Samuel C. Dove Jr., a master brick mason and World War II veteran, died on Friday, June 14, 2019. He was 99.
He was born on Oct. 29, 1919, in Eastover, South Carolina. He was the oldest of 10 children born to the late Edward Dove Sr. and Ophelia Taylor Dove. He was raised up in Mt. Nebo Baptist Church and attended Webber Public School in Eastover.
Dove was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and served in North Africa, Italy and Germany. Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he became an apprentice bricklayer in Columbia, South Carolina. He continued until he mastered his craft. Dove was recognized in 2018 by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 for more than 75 years of membership in the union.
In 1949, while still in Columbia, Dove met Esther Dingle. They were married on June 4, 1950, and recently observed their 69th wedding anniversary. Five children were born to their union. Dove and his wife followed the Great Migration North from Columbia to Washington, D.C., and finally settled in Philadelphia, first in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia and then in Mount Airy.
An avid traveler, Dove frequently took road trips in his recreational vehicles, and prior to that he would load the family up in a station wagon. Their favorite destination was South Carolina. Dove also traveled to Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, New Orleans, San Antonio, Detroit, Orlando, Honolulu and dozens of other places across the United States. He traveled to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as Senegal and Ghana in West Africa.
“Mr. Dove possessed a magnetic personality,” his family said in a tribute. “He was the life of the party, known for his jovial sense of humor and love of having a good time.”
He was a competitive pinochle player and loved to barbecue on the 55-gallon drum grill he made. In addition to being a master brick mason, Dove was a gardener, auto mechanic and expert handy man, a role he particularly relished.
From the 1950s through his retirement in 1984, Dove worked on many major construction sites throughout the Philadelphia area, including Tastykake Baking Plant in Tioga, the Bell Telephone building in Chestnut Hill and the Nabisco Baking Plant in Northeast Philadelphia. He built custom patios and fireplaces and installed bay windows. Perhaps the most personal job of his professional career was laying the cornerstones on the façade built on New Bethel AME Church of Germantown, where his wife has been a member for many decades.
Dove joined Monumental Baptist Church in 1957. He served on the Senior Usher Board and was active well into his 80s.
He was preceded in death by his parents and six younger brothers.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his children, Samuel C. Dove Jr. (Ernestine), Alonzo I. Dove, Pheralyn C. Dove, Esther L. Dove and Stephanie O. Dove; grandchildren, Shenneth Dove-Morse, Darius M. Dove and Deremy M. Dove; great-granddaughter, Skylar B. Dove; great-great-granddaughter, Skylar B. Dove; sister, Blondell D. Galloway; brothers, Lewis T. Dove and Cecil R. Dove (Mary) of Eastover, South Carolina; and other relatives.
Services will be held June 22 at New Bethel AME Church of Germantown, 6153 Germantown Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 10 a.m.
A military burial will be held June 25 at 2 p.m. at Washington Crossing National Cemetery, 830 Highland Road, Newtown.
Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home handled the arrangements.