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.
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.
Amelia Patterson, affectionately known as Mom Patterson, was the founder of Philly’s famous Patterson’s Restaurant. She will be missed by many in Philadelphia and around the world as she influenced many to live and eat healthier.
“I want people to remember her as a very gifted humanitarian who loved people, loved children, loved the community and served her God and loved her Lord — and she loved her husband,” said her son, Bruce Patterson.
“She was married 61 years to the same man. They had a lot of children and grandchildren, and I would love for her to be remembered as Philadelphia royalty.”
Patterson died December 5. She was 79.
Patterson introduced the first soy-burger to Philadelphia in 1972 when she and her husband, John, opened America’s first African American-owned and operated vegetarian health food restaurant, “Pattersons.”
Paterson was born on May 4, 1932 and embraced others into her family.
“Her thing was about family. She took in a lot of young men and women who had no family,” her son said.
Having had the pleasure of tasting Mom Patterson’s unique and exceptional brand of healthy vegetarian soul foods are former Mayor John Street, current Mayor Michael Nutter, countless entertainers and celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett, India Irie, The Roots, Meek Mills, as well as civic and community notables. They heralded this great historic Philadelphian’s gift of serving delicious, nutritious meals in Philadelphia for 40 years. She was also the creator of the ever popular Patterson Navy Bean Soup, Soy Burger, Ma Patterson’s Apple Crisp, Peach Cake and various other delectable, meatless and healthy food entrees.
Services will be held December 11, 2011 at The North Philadelphia SDA Church, 1600 W. Oxford Street. It will begin at 10 a.m. Baker Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Lauren Alycia Kidd, also known as “Little Lauren,” was a home health aide.
Kidd died June 5, 2012, after a seven-year battle with lupus. She was 26.
She was born June 6, 1986, to Lisa and Joel Kidd.
Kidd was educated in the Philadelphia parochial and public school systems. She attended Preparatory Charter High School and graduated from University City High School in 2000. She attended Star Technical School and Philadelphia Job Corps where she completed the medical office assistant program in 2003.
Her family said Kidd was a joy to be around and she had a generous and kind spirit. She was not one to “hold her tongue” but she was always there to help, her family said. She was always ready to “take the kids” when she could.
Kidd had a special relationship with Christ and attended church with both of her grandmothers and her mother.
She enjoyed her Saturday morning dance classes and participating in the Philadelphia City Year program for Young Heroes while in school. She also loved to cook.
Kidd held various positions of employment. She worked at Save-A-Lot and ShopRite markets. Her most recent employment with Reliance Home Health Care as a home health aide gave her the most enjoyment.
She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Lenora Kidd and her grandfathers, Donald McCray II and Frank Battle.
In addition to her parents, Kidd is survived by her daughter, Ameena; godson, Miles; grandmother, Lillian McCray; best friends, Rita, Talea, Lavette, Lanieka; special friend, Aaron and other relatives and friends.
Services were held June 15 at Pinkett Tabernacle Friendly Church, 1915 North 21st Street.
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.
A memorial service will be held for veteran actor and Philadelphia native Sherman Alexander Hemsley on Aug. 16 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 W. Lehigh Ave. Service is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
Hemsley, who made the loudmouth, arrogant George Jefferson of “The Jeffersons,” one of television’s most memorable characters and a symbol for urban upward mobility, died on July 24, 2012. He was 74.
The El Paso Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that Hemsley, who was found dead in his El Paso home, suffered from “super vena cava syndrome.”
According to the report, published by TMZ, the syndrome was a result of lung cancer. Hemsley reportedly had a “mass” on his lung.
Superior vena cava syndrome occurs when the superior vena cava — one of the body’s major veins — is obstructed, most commonly because of a cancer or tumor. The superior vena cava is responsible for returning blood to the heart that comes from the upper part of the body, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The report notes that Hemsley had been advised to get chemotherapy and radiation therapy before he succumbed to his illness.
Hemsley was born in South Philadelphia on Feb. 1, 1938. He dropped out of Edward W. Bok Technical High School in the 10th grade to join the Air Force and was stationed in Asia after the Korean War. He returned to Philadelphia after his discharge and, while working at the post office, attended Philadelphia’s Academy of Dramatic Arts in the evening.
In 1967, Hemsley moved to New York to pursue an acting career. He joined the Negro Ensemble Company, studied with the renowned actor and director Lloyd Richards and performed with Vinnette Carroll’s Urban Arts Corps. He also appeared in Off Broadway productions. In one — a double bill of “Old Judge Mose Is Dead” and “Moon on a Rainbow Shawl” in 1969.
Hemsley’s big break came a year later when he was cast in the Broadway musical “Purlie.” When Norman Lear was looking for an actor to play Archie Bunker’s neighbor, he remembered seeing Hemsley in that show. Lear traced Hemsley to San Francisco, where he was appearing onstage in the musical, “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” and offered him the role of George Jefferson.
“He was a love of a guy” and “immensely talented,” said Norman Lear, producer of “The Jeffersons” and “All in the Family.” “When the Jeffersons moved in next door to the Bunkers, I wanted to deliver the George Jefferson who could stand up to Archie Bunker.
The minute he opened his mouth he was George Jefferson. Hemsley was smaller than O’Connor’s Archie, but he was every bit as strong as Archie.”
With the gospel-style theme song of “Movin’ on Up,” the hit show depicted the wealthy, former neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker in Queens as they made their way on New York’s Upper East Side. Hemsley and the Jeffersons (Isabel Sanford played his wife) often dealt with contemporary issues of racism, but more frequently reveled in the sitcom archetype of a short-tempered, opinionated patriarch trying, often unsuccessfully, to control his family.
Despite the character’s many faults — money-driven and temperamental — Hemsley managed to make the character endearing, part of the reason it stayed on the air for so long. His performance was Emmy and Golden Globe nominated.
A year after “The Jeffersons” left the air, Hemsley returned to television in “Amen,” a sitcom set in a Black Baptist church in Philadelphia. He starred as Deacon Ernest Frye, a character every bit as caustic and blustery as George Jefferson.
His films include 1979’s “Love at First Bite,” 1987’s “Stewardess School” and 1987’s “Ghost Fever.” He also released an album, “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” in 1989.
The popularity of reruns of “The Jeffersons” on Nick at Nite and TV Land in the 1990s spurred a renewed interest in the show’s stars. In the ‘90s and early 2000s Hemsley, Sanford (who died in 2004) and Gibbs were frequent guests on prime-time shows.
Hemsley had recurring roles in “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “The Wayans Brothers” and “The Hughleys,” along with Gibbs. He also starred as a con man in the short-lived UPN comedy “Goode Behavior” in the 1996–97 season. His most recent appearance was on the Tyler Perry sitcom “House of Payne” in 2011 — as George Jefferson.
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.
George K. McKinney served as U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia and was the first African American to be appointed U.S. marshal for Maryland.
He died June 17, 2012, of leukemia at his home in Baltimore, Md. He was 77.
“It is with deep sadness that I acknowledge the passing of my dear friend, retired U.S. marshal George K. McKinney,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said in a statement. “George held the distinct honor of being the only African American appointed U.S. marshal to two different jurisdictions by two different presidents.”
The son of a Morgan State University professor and Coppin State University registrar, McKinney was descended from slaves. He was born in Providence, R.I., and raised in Boston, Petersburg, Va., and Richmond, Va., where he graduated from high school in 1952.
After graduating from Morgan State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1956, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. McKinney served with the 82nd Airborne Division as a master paratrooper, jump master and jungle expert, and completed tours of duty in Korea and the Panama Canal Zone and at Fort Bragg, N.C.
After being discharged with the rank of captain in 1965, McKinney worked for a year as a classification and corrections officer at the Maryland State Penitentiary.
From 1966 to 1968, he was a deputy U.S. marshal for the District of Maryland. When Vietnam anti-war protesters attempted to shut down the Pentagon, McKinney assisted in the effort that staved them off. When Cassius Clay refused induction into the Army in Houston in 1967, McKinney was one of the deputy marshals sent to Texas to make sure there was no trouble.
He then joined the National Security Agency at Fort Meade as a special agent and polygraph examiner. During this period from 1968 to 1973, McKinney, in his capacity as a special agent, was involved with more then 1,000 national security investigations, and was also a member of numerous special civil rights details.
In 1973, he was appointed U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia by President Richard M. Nixon.
“As the U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia, he became the only marshal who personally served a subpoena on President Nixon ordering him to turn over the Watergate tapes,” said a daughter, Monica McKinney-Lupton of Glen Arm.
On April 18, 1974, U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica ordered McKinney to serve President Nixon the subpoena regarding the White House tapes.
President Nixon’s chief defense counsel, James D. St. Clair, told McKinney that delivering the subpoena was unconstitutional. When McKinney threatened to deputize the White House Secret Service detail in order to comply with Judge Sirica’s orders, the president’s lawyer agreed to a meeting with Nixon.
McKinney wasn’t sure what the reaction would be from the man who had just appointed him U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia and realized he could be fired.
“Any time you’re dealing with the chief executive in an adversarial role — that’s different,” McKinney said in a 1995 interview with The Baltimore Sun.
“But I was worried. When backed into a corner, there was no telling what Nixon might do.”
The president accepted the subpoena from McKinney, who left his D.C. marshal post in 1977.
From 1977 to 1994, he held numerous high-level, executive management positions with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington. Some of the positions included serving as director of justice protective services, assistant director for physical security, senior security specialist, operations security officer and computer security officer.
In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed McKinney as U.S. marshal for Maryland, the first African American to hold that position in the state since the founding of the U.S. Marshal Service in 1789.
“I think it says a lot about the district of Maryland and the country,” McKinney said at the time. “Minority marshals are relatively new. But it’s something I’ve aspired to ever since I was a deputy. I wanted to be in the top job.”
In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Marshal Service for the District of Maryland was directed by the U.S. attorney general to “assume and manage all security operations” at BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport, his daughter said.
The airport remained under Mr. McKinney’s purview for 60 days until it was taken over by the Maryland National Guard and then the Transportation Security Administration.
McKinney retired in 2002.
Since then, he had been head of George K. McKinney Consultations, which advised on security and administrative operations for government, private and nonprofit organizations, as well as executive protection and security background investigations.
McKinney was also CEO for Clamar Inc., a property management organization, advising on personal and physical security matters.
His professional memberships included the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Organization of Chiefs of Police.
Throughout his professional life, McKinney’s work earned him many honors including the U.S. Marshals Service Director’s Award in 2000. He was also inducted into the Morgan State University ROTC and Psychology halls of fame.
McKinney was a life member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He was also a longtime, active member of Union Baptist Church, where he was chairman of the deacon board and former president of the Men’s League.
He was a genealogist and had traced his family’s roots to the Ashanti people of Ghana.
His wife of 49 years, the former Mildred Sensabaugh, a Morgan University professor, died in 2000.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. McKinney is survived by two sons, Hiram K. McKinney of Lutherville and Richard T. McKinney of Liberty Township, Ohio; another daughter, Marla McKinney-Smiley of Baltimore; a sister, Phyllis Z. Bynum of Brooklyn, N.Y.; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Services were held June 30 at Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Ave.
William “Bill” W. Cash Sr. was a man deserving of his many titles and honors. He had an illustrious career as a catcher for the National Negro Baseball League. He established himself as a superb athlete of the highest professional and personal standards. He had a career filled with his share of victories and success, which he always cherished.
Cash received many awards and acknowledgments. For his numerous and varied accomplishments he and his fellow Negro League players were honored by President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1994, the City of Philadelphia, the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Various major league teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies, feted them. He was inducted into the National Negro Baseball Museum of History in 1981.
Cash died Sept 12, 2011. He was 92.
Cash was born in Round Oak, Ga. on Feb. 21, 1919. He was the youngest of four sons born to the late Lela Lloyd Cash and Arthur “Buster” Cash Sr. He moved as a child with his family to the Eastwick-Elmwood section of Philadelphia. He was educated in the city’s public school system graduating from Overbrook High School.
In early 1940, Cash began a rich and full romance with Ms. Sadie Bell Brooks, the absolute love of his life. They married on Sept. 7, 1940. From this union, three children were born, William W. Cash Jr., Janet Cash and Michael Cash. They were a source of happiness and pride for their parents always. Cash and Sadie loved their family and supported each other for 63 years of adventures and wedded bliss.
Cash also played “Winter Ball” in Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Cuba. Bill later played for the Farm Teams of the Chicago White Sox Organization and various other cities in the Midwest and Canada. Following his retirement in 1955 from his beloved baseball, he accepted 30 years of employment with Westinghouse Electric in Lester, Pa. as a machinist. He retired in 1985. Despite his various responsibilities, Cash always found time to devote to religious, fraternal and community organizations.
His family said his greatest labor of love was his work for the Lord. First, he was a Deacon at Calvary Baptist Church. He later moved his spiritual home to First African Baptist Church, Sharon Hill, Pa. where he served as a deacon for 30 years. He was a great supporter of his church and his pastor. On Sunday mornings, Cash could be seen sitting in the front pew shaking hands with all.
He was also a 33rd Degree Mason, where he was Past Master of the Light of Elmwood Lodge No. 45, Past Commander-In-Chief of Charles E. Gordon Consistory, member of Paxon-Macey No. 45 and Past Potentate of Minaret Temple No. 174.
Over the many years, Cash has spent endless energy and countless hours serving the youth of Philadelphia. He founded the “Cobbs Creek Baseball Little League Association.” He was vice-president of the Foundation for Juvenile Decency. He also spread his eloquent words and stories far and wide, on college campus, in schools and churches, for social organizations, always sharing his experiences as a player of the National Negro Baseball League and the challenges and roadblocks faced by Black trailblazers.
Cash leaves to mourn: sons, William “Billy” Jr. (Diane) and Michael Sr. (Patricia); grandsons, Jeffrey Sr., Bobby (Brenda), Michael Jr. (Janna), and Darryll; granddaughters; Arnita (David), and Kiersten; great-grandchildren, Ashley, Jeffrey Jr., Bobbi, Brendan, Maya, Logan and Michael III; cousins, Molly, Ruth, Herman, Leroy and Lewis Tucker; special friends, Mary Bailey and daughter, Mitzi and Barbara.
Cash was predeceased in death by his wife, Sadie, and daughter, Janet.
Services will be held September 19 at First African Baptist Church of Darby Township, 901 Clifton Ave., Sharon Hill, Pa. The viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The service will start at 11 a.m. Yarborough & Rocke Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Paul S. Terry Jr., former president of Terry Funeral Home, died March 7, 2012, at Chestnut Hill Hospital, after a short illness.
He was 73.
Terry was a graduate of West Philadelphia High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University, Oxford, Pa., and completed Eckels College of Mortuary Science. Upon graduation in 1960, he became a member of the family business.
Terry Funeral Home dates back to 1938 when his father, Paul S. Terry Sr. and mother, Frances E. Tyson Terry, started the family owned business in Pleasantville, N.J. Terry assumed the role of head funeral director in 1974 when his father became adviser to the operation. After his father’s death in 1986, Paul Jr. became president, and operated Terry Funeral Home with his younger brother Thompson Terry Sr. who preceded him in death in 1997. In 2000, he sold the business and retired. Terry Funeral Home had taken on a new president, Gregory T. Burrell, and Terry remained as a consultant until 2009.
Though the funeral home was the main focus in Terry’s life, he did make time for family and many service and social organizations. In 1987, Terry married his wife, Nellie Booker Terry; they enjoyed a rich life together until her death in 2011. They delighted in travel and being seen during the social season at fundraisers and galas.
Though Terry was a native Philadelphian he was very proud of his ties to his descendants in Pleasantville, N.J., and Reading, Pa. It was at Charles Evans Cemetery that Terry always made a point of maintaining the family plot for all holidays. The site dates back to the early 1800s.
He was most known for his work with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Guardsmen, The Frontiersman, The Commissioners and the Olde Philadelphia Club. As a member of the Olde Philadelphia Club, he was voted in as vice president. He was the first person in the club’s history to be voted into office, under the age of 35.
He is survived by his nephews, Thompson Terry Jr. and Gordon Terry; cousins, Edward Terry and James McKee; stepdaughter, Faye Campbell; and other relatives and friends.
The first viewing will be held March 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Terry Funeral Home, 4203 Haverford Avenue. A transition service will be held March 18 at 6 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church, 647 North 42nd Street.
A second viewing will be held March 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mt. Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow at 11. Burial will be in Charles Evans Cemetery.