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.