Rosamond Sylvester Lindsey, known to many as Syl, was an educator and principal in the Philadelphia School District. He was also a charter member of Omega Psi Phi, Beta Gamma-Cheyney. He died Sept. 4. He was 86.
Lindsey was born July 16, 1925, to Rosamond Burnell Lindsey and Christina Brown Lindsey in Philadelphia. His family relocated to Schwenkville, Pa., where he began his elementary education. He spent two years in Schwenkville. The next two years of schooling were spent in Kulpsville, Pa. The family’s next real move was to Pennlyn, Pa., where he completed five years of his schooling. He graduated from Abington High School in Abington, Pa.
The United States Army drafted Lindsey in October 1944. He served in the European Theater. After completing his military service, he returned to the States to continue his education at Cheyney State University. He received his bachelor of science degree in elementary education. While at Cheyney, he was initiated as a charter member of Beta Gamma Chapter, Omega Psi Phi. He was a financial member of Mu Omega Chapter and was recently recognized as a 60 plus member of omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
He furthered his education at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his Master of Science Degree in Elementary Education. He became a teacher at the G.W. Childs School and later rose to the ranks of Principal. He retired from the School District of Philadelphia in July of 1991.
He received Jesus Christ at an early age at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Pennlyn. He joined Union Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Laurance George Henry. He left Union Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Laurance George Henry to become a founding member of Christ Community Baptist Church.
As a member, he was in the trustee ministry where he served as ministry leader and treasurer. He was a financial member of the men’s ministry and supported Christ Community Baptist Church in all of its endeavors.
Among his other endeavors were Roundtable, Sunday Supper Club, Viri Viginit and Ye Olde Philadelphia Club. He was counted among the Lords for Top ladies of distinction.
He married Christine Henry on August 25, 1956 by Rev. Joseph Kirkland. From this union, they had three children.
Lindsey leaves to mourn: wife, Christine; three children, Rosamond Sylvester Lindsey Jr., Christine Nanette Lindsey Steptoe and Laurie Elizabeth Lindsey; daughter-in-law, Shahnaz Lindsey Muhammad; son-in-law, Nicholas Steptoe; seven grandchildren, Lauren, Laurance, Darius, Aiysha, Khalid, Nicholas Jr., and Jeremy; brother, Theodore Lawrence Lindsey; brothers-in-law, John Henry and Russell Gardner; sisters-in-law, Verna Gardner, Doris Johnson and Gloria Carlisle and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Services will be held Sept. 12 at Christ Community Baptist Church, 1224-30 North 41st St. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 11. Waller-Robinson Gray Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Derrick Albert Bell Jr. was a law professor, legal scholar and racial justice advocate. He was a man of many accomplishments and was best known for his work in the field of critical race theory, a term he coined that embodies scholarship on race, racism and power, and examines how racism is embedded in all laws and legal institutions. He died October 5 from carcinoid cancer at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. He was 80.
Bell’s work in promoting the study of critical race theory has inspired similar disciplines such as Latino Critical Race Studies and Asian American Critical Race Studies. He was described as being both an iconoclast and a community leader.
He was born on Nov. 6, 1930, in Pittsburgh to Derrick Albert and Ada Elizabeth Childress. After graduating from Schenley High School near Pittsburgh’s Hill District, he became the first member of his family to go to college, attending Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1952.
A member of the R.O.T.C. at Duquesne, he was later an Air Force officer for two years, one of them in Korea. Afterward he attended the University of Pittsburgh Law School, where he was the only Black student, earning his degree in 1957.
After his stint at the Justice Department, he headed the Pittsburgh office of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, leading efforts to integrate a public swimming pool and a skating rink. Later, assigned to Mississippi, he supervised more than 300 school desegregation cases.
In 1969, after teaching briefly at the University of Southern California, he was recruited and hired by Harvard Law School, where students were pressuring the administration to appoint a Black professor. Bell conceded that he did not have the usual qualifications for a Harvard professorship, like a federal court clerkship or a degree from a top law school.
Although he worked tirelessly to expose racism, Bell was not an eternal optimist. His idea of “the interest convergence dilemma” said that whites would not join efforts to improve the position of Blacks unless they found it in their interest.
In addition to his scholarly contributions, Bell believed that his personal decisions made as much of a statement about his beliefs as did the content of any of his professional work, a sentiment he expressed in his 2002 memoir “Ethical Ambition.”
“Your faith in what you believe must be a living, working faith that draws you away from comfort and security, and toward risk through confrontation,” he wrote.
Bell lived this maxim throughout his life, seemingly undeterred by the lure of prestige or power, and many of his most storied accomplishments were accompanied by resignations and protest.
In 1971, Bell became the first tenured Black professor at Harvard Law School, but he resigned from the prestigious post when he felt he had been discriminated against after a white university vice president tried to purchase a house that Bell had been previously offered through university.
While working at the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Bell resigned from his job after his bosses advised him to give up his NAACP membership because they felt it was a conflict of interest.
In 1980, Bell became the first Black dean of a non-HBCU law school when he accepted the position at the University of Oregon School of Law. Bell’s tenure as dean was short lived, however. He resigned in 1985 when an Asian woman was denied tenure at the school.
Bell’s final act of professional protest occurred when he was invited back to Harvard to teach. He vowed to take an unpaid leave of absence until the school agreed to add a Black woman on its tenured faculty for the first time. Bell eventually left Harvard behind the incident and began teaching at New York University School of Law, where he worked until his death.
Bell is survived by: wife, Janet Dewart Bell; children, Derrick A. Bell III, Douglas Dubois Bell and Carter Robeson Bell; two sisters, Janet Bell and Constance Bell; and a brother, Charles Bell.
—BET News and The New York Times contributed to this report.
Junious Alexander Rhone Jr., known to all who knew him as “Jay,” formed his own computer business, “WARP10 Solutions.”
In April 2010, after many years of working on, building and fixing problem computers for friends, family and clients, he became certified as an IT technician.
In 2011, he received his Microsoft certification as a systems administrator. He also maintained and designed the Mount Carmel Baptist Church website.
Rhone died on Feb. 7 after a short illness. He was 51.
Rhone was born in 1961 in Philadelphia on New Year’s Day. He was the only child of Junious A. Rhone Sr. and Shirley Redcross Rhone.
He attended Waldron Academy and graduated from Friends Central High School. Following his graduation from Friends, he attended Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. and Hampton University in Hampton, Va., where he majored in business administration.
He was baptized at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in his early years, and later, as an adult, served on the usher board. He moved on to join the trustee board of the Church and to serve as chair of the Computerization Committee.
He first married April Alexander with whom he has a son, Junious A. Rhone III, who is better known as “Alex.” On September 24, 1993, he later married Robin Dickerson.
His work career includes several years as a Pay-Per-View Manager and Supervisor at the former Wade Cablevision. Later, he was employed by Comcast Cable as a National Marketing Coordinator, a Customer Service Supervisor and as a National Service and Installation Project Coordinator.
His family said he excelled at training others. He worked for both the Metropolitan Career Center and at Solutions for Progress in the capacity of trainer. He moved on to work for Action AIDS in Philadelphia, as an IS Technical Support Specialist.
At the time of his death, he was employed once again at the Comcast organization, this time as a business service technician in the company’s Horsham office.
In this capacity, he assisted business subscribers with their cable, television, telephone and internet problems and concerns. At the same time, he was also enrolled at the New Horizons Computer Learning Center in pursuit of a MCTIP certification in Windows 7.
Following his diagnosis of multiple myeloma more than a decade ago, he became an ardent advocate for the Cancer Support Community (formerly the Wellness Community of Philadelphia), participating in their many programs and being a part of a support group.
Rhone’s family said he loved all things Star Trek, DC comics books, especially Superman, working on computers, going fly fishing, listening to the music of the Beatles, Prince, Yolanda Adams and Elton John, cheering and praying for the Philadelphia Eagles, cultivating his vegetable garden and building remote control model airplanes.
He was remembered as cherishing his family with a passion. He was devoted to his church. He endeavored to be loyal to his many friends. He was a people person, possessed an inquiring mind and quick wit, loved his cat Coco and especially, his bichon frise, Callie, whom some of his family members referred to as his “daughter.”
Rhone is survived by: parents, Junious Sr. and Shirley; wife, Robin; his son, Junious III; daughter-in-law, Ronnecia; uncle, Mercer A. Redcross Sr.; great-aunt, Zetherine Rhone; and a host of cousins and friends.
Services will be held Feb. 17 at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 5732 Race St. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 11 a.m. Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
John Carlton Patillo was a respected photographer in the city. He served as the primary photographer for the local Journal Register Company community newspapers including The Leader, Mount Airy Times-Express and The Germantown Courier.
As a freelance photographer he also took photographs for local elected officials including Mayor Michael Nutter, District Attorney Seth Williams, Ninth District Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco, state Reps. Dwight Evans and Cherelle Parker, and many others. He also photographed the Rev. Jesse Jackson, concert pianist Andre Watts, comedian Bill Cosby, singer Patti LaBelle, Congressman Chaka Fattah, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, poet Sonia Sanchez, best selling author Karen Quinones Miller, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Bishop T. D. Jakes and many others.
Patillo died on February 6 of lung cancer. He was 48.
Patillo was born on November 27, 1963, in Philadelphia to John Patillo Jr. and Carla Mae Patillo. He grew up in Philadelphia and was a member of the West Oak Lane Church of God. He was a graduate of Parkway High School where he majored in photography, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, also as a photography major. He later attended the Philadelphia Area Accelerated Manufacturing Education or PhAME program with a major in machine operation.
As an adolescent, he met the former Gladys Smith who became his high school sweetheart. The couple married on August 1, 1987. They had one daughter, Tiana. John joined the military and the family was stationed in Aberdeen, Maryland, and later in Louisiana, before they relocated back to Philadelphia.
His wife remembers that from the very first time they met he took pictures of her. He then went on to pursue a career as a professional photographer.
Among the many pictures he was particularly proud of taking were those of President Barack Obama. His most recent photograph of the president was at a pre-Election Day rally in Germantown during October 2010. It appeared on the front cover of the October 20, 2010, edition of The Leader.
He also photographed then Sen. Obama on various campaign trails during 2008 at Abington High School, Vernon Park in Germantown and other locations. Additionally, he photographed members of Obama’s administration when they came to Philadelphia for the National Convention of the Association of Black Journalists last summer.
His family said that one of Patillo’s favorite hobbies was listening to WURD 900AM to keep abreast of the local African-American community.
Patillo was aware of the contributions African Americans had made to the country including securing the right to vote.
Consequently he was a champion of voter’s rights and would insist that those around him not only register to vote but make it to the polls on Election Day. He was also an avid supporter of President Barack Obama and despite not feeling well decided it was important to take photographs when Obama for America opened its Philadelphia Center City headquarters on October 13, 2011.
Patillo also had a strong spiritual side. When he took photographs at various houses of worship or for religious organizations one could often find him staying for the entire service or meeting. His family was aware of his keen insight and wisdom far beyond his years. Yet he still had a wonderful sense of humor that kept those in his presence in laughter. Even after being diagnosed with lung cancer, his natural wit, strong faith and far-sighted wisdom never faded.
In addition, Patillo was a lover of sports. One of his primary areas of focus was training his nephews. He also avidly photographed young athletes. He would attend little league sporting events where he would photograph every player and coach. He also followed Philadelphia teams.
Furthermore, he expressed a strong love and commitment to his family. One of the treasures of his life was his granddaughter, Kennedi.
Patillo leaves to mourn: wife, Gladys Patillo; daughter, Tiana Carlisa Patillo; granddaughter, Kennedi Victoria Patillo; mother, Carla Mae Patillo; three brothers, Gregory “Yogi,” Terry “J.D.” and Gary; two sisters, Belinda and LaTonyia; aunts, Loretta, Diane, Cindy, Janet, Lois, Ruby and Marie; uncles, James, Danny and Jasper; and many other relatives, friends, colleagues and associates.
His father John Patillo Jr. and grandparents John and Frances Patillo as well as Carlton and Eddie Mae Staggers all preceded him in death.
Services will be held Feb. 14 at the West Oak Lane Church of God, Washington Lane and Limekiln Pike. The viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The service will start at 10 a.m.
J.E. Williams Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Flora Dorsey Young, Ph.D., a retired Rowan University sociology professor and longtime resident of Lawnside, N.J., died of cancer on Feb. 9. She was 83.
Young was born on July 3, 1928, and grew up to be a prominent member of the Black middle class in Lawnside, the first independent self-governing African-American community north of the Mason-Dixon line. Her late husband, Dr. William P. Young Sr., was a well-known family physician in the borough.
She was an advocate for social justice and worked tirelessly to advance civil rights. She mentored countless students in the close-knit Lawnside borough of nearly 3,000 residents and sought to instill cultural pride and heritage in the youth.
Young was among the first Black faculty members hired in 1968 at then- Glassboro State College. She helped establish the Sociology Department and during her career spanning 27 years she influenced and taught more than 4,500 students. She retired in 1996.
She received numerous awards and secured funding for research grants to aid in getting projects completed and her works published.
She pushed to increase the number of Black undergraduates pursuing doctorates and successfully lobbied for “Hollybush,” a unique program at Rowan that prepared students for the rigorous coursework required to seek advanced degrees.
“She was a trailblazer,” said Julie Mallory Church, assistant director for Counseling and Psychological Services at Rowan in a recent tribute. “Her light shone very brightly, touching generations of students.”
A champion for education at every level, Young challenged her students with her no-nonsense “no excuse will do, tough love” teaching approach. Former students who became lawyers, social workers, teachers and other professionals credit her for setting the stage for their success.
Only days before her death, she assisted her young grandson, William III, with a school project on the Freedom Riders of the 1960s.
“She was an educator to the end,” said her daughter Dr. Marie Young-Robinson, an anesthesiologist in Philadelphia. “She was a strong family woman and an asset to all who knew her.”
Born in Philadelphia, Young was educated in the public school district and graduated from The Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1946. She inherited her spirited nature and quest for learning from her parents, the late Mary Gaskins Dorsey and Dr. Charles W. Dorsey, a well-known dentist, charter member of the National Dental Association and president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAACP.
She often quoted the words of her father, which inspired her to excel: “Do the best you can, always — no one can do more, but never stop trying. There is no sin so great as despair, and perhaps no virtue so vital as courage.”
While earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at Howard University in Washington, D.C., she met her future husband, a young student at Howard Medical School. The couple married in 1950 and settled in Lawnside a few years later.
Young later obtained a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Howard and a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania.
She studied with and under some of the most significant scholars in Black academia including E. Franklin Frazier, considered one of the most prominent African-American sociologists of the 20th century.
Young and her husband brought the renowned historian, the late John Hope Franklin, who chronicled the struggles of Black Americans and others to Lawnside to speak to a youth group that the couple formed to expose children in the community to their culture and heritage.
In a 2006 interview with the Lawnside Historical Society, Young noted: “We felt that our young people did not have a clue as to how proud they could be of the various ones that had gone before them. Of course, I still feel that way. I am quite annoyed with the lack of our young people really getting excited about knowing about their forefathers.”
Young and her husband were instrumental in encouraging and assisting youngsters to attend college, particularly historically Black colleges and universities. The couple tutored students, financed transportation and in some cases paid their tuition.
Young was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links Inc., the Auxiliary to the South Jersey Medical Society and the National Congress of Black Faculty. She attended the Chapel of the Annunciation in Lawnside.
Young is survived by: daughter, Dr. Marie Young-Robinson; son, Dr. William P. Young Jr.; grandchildren, William III and Marc Robinson; daughter-in-law, Kim Young and son-in-law, Martin Robinson.
A memorial service and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Omega Omega service were held on February 15 at Rowan University in the Student Center Owl’s Nest. Carl Miller Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Donations in her name may be sent to: Howard University College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Alumni Relations, 2225 Georgia Ave., NW, Room 901, Washington, D.C. 20059. Attention: N. Bernard.
Catherine Clark was a faithful member of New Bethlehem Baptist Church. She was involved in various ministries such as the Deaconess Ministry, Bereavement Committee, the Feeding Program, Missionary Society, the Scotts Inspirational Chorus, Sunday school and the Revival Choir.
Clark was dedicated to her church family and enjoyed ministering to the sick and shut-in. Her family said she lived according to the Biblical scripture of Paul, in 2 Timothy. Clark died on February 10. She was 79.
Clark was born on October 7, 1932, to Lucius and Anna Smith in Homerville, Georgia. She was the third of eight children.
At an early age, Catherine’s family moved to Danville, Virginia. She accepted Christ at the Loyal Baptist Church when she was 13 years old. She received her education in the public school district and graduated from Langston Mercer High School. While in high school, she met the love of her life, Percy E. Clark.
In 1952, her family moved to Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, Percy followed her to Philadelphia. After a short courtship they were married in 1953. They had three daughters, Marilyn, Carol and Pamela.
She joined New Bethlehem Baptist Church in 1958 under the pastorate of the late Rev. James F. Scott.
Clark worked as a cashier until retirement. She had a long healthy life until she became ill in 2009. During her illness her faith in Jesus Christ became even stronger. Daughters Carol Briggs and Pamela Johnson, and son-in-law William took very good care of her.
Clark leaves to mourn: daughters, Carol Briggs (William) and Pamela Johnson (Jesse); grandchildren, Phillip Wilson (Joenetta), Kimberly Wilson, Tara Johnson, Tahir Briggs, Tarik Briggs and Catherine Johnson; great-grandchildren, Khalen and Khristian; godchild, Angelina Hopkins; siblings, Pauline Inge, Lillie Terry, Herbert Smith, Lurene Lenear (Robert), Annie Mackey, (John Sr.) and Clarence Smith; brother-in-law, Floyd Clark; three sisters-in law, Betty Clark, Meta Clark and Kitty Clark; two lifelong friends, Lois Petty and Cora Cooke; and a host of nieces, nephews, other family and friends.
Clark was preceded in death by her husband Percy Clark, her daughter Marilyn Wilson and her brother Lucius Smith.
Services will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at New Bethlehem Baptist Church, Preston and Aspen. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will be at 10 a.m. James L. Morse Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Josephine Scott, affectionately known to loved ones as Joe, was a mother, sister, friend and confidante. She held various occupational positions. However, her greatest career was as a home worker. She married George Scott Sr. and raised four daughters and two sons. She died November 16 of a brain aneurysm. She was 72.
Scott had suffered from a brain tumor. The doctors told her that she would only live for a month. She lived six more years.
“Her house was always open to everybody,” said daughter Josephine Washington. “If she had $20 and you needed it, she would give you everything. She would give you the clothes off her back.”
Washington said her mother’s illness did not deter her from helping others.
“She just had a heart to give and to do and that’s what she passed onto our children, that we’re just here to do the will of God,” she said.
“In that six years, even though all the time I knew she didn’t feel good and had to go to doctors’ appointments and tests and everything, she just kept moving and it was always about someone else,” Washington added. “She just kept smiling. She had such a strength, and she passed that strength on to so many others.”
Scott was born to Theodore and Carrie McNeil on January 24, 1939, in Bennettsville, S.C. Having lost her mother at a very young age, Scott moved from the south to Pennsylvania, where she attended Philadelphia public schools.
Scott was described as many things to all of those who knew her: to her only biological sibling, she was a second mother; to others she was a loving mother, sister, confidante and friend. Her heart, as well as her home, was a refuge and a haven to those in need of a listening ear, a place to sleep or her delicious fried chicken. She would literally give her last as no sacrifice was too hard.
Scott’s life exemplified her faith. She had an unwavering belief that all things worked together for good to those who loved God. Even through an unfavorable medical diagnosis, her faith in God delivered her. Her faith extended beyond the doors of the church. She ministered to all in need, in her community, in nursing homes, hospitals and prisons.
Scott leaves to mourn: six children, Rosemaria (Arthur), Josephine (Michael), Jennifer, George Jr., Tyrone and Tosha; sister, Francis Nowell (Irving); godchild, Robert Jr.; grandchildren, Shawn (Della), Imani, Terri, Tyhir and Samiah; two great-grandchildren, Taliyah and Makayla; niece, Angela; and nephews, Marvin (Yolanda) and Arthur III; “honorary” children, Nathaniel, Earl, Deidre, Evie, Lisa and Kema; special friend, Ms. Odessa, who represents her many other friends; Uncle Henry Williams and our extended Williams Family; cousin, Emma Branch; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, special relatives and friends.
Scott’s affinity for “adopting” others also gave her an extended family that included the Williams Family, the Washington Family, the Hickman Family, the Walker Family and the Greater Faith Baptist Church Family.
Services were held Nov. 26 at Greater Faith Baptist Church, 4037 Baring St. Julian V. Hawkins Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Viola Malcolm was an evangelist. Her family said she was a strong, virtuous woman. She was stern but compassionate. Her family said she was always caring towards others, and sharing.
After a major car accident in September of 1982 in Fayetteville, N.C., she became paralyzed from the fourth vertebrate. Malcolm lost movement from mid torso on down. However, this did not stop her from praying, prophesying and ministering to people wherever she went.
Malcolm died on Jan. 31. She was 83.
Malcolm was the daughter of Frank Bradley and Ada Slappy in Coatesville. She was one of eight children. Much like her mother, she loved to sew and dress fashionably. Her father passed on to her the talents of art, music and preaching the Gospel.
She received her full education in the Coatesville School District until she graduated. She soon met and married Bobbie Lester Malcolm, a Mason who served in the Korean War and who was a member of the NAACP.
She relocated to Bridgeton, N.J. and raised a family. She had 14 children though some of them were complicated births.
Malcolm began working in the Bridgeton Hospital and preaching at local churches which introduced her call to God. After this, her husband became ill with cancer. She took care of him until he died.
In the late 1960s, Malcolm relocated to Philadelphia. She united with Deliverance Evangelistic Church who took the family in and gave them a new start.
She then sought out avenues to fulfill her career in theology. She received her degree in evangelism from the Dr. Howard Jameson Bible Institute. It was through her father’s preaching, playing the piano and organ, and making crosses that he donated to churches that she formed her style in God. Her father invited her to preach at the churches in Hayti located outside of Coatesville. She also preached in many churches throughout Philadelphia.
Malcolm was a member of Apostle Prophet Joel Charleston’s church and served on the Mother’s Board under pastor Selma Allison of the Holy Ground Church in South Philadelphia. Her family said she spoke in tongue and prophesy and that she performed many miracles including praying for a blind girl who later received her sight.
Her family said she also loved knitting and crocheting. She enjoyed making her own dolls, clothing, hats, pocket books, shawls, scarves, gloves and boots. She had a heart for missionary work and collaborated with televangelist Peter Popoff and the Benny Hinn Ministries. Before she took ill, she had plans to donate her own personal, hand-crafted dolls to Rod Parsley Ministries to be transported to underprivileged children in Africa.
Malcolm leaves to mourn: children, Marcus L. Malcolm (Christina), Leonard Malcolm (Florence), Shirley Langron (Mikel), Roland Malcolm, Kosmoe Malcolm (Sharon), Vincent Malcolm (Ernestine) and Howard Malcolm; three siblings, James “Buster” Bradley, Frances Craven and Sheron Bradley; 23 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Malcolm was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bobbie Malcolm; and three siblings, Louis Bradley Jones, Joyce Hines and Dorothy Bradley.
Services will be held Feb. 11 at the First Baptist Church of Passtown, 117 Barber Ave, Coatesville. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 10.
Wright Funeral & Cremation Services handled the arrangements.
William Leonard Watkins Jr., affectionately known as Billy, was a jovial person who had a great sense of humor and loved to joke and laugh with his friends and family. He also enjoyed sports, fishing, hunting and spending quality time with his children whom he proudly raised, and later spending time with his grandchildren. The former police officer and proud veteran died Sept. 13. He was 63.
Watkins was born to the late Annie T. W. and William Leonard Watkins Sr. on Oct. 24, 1947 in Philadelphia.
As a young child, Watkins was baptized and accepted Christ as his personal lord and savior. He was raised in the Tioga Section of the city where he was educated in the Philadelphia School District and also attended Community College. He later joined the United States Army with an Honorable Discharge, and thereafter worked for 20 years for the City of Philadelphia as a police officer in the 35th and 14th Districts. He received many great awards for achievements such as Officer of the Year and was recognized for many other great accomplishments. He retired from the police force in 1992 and later became employed with TSA of the Homeland Security Dept. Watkins was proud to be a veteran who served his country and a proud member of the Charles Young American Legion Post No. 682.
William married Mildred Watkins on April 14, 1990.
Watkins leaves to mourn: two children, H. Leora Washington and William Leonard Cyrus; son-in-law, Phillip Washington; three grandchildren, Felicia Washington, Phil Cole Washington, Justin Cyrus; two siblings, Beatrice Spence and Lucetta Watkins and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife.
Services will be held Sept. 21 at Christlike Pleasant Green Faith Baptist Church, 25th & Cambria. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. The service will start at 10 a.m. Powell Mortuary Service handled the arrangements.
Isabel Ruth Willis Fambrough had the mind of a scholar, the soul of a diplomat and the spirit of a humanitarian. As a global citizen of the world, she earned the respect of international leaders, and received numerous awards and recognition for a lifetime of achievement in both her personal and professional life. Isabel was a folk artisan: chair caning, ceramicist, weaver, quilter; an avid tennis player; bibliophile; family historian; and supporter of the arts and Black culture. She died October 18. She was 87.
Fambrough was born in Philadelphia on January 5, 1924. She was the fourth child of 10 children born to the late Effie Morgan White Willis and Richard Byrd Willis of Orange County, Va. Educated in the School District of Philadelphia, she graduated from the Thomas Fitzsimons Junior High School on January 30, 1939 and Simon Gratz High School on January 29, 1942. From 1950 to 1951, she was a member of the Spanish Club at the University of Pennsylvania.
As one of the first African Americans to integrate the Department of Navy Aviation Supply, Fambrough spent 34 years as a public servant with the Federal Government and member of the Naval Supply Depot Employee Association.
Her diligent service earned her many commendations and awards that included her work in 1971 as Chairperson of the Supply Chain Management/United Way Fund Raising Drive. After retiring in 1972, she moved to her homestead in Louisa, Va. to care for her aging aunt Cora Willis Glover.
Her Christian experience began at Second Antioch Baptist Church, where she was baptized at a young age under the pastorate of Rev. Davis DeBrady.
She spent time at the North Penn Baptist Church with her brother, Thomas Willis, and along with her friends, Claudia Young Rhea and Pauline Crumbley Brown, attended Sunday school and BYPU. In Virginia, she attended the Shady Grove Baptist Church in Orange, Virginia where the Willis-White-Richardson clan has worshipped since the church was established in 1871.
Among her outstanding civic and professional achievements, Isabel was often called a cultural ambassador to Liberia, sending food, clothing and other supplies. Because of her efforts, she became close friends with Liberia’s President William V.S. Tubman, and in 1965 she was part of a U.N. delegation to Africa to support national unification in Liberia and other parts of West Africa. In 1966, Isabel was crowned “Miss World Fellowship” at the Southwest Belmont Y.W.C.A. in Philadelphia.
Fambrough, along with her late husband, Eugene A. Raymond, an artist who won recognition for his many portraits and murals, was also friends with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
On July 26, 1958, they attended a reception given by the City of Philadelphia at the National Philatelic Museum, where Nkrumah opened an exhibit on Ghana; and in 1959, Eugene founded the United Friends of Africa, a nonprofit cultural, development and educational organization.
Isabel also became friends with numerous people from various parts of the world. Some of her notable letters and postcards include correspondence from President Tubman and First Lady of Liberia; Kofi Baako, Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Accra, Ghana; and Hong Kong. In 1970, Isabel traveled to Asia developing friendships in Taipei, Hong Kong and Osaka, Japan. She also worked as a travel consultant at E-Jay Travel in her late brother, Adolph “Jack” Willis’, travel agency.
Fambrough was married to Eugene A. Raymond, and then Thomas Fambrough, both of whom preceded her in death.
Her other achievements and memberships include: Eastern Regional Director of the Professional and Business Women’s Sorority, Gamma Phi Delta, Inc., Mu Omicron Chapter, where she was Soror of the Year in 1972 and was honored by Business Women of the Greater Delaware Valley in The Bulletin newspaper on Sunday, January 28, 1979; she was also a member of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, Germantown Household of Ruth, No. 403 of Philadelphia; and was council president of POWERtalk International (formally International Training in Communication & International Toastmistress Clubs).
In Virginia, Fambrough was a founding member of the National Association of Active & Retired Federal Employees of Louisa, Virginia Chapter 2065, where she held several offices in that chapter including the presidency. With AARP, she served as secretary of the state association for many years, and in several officer roles in the local chapter. She was an award-winning 4-H member in Louisa, Va. as well as a 4-H camp volunteer. In the Louisa County Commission on Aging, she represented the Louisa District, and is remembered as a hard worker who kept things together.
She also made the punch for the annual Christmas Dinner which served well over a hundred people. In addition, Isabel was president of the Louisa County Agricultural Fair; president of the Louisa County Extension Homemakers; and member of the Louisa County Federated Women’s Club.
Fambrough leaves to mourn: niece, Yvonne Willis Brooks; siblings, Cecil O. Willis and Irma Willis Clark; sisters-in-law, Lithan Willis and Ruth Willis; dozens of nieces and nephews, a multitude of cousins and a host of friends and admirers.
Isabel was preceded in death by her siblings, Richard, Mabel, Thomas, Wilbur, Lillian, Elmer and Adolph.
Services will be held October 26 at Powell Mortuary Services, 2432 North 27th St. The viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The service will start at 11.