Deal Gilchrist, a former licensed practical nurse, died on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. She was 85.
She was born on Sept. 6, 1933, to the late Lillie and Adam Robinson in Hartville, South Carolina. She was the youngest of four children.
In her early years, the family migrated to Philadelphia, where they settled in the South Philadelphia section of the city.
She was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and graduated from Edward W. Bok Technical High School, where she specialized in dressmaking.
In 1955, Gilchrist began working for Albert Einstein Medical Center-Mt. Sinai Daroff Division at 5th and Reed streets. Her career as a LPN spanned 40 years. She loved helping others. She loved co-workers and considered them her second family.
She was married to the late Samuel C. Gilchrist for 39 years and one daughter was born to their union.
She became an active member of Mother Bethel A.M.E. church under the pastorate of the late Rev. Joseph L. Joiner in 1974. She attended Sunday morning worship, Bible study and Sunday school. Due to her growth and commitment, she was appointed a class leader for small group members.
While preparing for work, Gilchrist listened to the radio program hosted by Rev. Wayne Monbleau on Loving Grace Ministries. She loved his teachings and ministry so much that she went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem that was offered to listeners. This trip was so life-changing that she was re-baptized in the Jordan River.
Gilchrist enjoyed family. She was often asked to make her famous fried fish and cornbread for family gatherings. She was also regarded as the “health guru” of the family.
She was affectionately known as “Dealipoo,” a nickname that was given to her by her niece, Veronica.
She was preceded in death by her siblings, James A. Robinson, Jasper A. Robinson and Catherine S. Scott.
She is survived by: her daughter, Staci L. Merritt; son-in-law, Rev. Kevin D. Merritt; sisters-in-laws, Sarah Robinson and Pauline Jones; brother-in-law, Elder James Gilchrist; lifelong best friends, Hilda Robinson and Thelma Cloud; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Aug. 12 at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in Merion Memorial Park.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.