Charles P. Hammock was a former Pennsylvania state representative who had a passion for justice.
Hammock died on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. He was 72.
He was born on Aug. 24, 1941, to Charles Hammock and Mary Jenkins Hammock. He attended Roman Catholic High School, where he was the 1959 Catholic League champion of the 120-meter high hurdles and was later inducted into the Roman Catholic High School Alumni Association Sports Hall of Fame. After graduating from Roman Catholic, Hammock attended Villanova University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.
While matriculating at Villanova he continued to achieve many academic and athletic accolades which included running track and winning the Shuttle Hurdle Relay Team Championship in 1961.
It was during his time at Villanova that Hammock learned first-hand about the devastating impact of racial inequality, and the importance of being pro-active to combat injustice. His intellectual prowess and determination to be an advocate for social change led him to earn a law degree from Howard University School of Law.
“Charles’ passion for justice was a hallmark that distinguished him as a dynamic, civic minded leader,” his family said.
Hammock was a state representative for the 196th district from January 1973 to November 1976. He was a founding member of the Black Political Forum.
During the 1970s, he served as board chair of the National Office for Black Catholics. In 1971, he led a delegation to Rome to meet with Pope Paul at the Vatican to encourage the appointment of a Black Bishop.
His family said throughout the years, Hammock’s zeal for the social, political, and economic transformation of African-Americans inspired him to continually give to others. He mentored many high school students and served as a judge in the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition held annually at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
Hammock used his position of influence to promote a message of equality as a contributing writer and columnist for the Philadelphia Public Record newspaper and other major news publications.
His last work as historian, creative consultant and lead actor was his portrayal of Frederick Douglass for Philly Cam’s TV program “Conversations Across Time.”
“His gifts of charisma and eloquence, coupled with a powerful presence touched all those who were fortunate to call him co-laborer, brother and friend,” his family said.
He was preceded in death by his brother Roger V. Hammock.
He is survived by his sister Debra Hammock-Nocho (Charles); sister-in-law, Patricia Hammock; nieces Treshia Hammock-Wilson (Clifford), Romonua Hammock, Tymalene Hammock and Kirstyn Nocho; nephew Kyle Nocho and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. at Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, 20th and Christian streets.
Walter J. Jackson formerly operated a family-owned radio and television repair business.
He died on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. He was 78.
He was born on Nov. 5, 1935 to the late Alfred Jackson and Anna Mae Jackson.
He was known as “Chuck” by family and friends. Jackson received his formal education in the School District of Philadelphia and was a graduate of Overbrook High School. In 1958, he was drafted into the United States Army where he served in the color guard as a flag bearer.
He married Darlene Marriott in 1960 and two children were born to their union. Their union was subsequently dissolved.
In addition to co-parenting, Jackson worked with his father at the family’s radio and television repair shop. After his father’s death, Jackson continued to run the shop until he retired.
His family said he was a dedicated worker and financially savvy, even in his youth. As a teen, he had a successful paper route. Jackson earned enough money to employ others, take his workers on trips to the shore, and to eventually buy a car. He loved cars and dancing. Jackson was a man of many words, a good storyteller, and an excellent record keeper. If you needed a receipt or a manual from 20 years ago, he had it. He was a very private person and remained so until his death.
Jackson’s family said he was blessed with a long, healthy life. He continued to drive and live independently until his passing.
He was preceded in death by his brother Marvin R. Jackson.
He is survived by his sons Mark A. Jackson and Stephen C. Jackson; grandson Marcus Jackson and siblings Russell A. Jackson, Jr., Larry Jackson, Barbara A. Jackson, Yvonne Jackson and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on Feb. 24 at Second Baptist Church of Germantown, 6459 Germantown Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is private.
Bruce R. Hawkins Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22, for Norville L. Smith, a long-time member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church and former dean of students at Cheyney University, who died June 3, 2013. He was 96.
Smith was born Feb. 2, 1916, to the late James and Clara Smith in Mullica Hill, N.J.
He graduated from Swedesboro High School where he ranked number two in a class of 100. He obtained his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Virginia Union University and a master’s degree from The University of Pennsylvania.
Smith completed course work for his doctorate at the University of Southern California and did further graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Pennsylvania State University and Case Western Reserve University. He held teaching certificates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina and California.
Smith was an educator for more than 40 years. He held various positions at Cheyney including dean of students, director of arts and sciences and associate professor of political science,
He was also a high school teacher who taught Latin, English and social studies and served as a varsity basketball coach.
He was married to the former Marquerite Mazique of Natches, Miss.
Smith was a member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church for 35 years where he served as a trustee and chairman of the College Assistance Committee.
Smith was affiliated with the Humanities Council-State 12 WHYY, Chester County Hospital, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Ecological Committee of the Thornburg Township, Delaware County and the Kiwanis Club in West Chester.
A memorial service will be held on Feb. 22, at 11 a.m. at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 5723 Race St.
Albert M. Dorsey, an entrepreneur and engineer who held several positions with the School District of Philadelphia, died on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. He was 78.
Dorsey was born Nov. 26, 1935, in Philadelphia. He was educated in the School District of Philadelphia and graduated from John Bartram High School.
He obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Drexel Institute of Technology. While attending Drexel, he served as the Yearbook editor, was elected to “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities” and served in the class congress.
Dorsey received his professional engineer certification from Drexel in 1974. He obtained his master’s degree in finance from St. Joseph’s University.
Dorsey held management positions with General Electric Co., Conrail and Metro North Commuter Railroad.
He was employed by the School District of Philadelphia where he was responsible for building support services, which included real estate, environmental services, energy and facility liability issues. He has held various positions within the district such as manager of engineering, facilities services department; project coordinator for construction of the new Edison High School; director and associate superintendent, facilities services department.
Dorsey was a former instructor at the school district’s adult evening classes at J.F.K. Center in Finance and Mathematics. He also operated a financial services business.
He was a professional boxing judge with the World Boxing Union, North American Boxing Federation, Pennsylvania and New Jersey State Athletic Commission.
He is survived by his son Jerome Dorsey; sister Gloria Lindsay; devoted friend Florence Campbell and other relatives and friends.
Burial is private.
The largest African American-owned real estate development company in the country is slated to develop a hotel in Philadelphia.
The Peebles Corporation and P&A Associates have been selected as the developers of a new $90 million Kimpton Hotel to be located at 1801 Vine St. The project will transform the home of the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas into a tourist and visitor destination.
The new hotel will feature 199 guest rooms, 16,000 square feet of spa and fitness space, 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space and 5,800 square feet for a restaurant and bar. The hotel is projected to open in 2016.
The new development was announced during a press conference led held Tuesday at City Hall.
“We are delighted to announce this major economic development project that will create more than 600 construction and permanent jobs in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “The addition of a new Kimpton Hotel along the Ben Franklin Parkway will be a great addition to that historic boulevard. This investment demonstrates the continued momentum of our city’s hospitality and tourism industry.”
R. Donahue Peebles, chairman and CEO of Peebles Corporation said they are committed to ensuring the development sets a new standard for the inclusion of minority business opportunities in Philadelphia. McKissack and McKissack, the nation’s largest minority-owned construction company has been selected to lead that effort.
“The foundation of our company has been premised on equal economic opportunity,” Peebles said. “I’m a big believer that if we are going to have change that we need to do it through economic empowerment. We picked McKissack and McKissack because I know I can count on that company to make sure that the extra effort is done to involve small minority contractors and also minority workers on the job. We’re going to make sure that this is a transformational opportunity.”
The Peebles Corporation oversees a national real estate portfolio of luxury hotels, high rise residential and Class A commercial properties and developments in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Peebles is regarded as one of the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs. He sealed his first major real estate deal at the age of 26 and became a multimillionaire. In 1996, Peebles won the rights to develop the Royal Palm Hotel on South Beach, making it the first 100 percent African-American owned and developed luxury resort in the country.
The Peebles Corporation and P&A Associates were selected from three finalist proposals in a competitive selection process. Their proposal was based on a series of criteria that included from three finalist proposals in a public and competitive selection process. Their proposal was selected based on a series of criteria that included: a superior proposal from a highly experienced national and local development team; a best-in-class hotel operating partner; a sensitive approach to the historic preservation of this iconic building’s interiors and exterior façade; strong inclusion of minority participation in the ownership and development of the project; and the most feasible overall operating and financing plan.
P&A Associates is a full service real estate development company founded in 1984 by Alan E. Casnoff and Peter L. Shaw. The company has developed several historic rehabilitations.
The development team will acquire the building at 1801 Vine Street through the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development for $4.5 million.
“As a team, the Peebles Corporation and P&A Associates combine extensive national and local experience with historic renovations and major commercial developments,” said John Grady, president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. “Add to that a top-quality hotel operator like Kimpton, with a proven track record of success in Philadelphia and the result is an ideal partnership to develop a hotel destination that will represent a great new addition to Center City and the Parkway and provide for a terrific reuse of the historic Family Court property.”
Officials said the redevelopment of the Family Court Building will significantly enhance the Parkway Museums District, generate new tax revenues and continue to momentum of new commercial and institutional development activity along Vine Street. Later this year, the Family Court will relocate to a new facility currently under construction at 15th and Arch streets.
The development will mark the city’s third Kimpton Hotel. The other Philadelphia-based establishments include the Hotel Monaco located at the former Lafayette Building and the Hotel Palomar in the former Architects Building.
“We are excited to be teaming up with Peebles and P&A Associates on this exciting new project in Philadelphia,” said Nick Gregory of Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. “Our existing properties in the city have proven to be extremely successful and we look forward to this next opportunity to create a unique and dynamic experience for visitors to one of the world’s greatest cultural corridors.
Based in San Francisco, Kimpton currently operates 60 hotels and nearly 70 restaurants, bars and lounges in 26 cites.