn chairs in the streets and blocked traffic in protest to force the change they wanted and eventually made happen.
Wadlington served as a coordinator for the March of Dimes and opened up her home to serve as a drop-off headquarters for donations. She opened up the first soup kitchen at Sayers Memorial United Methodist Church in the 1990s against resistance of people who did not want to have a soup kitchen at the church — they fought her and said that no poor people lived in the area. Yet, on the first day the soup kitchen opened they ran out of food, due to the large numbers of people that turned out who were in need of food assistance.
“I am comforted that she lived 92 years on this earth,” said her daughter and fashion journalist Cheryl Ann Wadlington. “And she lived a good life. She was the God-fearing matriarch of substance and style who made me the humanitarian and fearless diva fashionista I am today. I was so blessed to have her as my mom. I celebrate her victorious life.”
In addtion to her children, Wadlington is survivied by her brother, John Woodards Jr., a host of grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
The home-going service for Hazel Elizabeth Wadlington will be held May 5 at 11 a.m. at Sayers Memorial United Methodist Church, 600 South 61st St. A viewing will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Interment will be at Merion Cemetery, 59 Rock Hill Road in Bala Cynwd.
Don Wilson was a noted jazz musician and retired Philadelphia police officer.
Wilson died May 17, 2012, at Chestnut Hill Hospital. He was 76.
He was born April 4, 1936, in Philadelphia.
His family said he was a musical genius and was often referred to as “maestro” because of his great musical abilities and keen sense of tone. He was able to play any song upon request and his playing would make the worst singer sound good.
Wilson was always interested in arranging and rearranging music from gospel in church to classics, to jazz and popular music. He began playing piano at an early age.
In addition to playing the piano, Wilson began studying trumpet with the renowned Ed Wynne and Sigmund Herring. Later he studied with Tony Marcione and Danny Forlono.
Wilson’s interest in writing, arranging and composition continued to flourish. He studied with Denny Sandoli and Jack Ebbert. He began writing for small recording groups as well as playing with the Tommy Monroe Big Band and others. The members of this band included great names including John Splawn, Johnny Coles, John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Bobby Timons, Albert (Tootie) Health, Reggie Workman, Archie Shepp and many others. He also backed many musicians who played in the Philadelphia area and needed a rhythm section, including Sonny Stitt, Paul Quientetche, Art Farmer, Dizzy Reese and Harold Vick.
Wilson started his own big-band which played concerts and performed at dances and special recitals with his original compositions and arrangements from 1975 and well into the 1980s.
The big-band played social and private affairs from New York to Washington, D.C., and performed in many of the Atlantic City casinos including Harrah’s, Bally’s, Showboat Resorts and the Golden Nugget.
Wilson was the musical director of the Philadelphia Clef Club. He also led the Clef Club Band in Philadelphia’s Department of Recreation concerts. He arranged and conducted the band through a series of concerts and performances.
During the 1990s, while serving as the Clef Club’s music director and conductor of the big-band, Wilson arranged and conducted a series of concerts featuring Jimmy Heath, Benny Godson, Toshiko Akiyoshi and James Moody — all giant composers and performers in the jazz world.
Wilson was employed for more than 23 years as a Philadelphia police officer. For 18 years, he played trumpet in the police and firemen’s concert and marching band. He also played piano for the “Police Pastimers,” a group created to represent the police department and the city of Philadelphia at many important functions.
He also taught jazz, piano techniques and improvisation at Temple University, two days a week. One of his greatest loves was teaching advanced piano and music theory, and arranging at the Mount Airy Cultural Center, Inc. (MACC), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study and appreciation of jazz music to youth and young adults on Saturday mornings.
Wilson received many awards for his musical accomplishments and was a member of the Optimist Club International. He could be found at LaRose Jazz Club on Monday nights playing with the Tony Williams Trio and on Thursday evenings playing at the Prime Rib Restaurant located in the Radisson Warwick Hotel in Center City, Philadelphia.
His family said Wilson was a delight to all who knew him. He had the ability to make everyone feel special and always took the time to work with musicians of all ages, providing all an opportunity to play and showcase their talents, his family said.
Wilson is survived by his wife, Jackie (Billman) and two sisters, Alice Womack and Ursula Hendricks.
Services will be held May 24 at the Kirk & Nice Funeral Home, 80 Stenton Avenue, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Viewing will be 8 a.m. Services will follow at 10. Burial will be in Rolling Green Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the Mount Airy Cultural Center of Philadelphia.
Alfred “Butchy” Turner was a graphic designer.
Turner died June 14, 2012. He was 59.
He was born Sept. 6, 1952, in Philadelphia to the late Odessa and Alfred P. Turner. Turner was educated in the Philadelphia Public School system and graduated from Bartram High School in 1970. He later earned a degree in graphic arts from the Hussian School of Art.
He was baptized on April 14, 1963, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Turner married the former Natalie Williams on June 6, 2004. Their marriage exemplified the term “equally yoked.”
He continued perfecting his artistic skills, which eventually led him to start and build his own business, A. Turner Designs. For many years he performed marketing, graphic design and event planning work at Philadanco and was instrumental in the growth and development of the company.
Turner designed and performed layout work on the Solid Gold Hair magazine, a staple in Black salons. His business continued to grow and he obtained a number of exceptional clients that included Will Downing Jr., Art Jazz Gallery and newspapers New Observer, Philadelphia Tribune, Neighborhood Leader and the Black Professional Network. Philadelphia Magazine and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services also sought Turner out for his excellent and innovative graphic design work.
Turner received the Appreciation for the “Hottest” Logo Award from the Fast and Furious Bike Club and the PRAME Award for the Color of Creativity Entertainment Billboard.
He was a member of Bible Way Baptist Church and served in many ministries including New Members Ministry, Angel Tree which serves children of incarcerated parents, Gifts of God Ministry which fed the homeless, and Tract Ministry which tells people about Jesus Christ and distributes Bibles. He also supported the church on numerous art projects.
Turner attended Philadelphia New Life Bible Institute and Bible Way Baptist Church Evangelical Training Institute. In 2008, Turner and his wife, Natalie, performed missionary service in Guatemala while helping build a facility. He continued his service in Guatemala in 2010, sealing lasting friendships.
Turner was a born leader. He served as president of the Philadelphia Organization of Black Designers and was the block captain of the 54th Street Block Club (1200 block.)
His family said he impacted many lives, and was a true and loyal friend and mentor to many. He had a heart of gold, loved his music and barbecuing and yahooing with friends and family. He was a social person who led a colorful and active life. He kept a beautiful, perfect smile on his face, his family said. Turner’s family said he provided a safe haven for many friends, helping those who were down and supported them until they became whole.
In addition to his wife, Turner is survived by his in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hankins; nephews, Maurice Williams Jr. and Antonio D. Green; niece, Myesha Williams of Baltimore, Md.; godchildren, Lauren C. Burgee, Shannon L. Pringle, Ryan M. Pringle, Andrea K. McCutcheon, Nicole E. McCutcheon, Gaia Hearns, Zephania P. Thomas, Naudia V. Thomas and R.J. Laurie; as well as other relatives and friends.
Services are pending.
Ivan B. Kimble Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Chris C. White was the owner of Chris’ Cleaners and Tailoring in West Philadelphia.
He died June 19, 2012, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 80.
White was born March 19, 1932, to the late Sandy and Willie Kate White in Halifax County, Va. He was the youngest of nine children.
At an early age, White relocated to Philadelphia, where he was educated in the Philadelphia Public School system, attending Martha Washington Elementary School, Mayer Sulzberger Middle School and Overbrook High School. He later enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Korean War. White was honorably discharged in 1953.
He attended the former Craft School of Tailoring at 6th and Chestnut streets and would later go on to earn a certificate in accounting.
In 1950, White was introduced to his future bride Myra (Nonnie) Harper by his best friend, the late David 2X Shaw. He spoke often about Myra’s family. He stated that when he fell in love with Myra, he also fell in love with her parents and siblings.
After three years of courtship, they were married on Oct. 24, 1953, and went on to be blessed with three children, Gail, Rashida and Abdal Aleem.
Along with his wife, he joined the Nation of Islam in 1955, becoming Chris X and Myra X. As a Fruit of Islam (FOI), he served in numerous capacities; most notably in the secretarial and treasury departments. He would work with prominent figures within the Nation of Islam, such as Malcolm X, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed and Minister Louis Farrakhan. During the mid-1970s, the White family would receive the Islamic surname “Karim” from the Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, leader of the American Society of Muslims; Chris and Myra would also receive the names Aziz and Saafie.
Inspired by the Nation of Islam’s principle of self-help and Black entrepreneurship, White established a dry cleaning and tailoring business, Chris’ Cleaners and Tailoring in March of 1960, which is still up and running today.
Chris’ Cleaners would service several neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia, including North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and Northeast Philadelphia. His first dry-cleaning and tailoring shop was at Uber and Montgomery Avenue. At one time, White owned and operated a total of five dry-cleaning and tailoring shops. Today, most people associate Chris’ Cleaners and Tailoring with 52nd St. and Girard Avenue, and 56th and Stewart streets.
White was revered for his excellent skills in tailoring, especially his designs of suits, pants and coats. Chris’ Cleaners and Tailoring would go on to service many prominent Philadelphians, including civil rights activist Cecil B. Moore, members of the singing groups “The Blue Notes” and “The Delfonics,” and radio personalities Georgie Woods, Mary Mason and Nick Taliaferro. White traveled to Chicago several times to tailor suits for American Society of Muslim’s leader Imam W. Deen Mohammed.
Prior to opening his dry cleaning service, White was employed at the former Quartermaster Depot making military uniforms, and the Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
In 1977, White was instrumental in the founding of Masjidullah, Inc., where the meetings began in his West Philadelphia home.
White enjoyed community service. He served as block captain for the 5600 W. Stewart Street block. He was also a member of the Carroll Park Community Council, a member of numerous Islamic service committees and chairman of the White Family Reunion.
White often talked about the importance of family. The Sunday before he passed, his family held a Father’s Day gathering for him at his home. He enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He supported his family endlessly throughout all of their endeavors.
He served as a mentor to many. People of all ages, faiths, races and walks of life would seek advice from White. His family said he was known for his stern, yet compassionate, talks. Neighborhood children would also call him “Dad” and “Grandpop.” To others he was known as “Brother Aziz,” “Brother Chris,” or Mr. White.
White was preceded in death by his brothers, Robert, William, George, and John and four sisters, Annie, Fannie, Alethea and Eunice.
In addition to his wife and three children, White is survived by his daughter-in-law, Lora; grandchildren, Basheer, Hamina, Walida, Amir, Khalid and Khaleef; great-grandchildren, Dahmir, Zahir, Yahsir, Zakii, Saafirah, Naimah, Ibn, Milan, Zakia and Jamira; sisters-in-law, Catherine (Ummil Karim) White, Ruby Harper Bradshaw, Lillian Harper Gary, Juanita Harper Franklin (Carl) and Mary Harper Leecan (Lee); brothers-in-law, Adam Harper (Jean), Roosevelt Harper (Queen) and Waymon Harper Jr.; special relative, Annie Cosby; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held June 21 at the Philadelphia Masjid-Sister Clara Muhammad School, 4700 Wyalusing Ave. Burial was held in Westminster Cemetery.
Veteran broadcaster Dave Sanborn (born Bill Simpson) recently reflected on his on-air partnership and off-air friendship with former Power 99 and WDAS FM morning personality Brian Carter, who died suddenly of a massive heart attack on Sunday, April 22, less that 12 hours after completing his Saturday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. shift on WBLS in New York. Carter, a father of three, was 56.
The duo hosted the popular radio show “Carter and Sanborn in the Morning,” which aired on Power 99 FM from 1987 to 1999 and on WDAS FM in 2006.
“I’m hanging in there. It was a really, really tough day (Sunday),” Sanborn said from the Clear Channel headquarters in Bala Cynwyd. “I had a little bit more in me to get through this morning, but (Sunday) was really, really hard.”
For 12 frenetic, fun-filled years, Carter and Sanborn captivated morning drive-time audiences with popular “bits” such as the jubilant Friday check-in, set to James Brown’s “It’s a New Day” and “Horace the Taurus,” with Sanborn often playing “straight man” to Carter’s on-air antics.
“It’s kind of funny, because Loraine [Ballard Morrill] had mentioned that Brian was kind of the anchor of the team, and I did all the character voices - Horace the Taurus and all those,” Sanborn explained. “So little did anybody know that I was yuckin’ it up too! The two of us just liked to entertain each other, and it just so happened that the audience was entertained as well.
“That was just us. When we first met, we hit it off like that, and Power 99 hired us right on the spot. When they put us together, we were not only good with our radio chemistry, but as friends, we liked to hang out with each other. We enjoyed each other’s company. We didn’t just hang out because we had to work together, we were in touch with other more than we were with our wives, probably.”
“He was true radio professional,” said WDAS FM midday diva Patty Jackson, now celebrating 30 years in radio. “He loved radio, he loved the music - I mean, he knew his music! He could talk to you about radio for hours, and when he and Sanborn rode the airwaves in the ’90s, it was unprecedented, because now you see how radio is today with syndication taking over. But it was unprecedented that these local guys were able to make the impact that they did.”
“Carter and Sanborn are the reason Power 99 is the station it is today,” said Ken Johnson, Director of Urban Programming for Clear Channel Media & Entertainment. “They inspired me to recapture the presence in the community Power had when they were on the air. Brian was also an inspiration to me personally. He will be missed.”
Ballard Morrill, director of News and Community Affairs and news anchor for the show when it aired on Power 99 says, “Brian Carter was an icon in radio with a love for the business and giving back to the community. This is not only a loss for his family and friends — it’s a loss for broadcasting.”
“My fondest general memory is how much I laughed with him. Laughter was very much a part of our lives, and we shared plenty of tears as well through our trials and tribulations, both personally and professionally,” said Sanborn, who has been pursuing a career as a holistic health practitioner since stepping away from the microphone. “But we were always there to uplift each other, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”
Sanborn states that a private funeral will be held for Carter in Baltimore, and that a public memorial service, to take place in Philadelphia, is being planned. “We don’t know quite when that’s happening,” he said. “We’re in the process of ironing that down, and then we’ll let the public know for sure.”
Myron D. Moss was a music program director and associate professor at Drexel University.
Moss died suddenly July 2, 2012, at Bryn Mawr Hospital after suffering a massive heart attack.
He was 60.
He was born Sept. 28, 1951.
Moss was a master teacher and talented orchestra and band conductor.
“He was a gentle, charming, kind man who touched the lives of many students and colleagues,” his family said.
As a scholar, Moss was nationally known for his work on African-American composers, specifically related to band repertoire. Before coming to Drexel, Moss was music department chair and director of bands at Southern Connecticut State University. He was an invited guest conductor at Yale, the Hartt School and the University of Michigan.
Moss conducted the Keystone Winds’ CD “Out of the Depths” devoted to works by Black composers. His University of Michigan Ph.D. dissertation, “Concert Band Music by African-American Composers, 1927–1998,” won the Fritz Thelen Award for the best doctoral dissertation worldwide on a concert band music subject written between 1999 and 2005.
His band arrangement of Gabriel Fauré’s “Chant Funéraire” was recorded by the University of North Texas Wind Ensemble on a 2006 GIA release and has been played by elite groups across the country. Earlier this year, Moss conducted a performance at the Kimmel Center of the Drexel Concert Band playing music by African-American composers.
Moss is survived by his parents, Sonya Kleider of Monroe Township and Robert I. Moss of Trenton, N.J.; his sister, Aleta McClelland; and nephews, Daniel and Kian.
Funeral services will be held privately July 6. The Antoinette School of Media Arts and Design will hold a memorial at a later time. Family will receive visitors and observe shiva on July 8 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the home of Charles and Peggy Morscheck, 821 Clifford Ave., Ardmore.
Platt Memorial Chapels, Inc. handled the arrangements.
Duane Anthony Sewell was a head and neck surgeon whose career was marked by an impressive number of honors, research grants, faculty teaching awards and professional awards, including the John Harvard Scholarship (Dean’s List) and summa cum laude for his senior thesis, Harvard University, Outstanding Medical Student from the Medical Society of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Helen O. Dickens Award from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, the Percy Memorial Research Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology and many others. In his clinical practice, he demonstrated love for people regardless of social status. He was dearly loved by his family, professional colleagues and friends.
Sewell died Nov. 26 of stomach cancer. He was 44.
“He was a humble, intelligent and talented person,” Dr. Trevor Sewell said, his father. “He was friendly and kind.”
Sewell was born on Nov. 3, 1967 in Milwaukee, Wis. At age 5, his family moved to Philadelphia where his father accepted a faculty position at Temple University. He and his sister Andrea grew up in Elkins Park where he attended public schools. He was always excited about learning and school satisfied his curiosity and allowed him to engage in outdoor activities with friends. His early reading skills could be attributed to a driving desire to be able to read sports statistics and the TV Guide for game schedules.
He graduated from Abington High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University, cum laude and went on to earn a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He was married to Catherine, whom he met while they were both students in medical school. They got engaged the night of their graduation from medical school and jointly celebrated their medical degrees, acceptance into residency programs at Johns Hopkins Hospital and their engagement.
“He was an exceptional husband and father, and I was blessed to have him in my life for 17 years. He was my soul mate, and we were kindred spirits,” his wife said.
According to his parents, he was a “wonderful son, and the combination of intelligence, kindness, humility and the ability to relate to others with ease and grace made him a greatly loved human being.” His sister Andrea who formerly owned Serenity Inspirational Gifts & Coffee Shop in Glenside was thrilled with the attendance and reaction of community residents when her brother led a discussion at her shop on medical issues.
After completing his residency in the Department of Otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Sewell later returned to the University of Pennsylvania as a research fellow in the Department of Immunology and as a fellow in Head and Neck Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology.
Following his academic and clinical studies, he was appointed as an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. He also worked as a staff surgeon at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Philadelphia.
In 2007, he accepted a position at the University of Maryland Medical Center where he continued his medical research with a sharp focus on cancer immunotherapy. His clinical expertise was head and neck oncologic surgery.
The head of his academic department also a research colleague and friend, saw Sewell as one who worked tirelessly to better the human condition through research because he lived his life with integrity, dignity and quiet strength. He was a man of deep faith and was a mentor in the truest sense of the word — he made a difference.
After committing his life to Christ as a teenager, he remained a member of Cedar Park Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia until he moved away to college.
Sewell leaves to mourn: wife, Catherine; sons, Sean Trevor and Joshua Edward; parents, Dr. and Mrs. Trevor Sewell; sister, Andrea; in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Pilgrim, Adrian Pilgrim; and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in honor of Dr. Sewell to the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, 22 South Green Street, Baltimore, Md. 21201-1595 and specify the “Sewell Head and Neck Cancer Research Fund.”
A memorial service in his honor was held Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Cedar Park Presbyterian Church, Limekiln Pike and Upsal Street. Bruce R. Hawkins Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Crystal Lenear had a loving spirit she put on display for the people in her life. She was devoted to her mother, Lurene, making sure she talked to her on almost a daily basis. She showed unconditional love to those she touched as demonstrated by how she lovingly cared for her brother Gregory who predeceased her.
This same caring spirit was exhibited by the care she gave her fiancé’s father, Robert Rivers. She was as protective of her pets, two cats, Gus & Max and a dog, Caesar, as some parents are of their children. Lenear died Sept. 19 as a result of a car accident. She was 43.
“She loved family and friends and her biggest desire was to be around family and friends,” Annie Mackey said, her aunt. “She was just a loving person.”
Lenear was born on Sept. 6, 1968 to Robert and Lurene Lenear in Philadelphia.
She was the youngest of three children.
She received her early spiritual training at New Bethlehem Baptist Church where she was baptized under the pastorate of the late Rev. James F. Scott. She was a member of Sunday school and Baptist Training Union. She was one of several cousins and other family members who worshipped together at New Bethlehem.
Lenear received her education in the Philadelphia School District, graduating from the Overbrook High School. She went on to attend Pierce College and Gordon Phillips Beauty School. Her journey through life included four girl friends, which lasted until her death.
Her early employment by the City of Philadelphia was in the Emergency Operating Center. She later became employed at Amtrak where she worked for over 22 years, holding positions in the Reservations Sales Department and in the Philadelphia Club Acela Lounge. She transferred to Amtrak’s Washington headquarters in June 2010 where she was recently promoted to a position as a quality assurance analyst. Her competence on the job was recognized when she was selected to provide training to the Amtrak staff in Sanford, Florida; Lorton, Virginia; and Philadelphia. She thoroughly enjoyed working for Amtrak, and she excelled in her positions.
She and her fiancé, Wayne, were the perfect host and hostess at many fellowships with family and friends reminiscent of family get-togethers that were only excelled by her Grandmom Smith. Those who attended experienced a genuine fun-filled atmosphere with lots of good food.
Lenear’s family said her favorite pastime of shopping yielded numerous pairs of shoes and outfits. She even loved to shop for food almost as much as she did for clothes. She was as meticulous about the type of food she bought as she was about wearing apparel.
Lenear leaves to mourn: mother, Lurene; father, Robert; brother, Michael (Sharon); fiancé, Wayne Rivers; the Rivers Family; aunts; great aunt, Jessie Timmons; uncles; great uncle; nieces; great nieces; and a host of cousins, loved ones and friends.
Services will be held Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Ave. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 11 a.m.
Christopher G. Kent Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Philadelphia has lost a noted business and community development leader.
Floyd W. Alston, founder of Beech Corporation, died September 24, 2012, after a long illness. He was 86.
He founded Beech Corporation in 1990, a community development organization designed to bring together business, government and nonprofit entities to redevelop the Cecil B. Moore neighborhood.
During his tenure with Beech, Alston partnered with Temple University and brought new investment to the community, bringing together resources that resulted in more than $200 million in private development.
“He was a Philadelphia legend in the Black community, and the business community in general, as one of the first African-American senior officers at a major bank,” says Kenneth Scott, president and CEO of Beech Companies made up of Beech Interplex, Beech Community Services, Beech Business Bank and Alston Beech Foundation.
“The amazing thing about Mr. Alston is that he was such as calm, compassionate person. He was a great negotiator because he didn’t let his highs get too high and his lows get too low. If it’s one thing that I could take from him is his mediation skills and being able to bring people together. To be such a mild-mannered person, you would have never thought that he was a Marine that had served in two wars.”
Alston was born Oct. 23, 1925, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He grew up in North Philadelphia and attended Northeast High School. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Temple University. He also studied at the Fels Institute of State and Local Government.
He had the distinction of being a Montford Point Marine —– one of the nation’s first Black Marines.
Alston’s professional career spanned from him serving as vice president of First Pennsylvania Bank; president of the HOPE Development Corporation and manager of the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
As a civic leader, Alston served as president, vice president and board member of the School District of Philadelphia.
Former School District Superintendent Dr. Constance Clayton referred to Alston as “a man of high principles and integrity, fully committed to improving the education of all children, and sensitive to family needs.”
He was also on the boards of School District of Philadelphia, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Berean Bank, The Philadelphia Tribune, Tribune Charities and other community organizations. He was the president and founder of the Tucker House, a 180-bed nursing home and a founding member of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp.
He was a longtime member of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, where he served as a deacon.
Throughout the years, Alston received awards and honors from various organizations including the National Bankers Association, Philadelphia Human Relations Commission, Martin Luther King Jr. Association, Germantown Historical Society and Men’s Club of Grace Baptist Church. He received honorary doctorates from the Wagner Free Institute of Science and Temple University.
When Alston received his honorary degree from Temple in 2008, then-president Ann Weaver Hart referred to him as a catalyst for change.
“Floyd Alston has been a catalyst for the kind of change that makes a real difference in the daily lives of Philadelphians, especially those who live and work in the community surrounding Temple,” Hart said.
“His lifelong dedication as a community leader is an inspirational example for our students.”
Alston was a lifetime member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He was also a member of the Boule – Sigma Pi Phi and Frontiers International.
A viewing and fraternal service will be held September 28 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street.
Services will be held September 29 at Grace Baptist of Germantown. Viewing will be at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 10. Burial will be in Mt. Lawn Cemetery.
Alston is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marilyn Alston; son, Craig E.F. Alston; daughter, M. Suzanne Hodges; son-in-law, Keith L. Hodges; grandchildren, Cameron and Kendall Hodges; nieces, Ayana Sellers (Peter) Melva Thompson (H. Lee) and Wendi Baker; nephews, Vince Baker (Marcia), Bryant Roberts, Wendell Roberts and Floyd M. Davis (Avis); grandnieces, Tracy Gray (Kwame), Tashira Sellers and Brandi Harvey; grandnephews, Byron Sellers, Travis Sellers (Nine) and Larry Perry; and other relatives and friends.