Herbert Bickford, a U.S. Navy veteran and former community activist, died on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. He was 94.

He was born on Feb. 4, 1925 in Providence, Rhode Island. He served in the Navy during World War II and returned to Providence where he worked for the Post Office.

He directed the Home Improvement Program for the Anti-Poverty Agency and supervised the community relations staff for Model Cities. As president of R.I.CORE, he marched through Mississippi and Washington, D.C., as he led the chapter to fight for equal rights at the city and state level and provided a range of community services on the East Side neighborhood.

Bickford moved to Philadelphia in the 1960s, where he worked with OIC. He then focused on higher education as an administrator for the Philadelphia Tutorial Project, Temple University’s TOP program and served as the Eastern Regional representative for the State Act 101 Program. He owned a neighborhood bar in Francisville for 10 years before retiring.

He was married to the late Marinda M. Shepard and they had five children: Herbert Bickford Jr., K. Marshall Bickford, Cheri Beverley of Chester, Virginia and the late Sandra Williams and Nancy Bickford-Anderson.

He spent the last 50 years of his life with his partner, Freda Egnal and they had one son, Michael.

He is remembered as a lover of jazz and skilled card player. He enjoyed repairing computers, photography, cooking and going to Atlantic City casinos. He family said he was known as someone who loved to joke and had a good sense of humor.

A memorial service will be held June 22 at 11 a.m. at Calvary Center, 48th Street and Baltimore Avenue.

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