TEMPE, Ariz. — Former NFL and Arizona State running back Art Malone has died. He was 64.
Arizona State announced on Tuesday July 31 that Malone died on Friday July 27.
Malone played seven seasons in the NFL after being drafted in the second round by Atlanta. He played five seasons with the Falcons and two with the Philadelphia, rushing for 2,457 yards and 19 touchdowns, with 1,465 yards and six touchdowns on 161 receptions.
Malone played for the Sun Devils from 1967 to 1969 and rushed for 2,649 yards, seventh-most in school history. Malone rushed for 1,431 yards in 1968 and had 239 yards against New Mexico that season, both third-most in school history.
His brother, Ben Malone, played seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday August 4.
Art Malone and his wife Carolyn lived in Tempe, Ariz. When he was 10 years old, his parents, Ben Sr. and Izora Malone, moved to Eloy, Ariz., from Tyler, Tex., in 1958.
The former SCVUHS, Arizona State University and National Football League great was inducted into the first class of the Santa Cruz Valley Union High School Hall of Fame, in September of 2010.
Malone entered high school in 1962 and began an extraordinary athletic high school, collegiate, and professional career.In high school football, Malone was the star running back of the Dust Devil’s very first state championship football team. He was selected to the first team all conference, the captain of the first team All State squad and the Athlete of the Month for November. Malone was also selected as Arizona’s best high school football player of 1965 and played in the All-Star football game in Flagstaff, Ariz.
As a member of the Santa Cruz track team, Malone was the first Arizona track athlete to run the 180-yard low hurdles in 18.7 seconds. During his high school track career, Malone was state champion in the high and low hurdles, selected as a member to the Arizona All-State team, and was selected to the All-American high school team.
In 1966, Malone accepted a football scholarship at Arizona State University. Starting with his sophomore year as a varsity running back and continuing through his senior year, Malone established himself as one of the great ASU running backs in school history. He finished third in ASU’S All-Time 100-yard rushing games with 239 yards on 29 carries against New Mexico in 1968. He finished fourth in ASU’S All-Time rushes for a career with 14, and finally, he finished third in ASU’S All-Time 1000-yard single-season rushes with 1,431 yards in 1968, which also placed him fifth among all colleges in the nation that year. To top off his college career, Malone earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education.
In 1970, Malone was the number two pick of the Atlanta Falcons where he was in the starting backfield for five years. He finished his professional career as a starter with the Philadelphia Eagles.
He continued working after his football career for the next 22 years with Arizona State University’s athletic department until his retirement. — (AP)
Beulah Bessie Barnes Williams’ life-testimony was her unconditional, unbridled love and goodwill toward all she encountered. Her life was characterized by unselfish giving, sharing and caring. She lived a life of love for all who knew her.
Williams, affectionately known as “Bebe,” was born on August 12, 1927 in Devon, Pennsylvania, to loving parents Roscoe Lee and Bessie Ruth Barns. Named after the gospel hymn “Beulah Land,” she was the fifth of five children.
She was educated in the Tredyffrin–Easttown School System of the Main Line. There she met her high school sweetheart, Jacob Edward Williams. They married on November 26, 1943, and began what would become a blessed, loving and fruitful 68-year union. In the words of Bebe, “It wasn’t all peaches and cream, but it wasn’t all sour milk either.”
Williams devoted her life to her family. As a dedicated and meticulous homemaker, she was the matriarch of the Williams family. She and “Jake” were blessed with four wonderful children: Janice Delores, Edward Douglas (“Bubby”), Rosalyn Elizabeth (“Lynnie”) and Lauren Linda (“Missy”).
They raised their family in the close-knit community of Ardmore, Pennsylvania. She loved nothing more than to fellowship and sing at the “family jam sessions” as the original Supremes with dear friend Tilly and sister Flo, accompanied by her brother, Bish, on the piano.
In the winter of 1960, the family migrated to close-by Philadelphia where they became a staple in the West Philadelphia community.
For years, Bebe opened her home to family, friends, church members and the community with food, love, warmth and a good word — so much so, that her home was affectionately known as “Grand Central Station.”
Whether it was her fantastic holiday celebrations for all, or the quiet, private conversations with each grandchild, one on one, Bebe never ceased to bless the family with her hospitality and wisdom. She maintained a very special relationship with each and every family member.
In keeping with her generation of African-American matriarchs, she sacrificed her desires and selflessly poured herself into the future of her family. She took immense pride in the growth and development, as well as the accomplishments and integrity, of her children and grandchildren.
Bebe is survived by her loving and devoting husband of 68 years, Jacob E. Williams; four children, Janice Delores Mitchell (Thomas), Dr. Edward D. Williams (Lynn), Rosalyn Elizabeth and Lauren Linda; daughter-in-law, Deitra L. Williams; and seven grandchildren, Dr. Erik D. Williams (Nisha), Dr. Kellyn W. Hodges (Eric), Todd C. Mitchell, ME.d (Kim), Dr. Dawn N. Jones (Charles), Che D. Mitchell, Kafi Y. Dilworth (Marty) and Chase B. Hall. Bebe had four older siblings, all of whom predeceased her: Larry Barnes, Lollie Barnes, Floyd Barnes and Perry Barnes. In addition, her surviving immediate family includes three sisters-in-law, Carrie Barnes, Francis Barnes and Eleanor Williams; a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives as well as life-long cherished friends.
Services will be held Friday, Dec. 23, at Triumph Baptist Church, 1648 W. Huntington Park Ave., Philadelphia. The viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. The burial will take place at the Rolling Green Cemetery in West Chester.
Savin Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Mildred Bridges was known for her classic style and sharp fashion sense. She was designated “Millie the Model” by some close friends and was a lover of fashion.
Beautiful clothes, desirable clothes, elegant furniture and décor were staples of hers. She tiptoed in high-heeled shoes well into her 80s. Her friendly disposition drew all types of people to her.
Bridges died Dec. 6. She was 86.
Bridges was born on July 6, 1925 in Philadelphia to Blanche E. and Luther E. Weaver. She grew up in the Elmwood section of the city and attended George Wolf School and John Bartram High School.
She married George Bridges on Sept. 15, 1943. They had four children: George Jr., Denise, Debbie and Donna.
At an early age, she became a member of the Emmanuel AME Church in Elmwood. She later joined the Pinn Memorial Baptist Church under the Rev. Frank B. Mitchell. In 1985, she and her husband moved to Mt. Airy, where she became a member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown and joined the EverReady Ministry.
During World War II, Bridges worked at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, while her husband was serving in the Army Air Corps. After the war, she worked at John Wanamaker’s in Center City. She retired in 1988 to care for her ailing husband.
Bridges was a member of two social clubs, the Mr. and Mrs. Club and Club Avalon. She was also a volunteer for “Across Ages”, a mentoring program at the Center for Intergenerational Learning, sponsored by Temple University.
Her family said that her swanky character would be remembered, since she took so much pride in her home, her style of dress and her presentation through the years. Her home was a holiday destination for family and friends. She was a fixture in the lives of every generation of the family.
She is survived by: son, George Bridges Jr.; three daughters, Denise Ballinger, Debbie Howell and Donna Bridges-Smith; daughter-in-law, Gladys Bridges; two sons-in-law, Leroy Howell and Cornell Smith; three grandsons, George Bridges III, David Bridges and Brandon Smith; four granddaughters, Nicole Ballinger, Amber Ballinger, Isabel Robinson and Ashley Howell; two granddaughters-in-law, Sheronda Bridges and Alicia Bridges; three great-grandchildren, Kylayda Robinson, Shawn Robinson and Nyisa Phillips; four sisters-in-law, Mildred Weaver, Ruth Bridges, Edna Flood and Vivian Bridges; two brothers-in-law, Dr. Charles Bridges and Allen Flood; close cousin Estelle Corbin; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and a host of friends.
Bridges was preceded in death by her husband, George Bridges; three sisters, Emma Jackson, Edith Wiggins and Elva Knight; a brother, Luther Weaver Jr. and son-in-law, Raymond Ballinger Jr.
Services were held Dec. 16 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown. Fletcher H. Townsend Funeral Home, Inc. handled the arrangements.
Martha Bonner Smith was a former contract analyst for the federal government.
Smith died Aug. 23, 2012. She was 75.
Born Jan. 11, 1937, to Joseph and Martha Blake in Philadelphia, Smith was the eldest of seven children. She is a graduate of Overbrook High School and furthered her education at Community College and Temple University.
Smith joined Mount Carmel Baptist Church at an early age, where she sang on the young adult choir, taught in Sunday school and belonged to the Progressive Club. She became secretary for the trustee board, treasurer of the Hospitality Club, treasurer of the Excelsior Club and treasurer of the Business and Professional Christian Women’s Committee. She was also active in many other volunteer groups.
Smith was always willing to help wherever she could for the building of God’s kingdom. Working in and serving the Christian community, she believed that, “What you do for Christ will last.”
She worked for 22 years as a contract analyst for the federal government. While working for the government, Smith was a mentor for underprivileged children as a member of Project Give.
Smith was preceded in death by her parents and her first husband, Leroy Smith.
She is survived by her daughters, Marva Julia Dales and Theresa Hill Smith; her spouse, Dr. J. Otis Smith; five grandchildren and their spouses, Tyronne Dales and Miki Dales; Omar Dales and Melissa James; J. Otis Smith III and Gabriela Chenet-Smith; Karen Nicolini and Andres Nicolini; and J. Ryan Smith; seven great-grandchildren, Egan Dales, Asano Dales Greer, Amelia Dales, J. Amelie Chenet-Smith, J. Magalie Chenet-Smith, Lucas Dales and Naima Dales; sisters, Violet Heath and Lillian Lively-Jones; two sisters-in-law, Margie Blake and Thelma Blake; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held August 30 at Calvary Baptist Church. Burial was in Rolling Green Memorial Park.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Donations can be made in the name of Martha B. Smith to Calvary Baptist Church, 6122 Haverford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19151.
Rheinhold Blake Jr., known as “Butch” to family and friends, was said to be a fun-loving block captain. He was also a 25-year employee of the Philadelphia Water Department and a Navy veteran. Blake died December 31 of a brain aneurysm. He was 61.
“Never one to stay silent longer than 30 seconds, he was an outgoing, warm, embraceable, fun-loving and intellectually astute man who had a thirst for life that seemed unquenchable,” said his brother, Joseph P. Blake. “He had a larger-than-life personality and a heart to match.”
Blake was born in Philadelphia to Rheinhold A. Blake Sr. and Lillie Mae Blake. He attended Edison High School before entering the Navy for a four-year hitch.
Blake went to work for the city after his discharge. He retired in 2010 for health reasons, “but didn’t stop his zest for life or inhibit his love for family and his many, many friends,” said his brother, a former writer and editor at the Daily News and Inquirer.
Blake was a longtime block captain for 15th Street between 67th and 68th avenues in West Oak Lane.
“Butch absolutely loved people and loved telling jokes and stories,” his brother said. “He was a natural-born comedian, whose timing and sharp mind were a wonder to watch.”
Joseph P. Blake said his brother could enliven any moment and create an air of festive fun that would literally last for hours.
“He was a confidant, a friend, a mentor, a guide, a supporter of anything positive, and often the voice of reason that brought clarity with such sayings as, ‘If you’re not stupid, then don’t do anything stupid,’” he said. “Although he is physically gone, Butch Blake will be alive in spirit, legend and the history of family and friends for many years to come.”
Blake leaves to mourn: wife, Debbie; five daughters, Rhonda, Rasheda, Tamika, Erica and Lisa; and his brother, Joseph P. Blake. Services were held January 7.
The Philadelphia Daily News contributed to this report.
Robert Nicholas Steptoe, affectionately called “Bob,” or “Bolo” was sworn in as a correctional officer and joined the Philadelphia Prison System. He had over 25 years of service.
He was also initiated and raised to Master Mason on May 16, 1999, joining Paradise Lodge No. 1. He died Nov. 20 of ventricular fibrillation. He was 51.
Steptoe was born on Nov. 1, 1960, in Philadelphia to Gertrud (Burgert) Steptoe and Reynold Lee Steptoe. He was educated in both the Philadelphia Parochial and Public School District. He became a member of the Catholic faith at an early age while attending the Immaculate Conception School and Church.
Once childhood friends, later becoming childhood “sweethearts,” Steptoe married Kim McLaughlin on Feb. 14, 1987.
As a teenager, he took great pride in his first job installing aluminum siding working for a family acquaintance. Then, following the Steptoe family tradition, he became an employee at “VIZ” MFG. Co. Steptoe then went on to work as a carrier at the Prudential Insurance Co. before he became a correctional officer.
His family said that his three passions were fishing, cooking and talking. He also enjoyed his yearly cruises with his family. He demonstrated his compassion for people by giving so much of himself. Bob had a special “brotherly” relationship with John Delaney, Brian Nickson and James Gilbert. He was a loving family man who instilled great morals and family values into his younger sister and brother, Tyna and Justin.
Steptoe leaves to mourn: wife, Kim V. McLaughlin Steptoe; mother, Gertrud Steptoe; siblings, Reynold L. Steptoe (Sylvia), Winnie S. Snipes (Herbert), Reginald C. Steptoe (Joan), Karin T. Irby, Tyna M. Steptoe and Justin L. Steptoe; uncles, Horst Salb; nieces, Shannon, Corinne, Taliah and Ianna; nephews, Casey, Lamarr & Reginal Jr.; mother and father-in-law, Wade A. Sr. and Doris E McLaughlin and other relatives, family and friends.
His father, Reynold Lee, preceded him in death.
Services were held Dec. 1 at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church. Beckett-Brown and Hodges Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Akili Hiahni Gordon was a program manager for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s AmeriCorps Water Ambassadors Program.
She died Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. She was 30.
She was born Aug. 20, 1982 in Belleville, N.J. She lived in Newark and moved to Maplewood at age five.
She attended Clinton School, South Orange Middle School and graduated from Columbia High School in 2000. While there she played French horn in the band and orchestra, sang in the choir, played volleyball and worked on the stage crew.
She was a Girl Scout from Daisy level, all through high school and became a lifelong member, enjoying sailing trips with her Mariner troop
“From this, she gained a sense of self-reliance which would serve her well during her life,” her family said.
She attended Drexel University and graduated with a degree in environmental engineering in 2005. During her freshman year, she joined Disciples In Deed (DID), a campus Christian fellowship where she gave her life to Christ and made lifelong friends.
In the summer of 2004, Gordon did a summer internship in South Carolina with the Department of Natural Resources. Right after graduation, she began working with the New Jersey DEP, first as an enforcer in air pollution in Camden, where she ticketed vehicles left idling.
She joined Enon Baptist Church in 2005 where she became an active member of the young adult ministry Fire Escape.
In 2007, Gordon transferred within DEP to become the program manager for the AmeriCorps Water Ambassadors program.
She moved back home to Maplewood in 2008. There she attended services at the Life Christian Church.
She married Jason Gordon on June 18, 2011 at Enon and moved to Philadelphia. She became very active at Enon, starting classes in counseling, and saw this as a way of helping others. She volunteered with the Habitat for Humanity and other agencies.
“Her life reflected her name, Akili, meaning wisdom and Hiahni, meaning love, her family said.
“She lived life to the fullest with her thirst for knowledge, sense of wonder and deep love for God, family and friends.”
In addition to her husband, Gordon is survived by her mother, Mary Anne Wiktorowicz; father, Robert L. Lynn; sister, Jasiri Davis; brother, Terrence Lynn Sr.; nieces, Kayla Davis and Desiree Lynn; nephews, Jordan Davis and Terrence Lynn Jr.; surrogate family, mother, Lynn Gale; sister, Rebekah Gale; aunts, Linda El Saieh, Bea Joyner; uncles, Marvin Hunt and Damon Garrett; niece, Schanice Downey; nephew, Aaron Downey and other relatives and friends.
The first viewing will be held Dec. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Deborah L. Wilson Funeral Home, 214 W. Coulter St. The second viewing will be held Dec. 17 at 9 a.m. at Enon Baptist Church, 216 W. Coulter St. Services will follow at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests support of the following causes in Gordon’s name: Doctors Without Borders, GEMS, World Vision or Adopt One Village.
Alice Lee Jackmon Yancy was known to be a fashion diva. She loved fine clothing and jewelry and through her 90s would not leave her home without applying her “lipstick and powder.” In her early years, shopping downtown was a favorite pastime.
Alice maintained a healthy appetite and always enjoyed a good meal. She adored flowers and plants, and liked to travel, especially to her home in Virginia. Most of all, she loved spending time with family.
Yancy died Dec. 25. She was 96.
Yancy was born on Nov. 5, 1915, to Mary Ellen Bristow and Hollis Jackmon in Gloucester, Virginia. She was the eldest of four children.
She accepted Christ and was baptized at an early age at the New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Gloucester. She later joined Miller Memorial Baptist Church once she established residency in Philadelphia, under the pastorate of the late Rev. J. Luke Jones. She was a faithful member and sang on the Fellowship choir for over 50 years.
She received her formal education at Gloucester Institute for girls in Capahosick, Va. While there, she played on the basketball team. She received her high school diploma from Brooksfield High in Gloucester.
Yancy moved to Philadelphia after graduation to live with her aunt and uncle in the Nicetown neighborhood. It was during one of her returns from Virginia when she met her husband, Thornton Yancy, on the Greyhound bus; the rest was history. They had three children: Thornton, Joan and Alice Gloria.
Her first job in Philadelphia was as a seamstress with Coat Craft manufacturer. She often used her sewing skills to make her children’s clothing. In 1955, she started to work for the Defense Supply Center at Quarter Masters as a military uniform seamstress. She was later promoted to supervising clerk in the billing department. Alice retired from Quarter Masters in 1986. She received many awards and certificates during her employment with the government.
Yancy leaves to mourn: children, Thorton Yancy III and Joan Howell; daughter-in-law, Nancy Yancy; sister-in-law, Isadora Jackmon; nine grandchildren, Lynne, Lisa, Thorton IV, Yvette, Jill, Trevor, Greer, Todd, Amber and their spouses, David, Gary, Dereck, Eric, Corey; 13 great-grandchildren; niece, Joyce Jackmon Andrews; and a host of cousins and friends.
Services will be held Dec. 31 at Miller Memorial Baptist Church, 1518 North 22 St. The viewing will be at 9 am. The service will start at 10. Savin Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Clarence H. Still Jr. was the founding president and chairman of the Lawnside Historical Society, Inc.
He died May 4, 2012. He was 83.
More than 22 years ago, Still halted the demolition of the Peter LaMott House, now a Historical Society-owned and operated Underground Railroad Museum in Lawnside. The Peter LaMott House will be closed on Saturday in honor of Still.
Still was a collector of African-American historical memorabilia, artifacts, documents and books.
He celebrated the Still Family, cherished its legacy and promoted its heritage at every opportunity and in many ways.
He was the long-time chairman of the Still Family Historical Committee. Each year the committee hosted the Still Family Reunion, a tradition for more than 140 years carrying out the wishes of his ancestor, William Still, regarded as the father of the Underground Railroad. William Still was an abolitionist, a businessman and a member of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee whose own family had been wounded by slavery and slave catchers venturing into New Jersey.
Still was instrumental in donating thousands of photographs and negatives by the famed Philadelphia photographer John Mosley to the Charles Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University. Mosley was married to Clarence’s sister, Theresa, who died earlier this year.
Still was born Feb. 3, 1929, to Beatrice and Clarence H. Still. He was a graduate of Lawnside Public School and Haddon Heights High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and became an aircraft specialist. He was honorably discharged in 1952. He worked for the Budd Company for 33 years, retiring as a plant supervisor.
In 1953, Still married his high school sweetheart, Verline Mitchell. They had two sons, Clarence IV of Lawnside, and Reginald of Hampton, Va.; and three grandchildren. He is also survived by three brothers, Kenneth and Charles of Lawnside, and Cecil of Princeton, N.J.
The first viewing will be held May 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mount Zion United Methodist Church, 134 S. White Horse Pike, Lawnside, N.J. A second viewing will be held May 12 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Services will follow at 11.
A repast will follow at the Wayne R. Bryant Community Center, 323 E. Charleston Ave., Lawnside.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Still Family Historical Committee, c/o 137 E. Oak Ave., Lawnside, N.J. 08045.
Berlin Samuel Isles Hart was a fearless and passionate preacher of the gospel and was used by God to start several churches along the Eastern Seaboard. Those in the Philadelphia area include Germantown Christian Assembly, Calvary Gospel Chapel, Willingboro Christian Assembly and Montco Bible Fellowship.
He was also devoted to his family and will be greatly missed. Hart died Jan. 19. He was 80.
“He left an impression on me and everybody that knew him. He was a really fearless preacher of the gospel,” Brian H. Grant said, his nephew. “Uncle Sam had a passion for reaching people for Jesus Christ and selflessly gave himself in trying to make a difference.”
Hart was born in New York City on April 8, 1931, to missionaries Arthur Isles Hart and Doris Hart. His parents moved to Jamaica shortly thereafter. He was the fifth child of 10. Ever since Sam was a young child, he always knew that he was going to be a preacher.
At the age of 14, he got his first opportunity. His father was scheduled to preach at a nearby prison, but he became ill. When the prisoners heard they were going to have a “boy preacher,” they packed the auditorium and when the invitation was given, 37 men came forward to give their hearts to the Lord.
At the age of 17, he left Jamaica to attend Gordon College in Massachusetts.
He was fully intending to return to Jamaica to preach alongside his father. However, the Lord showed him another mission field — Black America.
In 1949, at Grace Gospel Chapel in New York, he met Joyce Cushnie and they were married June 9, 1951.
One of the first evangelistic enterprises that Hart started was summer camps. Every summer, he would take inner-city children out to the countryside for a week to eight weeks, eventually purchasing over 100 acres in Perkasie for summer camping ministry. Over a thousand kids were ministered to each summer, many of whom are in the ministry today.
In 1959, the first broadcast of the Grand Old Gospel Hour went out over the airwaves in Pennsylvania. The Grand Old Gospel Fellowship was incorporated in 1961 and was heard across the USA and on many continents. Since then, Sam has preached in over 50 countries in crusades and conferences and on the internet via www.gogf.org.
Hart also had a love for radio. One of his dreams was to own a radio station. This was realized in1978. WYIS was born in Phoenixville. It was finally sold to a Christian Spanish station in 1988.
Hart spent several years on the board of the National Christian Broadcasters, serving as Vice President of this the leading organization of Christian Broadcasters.
Hart is survived by wife, Joyce; sons, Dr. Tony Hart (Carol) and Robert; daughters Sharon (Carl Thomas) and Patrice (Gary Carr); 13 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; two brothers: Pastors Arthur Hart, and Dr. Charles Hart; two sisters, Rosali Edwards, and Faith Marjorie Scott; many nieces, nephews, and cousins throughout the United States, Jamaica, England, and Canada; and a host of others who considered him a spiritual father.
Hart was preceded in death by son Bradley and wife Fern as well as his daughter-in-law Ruth.
A viewing will be held on Jan. 26 at the Germantown Christian Assembly from 6 to 8 p.m. Services will be at the New Covenant Church of Philadelphia, 7500 Germantown Ave.
The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 11. Cannon Funeral Home handled the arrangements.