A memorial service was held for Esther Thomas on January 8 at the Philadelphia Clef Club. She died November 16, but family and friends wanted to celebrate her life after the holidays. She was 88.
“She was very, very comical. She had a great sense of humor. She could adapt to any situation,” said niece Carolyn Thomas. “She always uplifted your spirit.”
Thomas was born to George and Eva Thomas on April 23, 1923. She was educated in the Philadelphia School District. She was the first Black woman to work at Girard Bank during a time when America was segregated.
Her family said she had a gift to make people laugh and always told them the truth about themselves. She also had the talent of music and song. She loved jazz and was a member of the Philadelphia Clef Club.
In 1956, she married Robert Johnson. They had a daughter, Barbara Johnson. She worked for Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus where she handed out programs. During her time there, she helped the circus to exceed their sales goals. Upon her departure, she was honored with first class tickets to their performances, which she donated to underprivileged children and those with special needs.
Thomas also loved the Mummers, and one of the highlights of her life was making the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer at the Mummers Parade.
Thomas leaves to mourn: daughter, Barbara Johnson; granddaughter, Lindsey Allen; brother, Wallace Thomas; niece, Carolyn Thomas; and a host of family and friends.
Thomas Melvin Rogers, called Tom, had many hobbies that he enjoyed, including singing, cooking and carpentry. He worked with the Philadelphia Sanitation Department where his co-workers affectionately gave him the nickname “Candyman,” because of his love for candy. He died on Jan. 24. He was 70.
Rogers was born on Dec. 22, 1941 in Mt. Vernon Springs, N.C. to Florence and Charlie Rogers. He was educated in the Philadelphia public schools.
At a young age, he joined Greater St. Matthew Independent Methodist Church. At age 18, he joined the United States Air Force. Later, he was employed with Boeing in Eddystone. Then he worked with the Philadelphia Sanitation Department.
He is survived by his wife, Margie; mother, Florence Rodgers; two sisters, Cecelia Townsend (Lincoln) and Fannie Alexander; son, Kevin Rogers (Siedah); four daughters, Michelle Harbin (Glen), Anjenette, Kimberly Rogers and Kia Coleman (Darren); stepdaughter, Sandra Elaine Brown; four sisters-in-law, Barbara Brown, Jessie Bryan (Leon), Rosa Lee Sheppard (Esau) and Yvonne Greene (Ulysses); nine grandchildren, Kimberly, Kevin Jr., Amber, Latanya, Jasmine, Glen Jr., Ron, Dontae and Shantae; four great-grandchildren, Tori, Jamire, Jasir and Danielle; and two special friends, Mary Memminger and George Campbell.
Services were held Jan. 30 at Loyal Baptist Church.
Raymond McDaniel proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He was honorably discharged in 1946. McDaniel retired from the U.S. Post Office as lieutenant. He died November 20 after a lengthy illness. He was 87.
McDaniel was born on June 7, 1924 to Adrian and Elizabeth Mandy McDaniel. He was born in Philadelphia. He was educated at Glassboro High School after his family relocated from Philadelphia to Glassboro, N.J. He graduated from Eckels College of Mortuary Science.
On November 28, 1948, he married the love of his life, Josephine V. Gregory. From this union came one son, Raymond Adrian. Affectionately called “Big Ray,” McDaniel hosted “Sunday Morning,” one hour of spiritual recordings on WDVL in Vineland, N.J.
Fondly named “Mr. Mack,” McDaniel retired from the sheriff’s office in Tappahanock, Va. He returned to Philadelphia in 2005. As the years progressed, Raymond could be found watching political and news shows holding tightly to his remote control, although he was sound asleep.
A passionate golfer, he earned many trophies, which attested to his skill in the sport. He enjoyed solitary sports. With a love of fishing and hunting McDaniel enjoyed frying up his catch and cooking wild game.
McDaniel leaves to mourn: wife, Josephine; son, Raymond Adrian; a brother; two sisters; one sister-in-law; one brother-in-law; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
His parents, three brothers and two sisters preceded him in death.
Services will be held Dec. 1 Wood Funeral Home, Inc. 5537–39 West Girard Ave. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 10.
Mary Frances Dicks was a devoted wife and mother known affectionately as “Byrd” and “Mom Dicks” by all of the neighborhood children. She had a special place in her heart for children and would eagerly work to help nurture their spirit and talent. She made sure her home was always open for children in need by offering them a warm, safe place of refuge.
Family and friends knew her as a warm, gentle and cheerful person. Dicks died on December 27. She was 83.
Dicks was born on October 18, 1928, in St. Augustine, Florida, and was adopted by Florrie Mays and James May who later relocated to Williston, South Carolina. She received her early education in the Williston Public School System and graduated from Scofield High School.
Dicks was baptized in 1936, at Frost Branch Baptist, Elko Creek, S.C. where she served faithfully until she married James Monroe Dicks on August 6, 1946, in Williston. They were married for 66 years. After moving to Philadelphia, they had three children: Marilyn J. Dicks-Riley, Carolyn Marie Dicks-Kee and Melinda Dicks.
Dicks was employed at Cuneo Eastern Press for over 15 years. After Cuneo permanently closed its doors, she decided to pursue her undergraduate degree in early childhood education and child psychology at Temple University in 1976.
Unfortunately, illness immediately overtook her in 1976 and prevented her from working full-time as an educator. She did, however, enjoy many years of part-time employment, initially with the Philadelphia Board of Education as a teaching assistant, and then with the U.S. Mint.
Dicks and her family joined the Tenth Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia where she was a devoted member until 1966.
In 1966, she joined the Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church and served faithfully until 2006 when her failing health forced her to become homebound. During her active years of service at Greater Ebenezer, she was a member of several auxiliaries, including the Floral Club, the Missionary Board and the Deaconess Board.
In spite of her long illness, she remained a faithful servant of God. She often remarked “when I look around, my good days outweighed my bad days.”
Dicks leaves to mourn: husband, James; three daughters, Marilyn, Carolyn and Melinda; stepson, Nathaniel Dicks; daughter-in-law, Annie Dicks; two sons-in-law, Herbert Roy Riley and Robert Leon Kee Sr.; adopted brother, Bonnie Perry; eight grandchildren, Tanya Marissa Ward, Marcus Douglass Russell, Marcus Nathaniel Dicks, Demetrius Dicks, Stacey Hunter, Melissa Neurell, Dawn Johnson and Robert L. Kee Jr.; five brothers-in-law, Horace Dicks, Laurie Preston Dicks, Roger Dicks, Gerald Leggins and Ernest Augustus Sr; five sisters-in-law, Vermelle Thomas, Margie Ruth Leggins, Dorothy Dicks, Audrey Dicks and Sadie Dicks; cousins, Gretchen Martinez, Warren Holmes Jr. and Mamie Newton; as well as a host of great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Services will be held January 7 at Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church, 3200 North Broad St. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 10. Choice Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Thelma Lee Winston Sargent was a licensed practical nurse. She worked private duty cases in nursing homes and established a long lasting career at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. where she was among the first African-American personnel. She died Dec. 11. She was 91.
Sargent was born on Feb. 17, 1920 in Philadelphia and grew up in Darby Township with her parents, Edwin and Charity Winston.
She was educated in the Darby public school system where she was regularly called upon to provide music for morning assembly. Upon graduating from school in 1938, she married Harold R. Holmes. They had two daughters, Wilma and Margaret.
“Mother was very musical. She played the piano, and she was very passionate about her piano,” said Wilma Jones, her daughter.
“She loved the Lord. She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she loved her senior choir.”
She leaves to cherish her memory: Wilma Jones (wife of Robert, deceased); Margaret Hardcastle (wife of Joseph, deceased); grandsons, Dwayne R. Monroe, Robert L. Jones Jr. and Michael V. Jones; great-granddaughters, Kayla Marie and Bobbi Cierra Jones; a special niece and nephew, Reginald and Cheryl James; nieces; and her extended family at 90th Street Mount Hermon Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
Services were held on Dec. 17 at 90th Street Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, 6132 Jefferson St. Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Earnest Daniel Sr., known to everyone as Ernie, became a Philadelphia police officer in 1966 and was later promoted to Detective in 1978.
After 23 years of service, Ernie retired from the Police Force. Not as ready to retire as he originally believed, he spent another 11½ years working for the State of Pennsylvania as an investigator for the Office of the Inspector General. In 2003, he retired from the state. Daniel died on December 9. He was 68.
Daniel was born on December 18, 1942 in Perry, Georgia. He was the first of three sons born to Cleo and Irvin Daniel. The family relocated to Philadelphia early in his life. He attended Hannah Elementary School, Shoemaker Middle School and West Philadelphia High School.
Upon graduation, Daniel was awarded a football scholarship to Delaware State University. Instead of heading to Delaware, he decided to enlist and serve the country in the United States Air Force as an Air Police Officer. After completing a tour of duty in Bermuda and spending some time on Reserve Duty, he received an Honorable Discharge.
Once back in Philadelphia, he began spending more time doing the things that made him happy. His favorite activities were spending time with close friends and fishing with his grandchildren.
His family said he had a way about him that was very laid back most times; but he was also funny. He was full of knowledge in many subjects and was always willing to help anyone in any way that he could. Daniel was enthusiastic about reading and watching documentaries about history. He explored every aspect of many kinds of aircrafts, even building a model every now and then. He dabbled with photography, developing photographs when his sons were young. Later he shifted to using a digital camera and computer to refine and print his photos. Whenever he could, Daniel especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He also had a passion for watching football games on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays.
Daniel leaves to mourn: mother, Cleo; children, Earnest Jr., Troy, Andre and Dionne; ex-wife Virginia; grandchildren, Edena, Earnest III, Eron, Elise, Troy Jr., Aaron, Aalysa, Ashley, Ari, Blair and Sonja; a special nephew, Christopher Lewis; sisters-in-law; a host of in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews; other relatives; friends and colleagues.
He was preceded in death by brothers, Leroy and Joseph. Services were held December 17 at Wood Funeral Home, Inc.
Jolitha Ann Nickerson was a member of New Mount Zion Baptist Church at the time of her passing and, according to family members, loved the Lord with all her heart. She was a very outgoing person and loved to shop at Wal-Mart and was known to many as the “Wal-Mart Queen.” The former certified nursing assistant died Nov. 19. She was 46.
Nickerson was born on Sept. 13, 1965 to Willie Mae Nickerson and Charles Joseph Riley. She was the fourth of five children.
She was educated in the Philadelphia School District. In 1988, she attended the Thompson Institute for nursing and received her certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She was employed by Lynch Homes for the Mentally Disabled where she worked for over 20 years until she became ill in 2007.
On Sept. 27, 2000, her world was made complete when she gave birth to her beloved, only child, Bryanna. She also played a large role in raising many of her nieces whom she loved dearly.
Nickerson leaves to mourn: daughter, Bryanna; father, Charles Joseph Riley; two brothers, Terry and Walter Nickerson, two sisters, Toni McNeely and Elizabeth Hudson; aunt, Sheila Anthony; great aunt, Mary Jane; sister-in-law, Valerie Nickerson; brother-in-law, James Mack; two god-daughters, Nakeedah and Cheyenne; four nieces, Kiesha, Shatima, Katia and Avia; three nephews, William, Sean and Jerry; four very dear and special friends, Lydia, Patricia, Maria and Tamar; and a long list of loving relatives and friends.
Her mother, Willie Mae Nickerson and sister, Tammy Mack, preceded Nickerson in death.
Services will be held Nov. 26 at New Mount Zion Baptist Church, 919 S. 13th Street. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 10 a.m. Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Joseph Bernard Mackey was a Korean War era veteran honorably serving in the United States Air Force. He died October 19, 2011 of renal failure after a long illness. He was 79.
Mackey was born on December 15, 1931 in Philadelphia, to the late Edward B. and Pauline Mackey. He and family members were parishioners of St. Ignatius of Loyola Roman Catholic Church at 43rd and Wallace streets.
He worked as a physical therapist at Abington Memorial and Episcopal Hospitals.
He moved to California and worked in civil service as a logistician until retirement.
Mackey is survived by: daughter, Yuki; three grandchildren, Miles, Samantha and Kinuko; three brothers, Edward, Johnnie (Annie) and Alvin (Jacqueline); nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Pauline and a brother, Richard.
A memorial Mass was held Oct. 23 at St. Ignatius of Loyola. A private interment will be scheduled at a later date at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.
Charles Edward Howard, affectionately called Charlie Brown and Charlie Mack, was a man of many talents. He was an employee and foreman for the borough of Lansdowne for 29 years. After retirement, he opened his own business, “Charlie’s Lawn Care.”
He took great pride in maintaining his community and helping those in need. His family said he was also gifted with his hands and became a self-trained carpenter. He was known as the neighborhood handy man with every tool imaginable; if it was broken, he could fix it. He was a devoted son, husband, father, brother, uncle, friend and role model.
Howard died Nov. 7. He was 83.
Howard was born on Jan. 14, 1928 to Edward and Sally Ann Howard in Philadelphia. He was the third of five children. He was educated in the Lansdowne School District. He accepted Christ at an early age and became a member of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Lansdowne, Pa. He was a faithful member and was honored for over 50 years of membership in 2010. He served on the usher board and was a dedicated member of the Hospitality Ministry working in the kitchen.
He married his true love, Gloria Celestine Morton, on June 16, 1951. They had three children, Rodney Charles, Regina Michele and Leon Marshall Howard. They were married for 60 years.
Family described him as a “man’s man” and a perfect gentleman. He loved singing, dancing, barbeques and family gatherings. He had invaluable relationships with his sisters, nieces and nephews.
Howard leaves to mourn: wife, Gloria Howard; sister, Edith Howard; three children, Rodney Charles Howard (Loretta), Regina Howard and Leon Marshall Howard (Diana); goddaughter, Lauren; grandchildren, Rhonda McNeal (Scotti), DeVon Howard, Kyrah Wallace and Dareen Gee; six great-grandchildren, Daniel Hill, Summer Richardson, Donovan Richardson, Sierra Richardson, Christopher Veigler and Tionna Howard; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends as well as devoted friend, John DelSordo.
Services were held Nov. 19 at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.
Rev. Elouise Delores Williams had been an ordained minister since 1965. She went on to join the original Nation of Islam in 1973, and later joined New Hope Baptist Church in 1986.
In Philadelphia, she was the founder of Women Infiltrators Against Poverty and was involved with P.U.S.H., N.A.A.C.P. and various other community-related organizations.
She died on January 18, at the Deborah Heart Lung Hospital in Brownsmills, N.J. She was 81.
Williams was born in Tampa, Fla., to Hattie Gasque Williams and Ralph Williams Sr.
She attended the local public schools and relocated to Conway, S.C., where she graduated from high school before moving to Tennessee for college. She later moved to Springfield, Mass., and then to Philadelphia and finally residing in Pleasantville, N.J., in 1972.
A close friend of the late broadcaster Georgie Woods, she was a member of New Hope Baptist Church where she worked with her family as a community advocate for the sick and shut-in and took food and aid to the needy.
Williams is survived by children, Deborah Bailey, Cheryse Page and Kelvin Wimbish (Karla); five sisters, Dollie Beaty, Cecilia Bennett, Jackie Johnson, Pricilla Scruggs and Betty Williams of New York; three brothers, Ralph Jr.(Lillian) and Jacob Davis, and Ralph Jr. #2 (Barbara); 10 grandchildren, David, Jonathan, Shannon, Sharifah, Hakeem, Shahied, Jameelah, Michael, Victor and Rasheed; 12 great-grandchildren; godchildren, Angela Curtia and Dara Teng; and a host of other loved ones and special friends.
Williams was preceded in death by her parents and two daughters, Garnette Denise and Michelle Doreen Wimbish.
Services will be held January 24, at New Hope Baptist Church, 704 Lexington Ave. The viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The service will start at 11.
Mikals Funeral Parlor handled the arrangements.