Blanche Edna Partlow was a Democratic committeewoman for 10 years and judge of election in the 29th Division of the 10th Ward for 20 years.
She died March 20, 2012. She was 82.
Partlow was born May 12, 1929, in Philadelphia. She was the first child of Romlous DeMassey Pace and Sadie Cook Pace of Virginia.
She was educated in the Philadelphia public school system where she attended Joseph E. Hill School, Roosevelt Junior High and Germantown High School.
She married James Ferson Partlow on Oct. 23, 1954, and to this union four children, David, James, Marie and Mark were born.
During her young adult years, Partlow worked as a babysitter, dishwasher and modeled for Adolph’s Beauty Products.
On Mondays, she would race down to the Earle Theatre to catch live shows featuring artists such as Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole — plus a movie — for just 50 cents a ticket.
In 1945, Partlow started her full time work career at the Penn Fruit Co., as a bagger worked her way up to become head cashier, the first African American to hold the position. She later worked full time in the commissary at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a number of years. When Penn Fruit Co. closed, she became employed with the Super Fresh Market Co, where she retired in 1984.
During her teen years, she joined Mount Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia, where she served as a member for more than 63 years. She served on the Winston Memorial Gospel Choir, Outreach Feeding Ministry, Bible Club, J.Q. Jackson Memorial Scholarship Committee, May Circle, Fellowship Guild and the Repast ministries.
When she served on feeding ministries, she would say “those tables better be set properly.”
Her family said she kept people in line with a stern look and a balled fist. She was a “no nonsense” lady and always insisted on being on time.
She was a fervent shopper who could “squeeze the life out” of a handful of coupons, her family said. Partlow was very giving, always buying gifts and keepsakes out to friends and family. She enjoyed watching her soaps and taking monthly Atlantic City casino trips. She loved to collect handbags and shoes, Etienne Aigner, being her favorite designer.
Her family said she was a hard worker and dutiful servant and always took the time to have dinner on the table every night for her family.
Her son, James, preceded her in death.
She is survived by her husband, James; sons, David Partlow (Nadene) and Mark Partlow; daughter, Marie (Norman) Williams; sister, Renee Colquitt; seven grandsons, Michael, James, Gregory, Malachi, Matthew, Norman and Nicholas; six granddaughters, Crystal, Claudisha, Darla, Nina, Nicole and Natalie; great-grandson, Christopher; two sisters-in-law, Florence Harris and Gerri Wilder; dear friends, Erma, Florence and Catherine Coulbourne; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held March 30 at Mount Zion Baptist Church of Germantown.