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Sept. 9, 2010 (Published Sept. 16, 2010)

Obituary: Dylan Badeau, 24

Dylan Ryan Badeau, son of Hector P. and Susan Hoag Badeau of Mt. Airy, died peacefully at home on his 24th birthday, September 9, 2010.  After completing middle school at the John B. Kelly school, Dylan attended Roxborough High School where he graduated in 2007.

In spite of lifetime struggles with his multiple disabilities, Dylan was a strong young man with a big heart.  He loved music, with a wide range of taste ranging from the Smurfs to country, gospel to rap, oldies to classical and jazz.  Over the years he enjoyed multiple family camping trips, visiting the Rockies, Yellowstone Park, and the Pacific Ocean among other sites.  He was a member of Summit Presbyterian Church in Mt Airy where the bells choir and the music at Christmas and Easter were two of his favorite pleasures.  Visits with family, particularly the youngest children who climbed up on his bed or wheelchair to talk, sing, play or read to him brought him special delight. Dylan had a unique joie de vivre and quiet spirit that brought a smile to everyone who knew him.

He was predeceased by his brother Adam and is survived by his parents, Hector and Susan Badeau, eleven brothers, nine sisters, three brothers-in-law, a sister-in-law, and a large extended family.

A service in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday September 18, at 4 p.m. at his home, 30 Pelham Road. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Keystone Hospice  at KeystoneCare, Office of Development, 8765 Stenton Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA, 19038 or online at .

August 1, 2010 (Published August 5, 2010)

Obituary: Thelma Winn, 101

Thelma Thornton Wynn, an outstanding educator, distinguished speech teacher, performing arts enthusiast, devoted first lady, missionary and beloved servant of all mankind, passed on Sunday, August 1.

Mrs. Wynn was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 23, 1909 to Willis and Elizabeth Thornton.  As an exceptional student, she excelled at school, earning a Bachelor of Arts from Emerson College at age twenty.  Later, she held multiple teaching positions: teaching English, speech, and theater arts at schools in Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, and Liberia, West Africa. 

Mrs. Wynn served as the first lady of Pond Street Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island and Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Mrs. Wynn was an avid traveler, visiting over fifty-four countries in her lifetime.  As a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated for over eighty years, she is credited with starting its Calendar Girl Pageant, the prime fundraiser for the Omega Omega Chapter’s scholarship program.

Mrs. Wynn was preceded in death by her late husband, Reverend Walter C. Wynn, but is survived by her two daughters, Ingrid and Margarette; her grandchildren, Lisa, Andrea, Sannah, and Nia; and great grandchildren, Arial, Jaron, and Alicia.

The funeral service will be held on Friday, August 6, 11 a.m., with viewing from 9-10 a.m., at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street.

May 22, 2010 (Published June 3, 2010)

Rev. Dr. John Newpher, Former LTSP Head

The Rev. Dr. John D. Newpher, 90, pastor of five Pennsylvania congregations over a 40-year ministry career and one-time president of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), died Saturday morning, May 22, at Springhouse Estates in Lower Gwynedd, PA, after a brief illness. He was a resident of Ambler.

Newpher was LTSP president from 1971 to 1975, and “brought both scholarship and strong parish experience” to the task of being president, recalls the Rev. Dr. Robert J. Hughes, who was himself president at LTSP during the 1990s.

“Dr. Newpher was president of the seminary during a time of renewed commitment to the present campus location in Philadelphia’s East Mt. Airy section,” recalls Dr. Robert Blanck, who was vice chair of the LTSP Board of Trustees during Newpher’s tenure. “Before he became president, the seminary had contemplated establishing a campus in West Philadelphia with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and it had also later considered consolidating with Philadelphia Divinity School, a seminary of the Episcopal Church. After considerable discussions, neither step was taken,” Blanck recalls. “So the focus shifted to the 14-acre Mt. Airy campus. While he was president, the Hagan Administration Building was expanded, and improvements to faculty housing, which had been deferred, were made.”

In 1975 Newpher announced his desire to return to parish ministry, and subsequently became pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Slatington, PA, where he served 10 years, retiring in 1985.

John Newpher was born March 28, 1920, and was a native of Reading, PA. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College in 1942, a Bachelor of Divinity from LTSP in 1945, a Master of Sacred Theology from LTSP in 1946, and a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree in 1958 from Temple University.

Ordained in 1945 into the United Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor body to the current Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Newpher first served a two-point parish, Salem in Audenried and St. Paul in Beaver Meadows, both in Pennsylvania, from 1946 to 1948.

Other calls were to Christ Lutheran Church, Camden, NJ; Ascension Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, and Christ Lutheran Church, Oreland, PA, prior to becoming seminary president. While serving at Ascension Church, located on the seminary campus, “Dr. Newpher was the pastor to many of the faculty members who taught me at the seminary,” Hughes remembers. Hughes was a PhD student at Princeton Seminary during Newpher’s seminary presidency.  

Along with his widow, the former Suzanne Van Arsdale, Newpher was a member of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in Ambler. He had a strong interest in social ministry. For 10 years he served on two boards for Ken Crest, a Lutheran social ministry organization based in Plymouth Meeting, serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism. From 1992 to 1997 he served on the Board for Ken Crest Centers, and was treasurer for two years and president for one year during that time.  From 1997 to 2002, he served the Board of Ken Crest Services, and was treasurer for a time during that tenure.

Newpher is the author of What is the Gospel?  and On a Ship with Paul, a children’s teacher resources guide. 

Surviving are four children from a first marriage with former wife Gladys.

Funeral services were held Thursday, May 27 at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, Ambler. Memorial gifts may be made to Ken Crest, 502 West Germantown Pike, Suite 200, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462, or to the Social Ministry Committee of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church. No flowers please.

April 29, 2010 (Published May 20, 2010)

Obituary: Sherree Rose Pugh-Butler

Sherree Rose, born June 22, 1927 was called home on Thursday, April 29, 2010, to be with her Savior and ancestors.

Sherree was a science teacher for many years at Benjamin Franklin High School where she was loved by her students and colleagues. She was also a cherished leader within her community, serving as a crossing guard and political activist.

Sherree was a loving sister, mother, aunt, grandmother and great grandmother who will be greatly missed by her family, friends and special Atlantic City family.

She is survived by her sister, Toni Rose Kippen; son, Carlo Butler and wife Jacqui, son, Andre Francis Butler and wife Stephanie; grandchildren, Kristin, Virginia, Andre Jr. and wife Sherrice, Karla, Julian and Cassidy. She is also survived by her many nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. She will be missed by many other friends and family who have not been mentioned.

After organ donation and cremation, the immediate family escorted Sherree's ashes to the Atlantic Ocean where her remains were surrendered to the wind and rolling waves that she so loved.

A tribute to her life will be forthcoming.

May 5, 2010 (Published May 13, 2010)

Obituary: Loice E. Gouker

Loice E. Gouker, 93, Gettysburg, PA, formerly of Germantown, died Wednesday, May 5. She was born November 27, 1916 in Trenton, NJ, the daughter of the late Dr. Otto Carl Ferdinand and Ethel Bell Sellick Janke. Her husband, the Rev. John Wilbur Gouker died in 1995.

Mrs. Gouker was an active member of Christ Lutheran Church in Gettysburg. She was a graduate of Temple University where she received both her Bachelors of Arts and Masters degrees. For 16 years she was the Principal of the Lankenau School for Girls in Philadelphia and later for 12 years at the Philadelphia School System. She was the author of a number of books on Christian education.

In Philadelphia, Rev. and Mrs. Gouker lived in the home “Oaks Cloister,” designed by the architect Joseph Huston who designed the Pennsylvania State Capitol building. Following her retirement, Loice was active in volunteer work and was recognized by the National Park Service for her work in the Volunteers in the Park program and for her work at the Deshler-Morris House in Germantown, where she directed guided tours and wrote a monthly newsletter, “Martha’s Memos.”

After moving to Gettysburg, Loice was very active in her church and at the Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary where she also conducted tours. Music and travel were among Loice’s passions. She and her husband traveled the world, guiding tours and sharing their knowledge with others. Mrs. Gouker was also a pianist and organist who in her later years would sing for others at the Gettysburg Lutheran Home.

Mrs. Gouker is survived by two daughters, Annabelle Swisher and her husband Rev. Bill Swisher of Carroll Valley, PA and Eloise F. Smith of Carlisle, PA; four grandchildren, Dr. Loice Swisher and her husband Rev. William Middleton of Ambler, PA, William Swisher, III and his wife Laurie of Downingtown, PA, Steven Smith of Carlisle, PA, and Darin Smith and his wife Jen of Oakland, CA; four great grandchildren, Victoria Middleton, William Swisher, IV, Ida Swisher and Josephine Ott Smith. Loice was predeceased by a son, John Carlton Gouker.

A Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be held Saturday, May 15 at 11 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, Gettysburg. Memorials can be made to Christ Lutheran Church, 30 Chambersburg St., Gettysburg, PA 17325. Online obituary and condolences can be made at

March 24, 2010 (published April 8)

Obituary: Margaret Williams

Former Germantown resident Margaret E. Williams, 47, passed away March 24, 2010.

She attended Germantown High School and graduated from Roxborough High School in 1981.  She joined the Army in 1985 and attended basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. Upon completion of B.T., she completed the Communication Course at Fort Gordon, GA. There she received the Distinguished Graduated Award and after she was assigned to her first duty station at Fort Bragg, NC. She received her B.S. degree from St. Leo University. She retired from the Army in June 2007 and was employed at Patient First in Virginia Beach, VA.  She loved being an employee of Patient First.

She is survived by her parents, Elmer R. and Roslyn A. Williams (former owner of Mc Aliley Business Services); one daughter, Donielle Earline Estrada; sisters Eldora Lynn Snowden (Bruce), Yolanda K. Williams, Cynara R. Watson, Tierra T. Ryan, and Wanda S. Williams; a brother, Robert G. Williams; one niece Dayla M. Watson, and nephew Sean P. Williams. She is also survived by her godparents, Earline Sloan (formerly of Germantown) and Jean Doris. She was predeceased in death by two of her sisters, Melita S. and Dayla L. Williams.

A funeral service with full military honors was conducted at Bethany Baptist Church in Chesapeake, VA.

A donation to The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation maybe made in her honor at

March 20, 2010 (published April 1)

Obituary: Joy Allyn Lawrence

Look around the Delaware Valley and you’ll see evidence Joy Allyn Lawrence was here.  It’s in the hundreds of trees that now grow in Southeast Germantown’s Fernhill Park, in the patch of green space that is Pulaski Park, along the banks of rivers and streams across the region and seen in dozens of other Philadelphia parks and green spaces actively used by millions of people. Whether it was through her work with the Morris Arboretum, the Delaware River Keeper Network or the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Lawrence’s mission was the same —bringing people together to protect and revitalize the environment through community and personal commitment. Lawrence , a resident of Mt. Airy, died Saturday, March 20 of complications from ALS. She was 56.

“Joy had a gift to see the big picture,” said Joan Reilly, senior director, Philadelphia Green, PHS. “She understood the web of connections needed to make a city, a region —  a planet — whole and sustainable.” 

During her tenure as program manager for environmental initiatives at PHS, Ms. Lawrence was essential to transforming Liberty Lands Park in Northern Liberties, Cliveden Park in East Mt. Airy and Mill Creek Farm in West Philadelphia into ecologically-sound storm water management landscapes. 

Joy’s intellect and curiosity led her, from an early age, to study and enjoy many activities including art and architecture, fly fishing and dirt bike racing, literature and theater, politics and the law, travel, and the environment. She was a sports enthusiast but studied English and Theater at Marietta College and Cleveland State University. She received her masters in Shakespeare from Cal Arts in Valencia California. Ms. Lawrence directed fringe theater productions in Seattle and New York where she lived, then moved to the Poconos where, while pursuing an interest in organic gardening, she discovered a deep passion for environmental stewardship. After moving to Philadelphia, she studied conservation ecology and held positions with Delaware River Keepers and the Morris Arboretum before landing at PHS. It was here where her skill to listen to others and find value in what they have to offer gave her the ability to bring people together and reach consensus. It is also here in Philadelphia where she found her true home and met her life partner, Bettina Lesser.

A spiritual and fiercely loyal woman, Joy was loving and protective of her friends and family – including the four-legged members she cared for throughout her life. Joy is survived by her beloved wife and loving soul mate Bettina B. Lesser, adored 11-year old daughter Anya Jaye Simone Lawrence Lesser and canine friend Moe of Mt. Airy; parents James M. Lawrence of Cape Coral, FL and Josephine T. Davis of Olmsted Township, OH; siblings Lynn Hall of Ft. Wayne, IN and Kelly Lawrence of Seattle, WA and nephews and nieces. 

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

Donations in Joy’s memory may be made to help fund her daughter’s education to the Anya Lesser Education Fund #6209587740 held at Citizens Bank, 8615 Germantown Avenue, 19B, Philadelphia, PA 19118, or the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Foundations, 321 Norristown Rd., Suite 260 Ambler, PA 19002.

January 29, 2010 (Published Feb. 4, 2010)

Myrtle Young-Wilson, 82

Myrtle Young-Wilson, 82, saxophonist supreme, dear and loyal friend, and noble mother, departed this life January 29.

About five years ago she was twice pronounced dead and then brought back by miraculous medical intervention. Even so, her heart was reduced to 20 percent efficiency, even with a pacemaker and defibrillator.

Shortly  after the devices were implanted Bootsie Barnes and other jazz greats wanted Myrtle to join them at the Walt Whitman cultural building in Camden to be honored as masters of their art. Still weak, she declined. “I’ll lace a chair on stage with your horn beside you, you don’t have to play,” Bootsie told her. Myrt acquiesced.

On event night she sat for a while but the trooper in her was compelled to do what she did so well – blow her brains out on her sax. That is how she was – always giving her family, friends, and art her all.

More recently when cancer invaded her body, Myrt tried hard to hang in there.  “Toni,” she would say, “pull out your bling. Let’s go hear tony and the guys.” We made it to the LaRose club every Monday to soak in the great jazz. When my friend started to beg off, I knew she was in trouble.

On Monday, January 25, Tony, Don, Mike and Craig dedicated and played Myrtle’s favorite songs: “Body and Soul” and “Stardust.” The next day, I told her how beautiful it was. Her eyes opened a bit and her head rocked back and forth a few times on the hospital bed’s pillow as if she was hearing the music in her head. That was the last set of tunes played in her honor in this life. On the 28th I do hope she was playing “her songs” in her memory as she breathed her last.

As a young teenager Myrtle attended the Piney Woods Country Life School in rural Louisiana. She became a member of the school’s band in the 1940s. Prof. L.C. Jones, the school’s headmaster, had created the International Sweethearts of Rhythm in 1937 to help bring revenue to the financially-deficient institution.

The group quickly became so popular that it soon enjoyed professional standing. The orchestra indeed had an international flavor as its members were a mixture of races - Indian, Chinese, Caucasian and African American. These young girls were exalted in Europe as well as in America. They were heard over the airwaves courtesy of the Armed Forces Radio Network. The 17-piece Sweethearts often engaged in musical  battles with older seasoned male bands, always thrilling audiences wherever they played.

After the International Sweethearts, Myrtle formed many bands of different configurations – trios, quartets, and groups of between seven and ten members.  

Myrtle and her husband, also a sax player, had a band together. He accused Myrt of truing to outplay him because of her rotund sound and impeccable playing.

She was featured in, and on the cover of, many magazines as well as being listed in journals of who’s who in jazz.

There was much more to her. In years past she nursed many people back to health who had given up or been deemed incurable. She had a benevolent spirit and healing hands. It is a pity she could not turn those gifts upon herself.

Left to cherish and adore her memory are her daughters Stephanie and Daphne Wilson and her adopted daughter Veronica; granddaughters Stephanie and Sydney; sisters Mary Lou, Josephine and Bettie Jo; niece Charleen; nephews Benny Larry (Jr.), Robert Earl, and many others. Those who were close and attentive in her last hours of need included Easton C., Ron S., Lemuel R, Duke C., Pearl W., Paula and Lenny.

Friends included Willa W., Dottie s., Maleeth M., Toni R., the Larose jazz family, and musicians the world over. Thanks for showing your love for a most magnificent individual.

A viewing will be held Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Salem Baptist Church, 610 Summit Avenue, Jenkintown. Interment will be private.   

January 14, 2010 (Published Jan. 21, 2010)

Obituary: Ernestine O’Connor

Ernestine Eufaula (Francis) O’Connor was born December 20, 1920 in Washington County, Georgia.

Ernestine was the fourth child born to the late Lenzy and Rose Ann Francis. Ernestine had a brother, Albert; a sister, Mary, sister Delores; and sister, Rose, who all preceded her in death. She has one remaining sibling, Fletter Dade.

Ernestine was educated in the Philadelphia school system, and later in life obtained her high school diploma by attending night school.

Ernestine accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior early in her life at the Israelite Baptist Church with her family, and later in life became a member of White Rock Baptist Church. She remained a faithful and dedicated member to her church family even when her health started failing and she could not attend on a regular basis. Ernestine was a dedicated member of the Sheepfold of Joshua and James Ministry, past President of the Willing Workers Circle, the Women’s Missionary Union, and the Eastern Region Women’s Ministry TBSC. In 2001 she received The Dedicated and Distinguished Service Award from The Willing Workers.

Ernestine enjoyed a long illustrious career with the City of Philadelphia as a law clerk and retired after many years of dedicated service. She stayed in touch with the numerous friends and co-workers she’d made during her years of service. She had a special friendship with Vivian Gordon. To her life’s end they kept in touch regularly, and attended many outings and family functions together.

In the early 1960s Ernestine married the love of her life, Hydrick (Harry) O’Connor, who preceded her in death in March of 1984. They spent their many years together traveling and enjoyed attending church as well as being with family as often as they could. Although no children were born during their marriage, Ernestine showed devoted love for her stepson, Hydrick O’Connor, Jr.

Ernestine had the same spirit and love for her community as she had for her church family and belonged to many civic/community organizations to which she was involved until her health started to fail. She was involved with the 14th Police District Clergy Unit and helped to plan as well as cook for the Annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner for the officers. She was on the Board of Directors of EMAN (East Mount Airy Neighbors) for 24 years. Ernestine took on the task of writing the crime report each week for the former Germantown Courier and Mt. Airy Times Newspapers. She was serious about politics and did her civic duty by being a great committeeperson; you could count on seeing her at the polls on every election day.  She received an award from Northwest Victim Services; the Edgar A Baker Award from the Board of Directors of East Mt. Airy for Outstanding Community Service; and an Award of Merit for 24 years of service with the East Mt. Airy Neighbors Association.

Ernestine had a pleasant personality and she stood firmly on her beliefs. She never changed, and diversity was her name, as she could rub shoulders with the best of the best. She loved all types of music, as well as being an avid reader of books, newspapers and magazines. She had a great love for the theater, organizing trips and great food. Ernestine loved to cook and she enjoyed doing that for friends as well as her beloved family. There was always some good food, great conversation and fun at her family dinners. Her many nieces and nephews will never forget all the love that she had for each and every one of them. Ernestine loved animals and had numerous cats and birds during her lifetime.

On January 14 during a tragic fire in her home, God sounded his trumpets and called Ernestine home. She leaves to mourn her loss a sister, Fletter Dade; her stepson, Hydrick O’Connor, Jr,; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members along with her White Rock family.

Funeral services will take place Saturday, January 23, 10 a.m., at White Rock Baptist Church, 53rd and Chestnut streets. There will be no viewing. 

Dec. 5 (Published Dec. 10)

Dr. John Kaufmann

The Rev. Dr. John A. Kaufmann, who for 44 years served The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) as registrar, keeping track of seminarians and their records of academic and personal progress from 1944 to 1990, died December 5 at age 89. He resided on the seminary campus in Mt. Airy.

Until illness recently slowed him down, John Augustus Kaufmann could still be found most days in his office on the third floor of the seminary’s Hagan Administration Building, fulfilling special assignments for seminary President Philip D. W. Krey. A graduate of Lehigh University (B.A. History 1941 Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and LTSP (1944), Dr. Kaufmann observed the 65th anniversary of his ordination in May 2009.  Remembering Dr. Kaufmann, President Krey noted, “At the beginning of my presidency, John asked if he could continue his service and made a pledge that he never broke.  ‘I will speak my mind in the privacy of your office, and even work you over,’ he told me, ‘but once you make a decision, I will never contradict you in public.’  His advice was indispensable and not once did he break his pledge.  We have lost a great friend.”

While his official title was Registrar, for many of his 44 years at LTSP Dr. Kaufmann fulfilled a wide variety of “other” duties. He oversaw the refectory food service. He managed buildings and grounds maintenance including construction and repair projects. He served as treasurer. He handled public relations and held the post of bursar – filling an accounting role, processing bills, managing payroll records and tax forms. For many years he handled admissions as well. After retirement, Dr. Kaufmann remained involved in the work of the seminary, providing invaluable and trusted guidance and counsel to the school.

Arrangements for a private funeral will be made by the Ruth Jacob Funeral Home of Chestnut Hill, and, at Dr. Kaufmann’s request, a memorial service will be scheduled at the Chapel of The Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Memorial gifts may be made for the John A. Kaufmann Enrollment Services Center at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, or online at

Nov. 22 (Published Dec. 3)

Marlena Green

Marlena Green, 27 years, passed away on Sunday, November 22. Marlena was the daughter of Robert and Monica Green.  She was an acclaimed baker, having learned her craft at the foot of her mother, Monica, owner of Monica’s Sweet Tooth.  At the time of her death, she was employed at the Manayunk Brewery.

Marlena is survived by her parents, Robert and Monica, two brothers and one sister, one neice and one nephew.

The viewing will take place on Friday, November 4 at the West Oak Lane Church of God, 7401 Limekiln Pike from 8:30-9:30 a.m. , with the funeral at 9:30 a.m. A private burial will follow. A repast will be held at the Manayunk Brewery, 4120 Main Street, Manayunk.

Nov. 9 (Published Nov. 19)

Benjamin Labaree

Benjamin Labaree, 100, of Mt. Airy died on November 9. He was a Budd Company engineer for 35 years.

He is survived by Jean, his beloved wife of 69 years; sons Benjamin Jr.; Robert and wife Frances; David and wife Diane; and 4 grandchildren.

He was a member of Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene Street.

Oct. 6 (Reported Oct. 18)

Frank Heppinstall

Frank Heppinstall, 78, of Germantown, passed away peacefully at home, Tuesday, October 6, after a lengthy illness.

Born April 7, 1931 in Atlantic City, NJ, he was the son of the late Harry and Ida Epps Heppinstall.

He was a graduate of Pennsgrove High School, Pennsgrove, New Jersey.  He also attended Temple University.

Frank was a talented saxophonist with his jazz group, the Frank Heppinstall Trio. He played for and performed with Steve Gibson’s Redcaps and Bill Doggett.  He appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason shows.

He served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the International Toastmasters Association. He was employed for many years as an inspector for nuclear power plants.

He leaves to cherish his memories his wife of 55 years, Cynthia; Sons Jerry, Eric  and Marcus; brothers Bernard and Harry Jr.; sister Debbie, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and many friends.

A memorial service was held Sunday, Oct. 18 at Heppinstall House, 306 Winona Street.

Oct. 10

Elizabeth Redfield “Libby” Marsh

Elizabeth R. “Libby” Marsh passed away Oct. 10.

The wife of the late Charles Marsh, she is survived by her daughter Anne Prentice (Jock); sons John (Julie) and Ben (Janet); sister Martha Koch; and brother Alfred Redfield, as well as six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

McIlvaine Funeral Home in East Falls said a memorial service for Libby will be held at a later date.

Donations in Libby’s memory may be made to Stapeley in Germantown, 6300 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

Sept. 23

Jeffrey K. Derry

Jeffrey Keith Derry was born August 5, 1956 in Philadelphia. He was educated in the Philadelphia school system. He was the son of the late Samuel L. Derry Jr. and Yvonne (Shirley) Derry and the proud father of two sons, Jeffrey and Fernando.

He passed away on Sunday, September 20.

He is survived by his loving wife of ten years, Rachel Derry. Jeffrey met and fell in love with Rachel in 1989 and in September, 1999 she became Mrs. Rachel Derry.

Jeffrey is also survived by his loving mother Yvonne, four sisters, three brothers, aunts, uncles, two sisters-in-law, two brothers-in-law, and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. His brother, Samuel L. Derry, 3rd, predeceased him.

Jeffrey was well known in and around Germantown. He loved to shoot pool, play pinochle, and was an avid Eagles fan.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 25,­­ at New Bethel AME Church, 6153 Germantown Avenue.

Viewing is from 9-11 a.m. Services begin at 11 am., with interment following immediately at Chelten Hills Cemetery.

There will be a repast at New Bethel AME. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Beckett-Brown Funeral Home.

August 13
John A. “Jack” Glenn

John A. “Jack” Glenn, 64, of Philadelphia died Thursday, August 13, in Devon Manor from cancer. He was the son of Catherine ‘Mimi’ (Kay Wadosky) and the late William Glenn.

Mr. Glenn, formerly of Germantown, was born July 29, 1945, attended Roxborough High School and attended LaSalle University. He worked in the food service industry. He was a caterer and also worked as a waiter for Bookbinders, and as a cook in the rectory of St. Matthias Church, Bala Cynwyd. He was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his sister Joanne (formerly Peruto) and her husband Sam Lasorda, of Phoenixville, PA; and his nephew A. Charles (Chas) Peruto, III and his wife Puja (Suneja), of Philadelphia.

The family will receive relatives and friends Saturday, August 22, 9 - 9:50 a.m. at St. Matthias Church, 128 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bala Cynwyd. His memorial mass will follow at 10 a.m. Burial will be private. For information visit

July 21, 2009

Shirley Melvin

On Tuesday, July 21, Shirley Melvin died peacefully in her home at the age of 84.  For more than eight decades, this native Philadelphian shared her devotion, convictions, and unflagging energy with family, friends, and the community she loved.

The door to Shirley’s home was a wonderfully inclusive revolving door, where family members were joined by people of all races, identities, and backgrounds.  

Over the years, anyone needing assistance of any kind was met at that door by Shirley’s open heart and helping hands. With her love, she taught people to embrace each other as Family. She saw everyone’s strength and potential, encouraging them to use their gifts to make a contribution to the world.

She survived the devastating loss of her first daughter, Janet, to cancer and continued to embrace life with a full heart. Janet’s partner and son became valued members of her family. Her “adopted” kids brought precious grandchildren into her life, with whom she shared a deep love and commitment.

Shirley was born October 16, 1924, arriving 30 minutes after her “big” sister and identical twin, Doris. Born to Esther and Jack Blumberg, Shirley, Doris, and Aaron, grew up in Gray’s Ferry, where they were one of a few Jewish families in the neighborhood.

Shirley’s father, Jack Blumberg, owned a real estate company, where he helped working-class families purchase their own homes.  Her mother, Esther, worked to get Jews out of Europe during World War II, opening the Blumberg home to refugee children.  Jack and Esther’s qualities of fair play, hard work, and community activism made indelible impressions on their children.

In 1942, while still teenagers, Shirley and Doris were recruited directly out of Girls’ High to work as mathematicians for the U.S. Army. They worked six days a week for the next three years to help the U.S win World War II.   When the war ended, Shirley married Tom Melvin and assisted at his photography studio. She was then recruited by the Franklin Institute to work as a mathematician to help develop a stabilizer for commercial aircrafts. Shirley was also part of the team that developed ENIAC, the first computer.

She had three daughters, Janet, Hedy, and Nini, and Doris had five children. They raised their children as one family. 

During the years they were raising their families in the neighborhood of West Mt. Airy, both Shirley and Doris became community activists, helping to found West Mt. Airy Neighbors and the Allens Lane Arts Center.  

By the early 1960’s, the unethical real estate technique of blockbusting threatened to disrupt the inclusive and welcoming environment the twins valued in their community. Spurred on by personal conviction, in 1965 Shirley joined her sister Doris in forming Twin Realty of Germantown. This woman-owned, woman-run real estate company was created to gently integrate the Mt. Airy/Germantown areas of Philadelphia.  For nearly 30 years they worked side by side as socially responsible agents, advocating racial harmony and neighborhood integration. Through their work, this neighborhood became the first stable, integrated neighborhood in the country.

While Doris retired 1991, Shirley continued to work in real estate, finally retiring last year at the age of 83.  Because of their business activities and their other community efforts, the twins have received many commendations for their civic work. 

Shirley Melvin is survived by her daughters Hedy and Nini; her twin sister, Doris; many nieces, nephews, “adopted” children, and grandchildren; and scores of beloved friends.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions to Shirley’s name by made to the Allens Lane Art Center:

601 West Allens Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119-3300.

There will be a celebration of Shirley’s life at the Allens Lane Art Center on Saturday, August 22 at 3 p.m.

July 30, 2009

Rose Virginia Rushin Johnson, 82

On November 22, 1926, God plucked a most beautiful flower, from His heavenly garden and planted it on earth. In Philadelphia the late Edgar and Nellie Allen were blessed with a lovely baby girl, whom they named Rose Virginia.

Rose and her sister Edna (now deceased) grew up on 19th Street in South Philadelphia. As a child, she attended local public schools and was active in St. Simon Episcopal Church where she became a member and was baptized. By age twelve, she was confirmed and a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

At West Philadelphia High School, she excelled on the Swim Team and demonstrated a real passion for dancing. She then studied sociology at Temple University.

In 1945, Rose eloped to Elkton, MD, and married Charles C. Rushin. They had two children, Charles C. Rushin, Jr. and Sandra Marie Rushin. Rose was devoted to her marriage, her home and her children. She waited until both Charles and Sandi were attending elementary school before taking on a part time job.

Rose became a key-punch operator in the Human Resources Division of City Hall. It blossomed into a forty-two year career as a receptionist in the office of the Commissioner of Records. Rose was one of City Hall’s favorites. She rarely missed a day at work. She performed her duties excellently and brightened up the workplace with her bubbling personality.

Working hard, budgeting wisely and praying a lot, Rose did what few could do. In 1961, a divorced woman, successfully raising two teen-agers, she purchased a lovely home for her and her children, on Sprague Street in Mt. Airy.

On June 3, 1984, Rose took another life-changing step. Her brother-in-law, the (late) Rev. Samuel L. Spear, Sr., pastor of Philadelphia’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, joined together Rose and John N. Johnson in holy matrimony.

Rose was always very active. She was a member of the swim team at the Christian Street YMCA. She belonged to two social clubs. She enjoyed life, dancing, talking, laughing, card playing, and visiting casinos. She was as comfortable with friends her own age as those many years younger. She enjoyed beautiful clothing, putting on lipstick, selecting earrings, eating interesting foods; but most of all, she loved being surrounded by her family and friends; and stayed close to God in private times and while attending Oxford Presbyterian Church.

Her grandson Aaron summed it up, “Grandmom was something. She was funny. She loved to play jokes. She loved to laugh. Grandmom was really something.”

Rose Rushin Johnson passed away at home on Thursday evening, July 30, surrounded by her family. Her memory is cherished by husband John, son Charles, daughter Sandi, grandson Aaron, daughter-in-law Carol; nephews Samuel L. Spear, Jr., Walter Rollo Wilson, Jr. and George Arthur; sister-in-law Donna Fleming and spouse Huett; close friends Mary Smith, Ethel Taylor, Martha Sutton and Bella Muir; those “like daughters” Sandy and Madeline Valentine, Linda James McGregor and Gwen Polk; and other loving family, friends and neighbors.

Services for Rose V. Rushin Johnson will be held Friday, August 7, at Oxford Presbyterian Church, Stenton and Gowen avenues. Viewing is 9-11, service at 11 a.m. Interment will be private.

Condolences may be sent to the Rushin Johnson Family, 7021 Sprague Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119.

July 25, 2009

Francis J. Malley, 66

Francis Joseph Malley, 66, of Mt. Airy, formerly from Chestnut Hill and “The Highlands” in Ambler, Montgomery County, passed away on July 25.

He was the beloved son of the late Katherine [nee Duffy] from Skaheen, Kilmovee, Mayo, Ireland and Patrick Malley from Coor Point Donegal, Ireland.  He was a devoted father to Courtney Katherine [Sam Cohen] Malley and Bryan Patrick Malley, a loving grandpa to Rosemarie Munn, Ryan Malley, Emily Kiefer, Keiran Cohen and Katherine Cohen, the brother of John [Sarah] Malley and James [Marikay] Malley.  He is also survived by his dear companion Connie Koppe, his former wife Rose Marie Malley (nee Burke), many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends from the United States and Ireland. 

Frank was a structural steel detailer. He was a member of the Philadelphia Ceili Group, serving on the board and as Chairman for the Philadelphia Ceili Group’s Irish Festival for many years, and a member of the Philadelphia Folk Song Society for over 35 years.  Frank was also a musician and avid storyteller. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 1, 3 p.m., at the Irish Center, Emlen Street and Carpenter Lane in Mt Airy.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any one of the Breast Cancer 3-Day “Team Canada” members at

June 19, 2009

Ella E. “Elsa” Peters, 81

Ella E. “Elsa” Peters, 81, of Jonestown, Pa, formerly of Germantown, died Friday, June 19, at her residence.

She was the widow of Hugh P. Peters who died Jan. 13, 2002.

Born in Ridley Park, Pa, on Oct. 10, 1927, she was the daugter of the late LeRoy and Ella (Madsen) Haller.

She attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, Maryland, where she studied vocal performance.

Elsa, along with her husband Hugh Peters, owned and operated Peters’ Foster Care in Jonestown where they cared for more than 20 children during the last 25 years.

She was a member of the Moonshine United Zion Church, Jonestown, and enjoyed gardening, collecting dolls, drawing, writing poetry and short stories, polka dacing and music.

She is survived by daughters Rebekah Arevello of Atlanta, Georgia; Gillian, wife of William Andersen of Portales, New Mexico; Sarah, wife of Randall Reynolds of Brentwood, Tennessee; Mary Moyer of Lebanon, Pa; Rachel, wife of Scot Krissinger of Lebanon; and sons Hugh V. Peters of Lebanon and Harry D., husband of Alex Peters of Lebanon; 16 grandchildren, five great grandchildren, several sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by sons Thaddeus Peters and Lawrence Kelly and daughter Melissa Peters.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at Grose Funeral Home, in Myerstown, Pa. Interment was at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, Pa.

John Sterling Baker, 77

John Sterling Baker departed this life on Sunday, May 10, 2009.

He was born on July 12, 1931, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the late John J. Baker and Jeanette Harris Baker of Fairfax County, VA. The youngest of four children, John was raised in North Philadelphia with the late Jean Baker Royster, Florence Baker Edwards and Harold W. Baker.

John received his education in the Philadelphia school system. After graduating from North East High School in 1949, he enlisted in the United States Army. John married Joyce Williams of North Philadelphia the following year.

In 1961, John began a fifteen-year career as an electrician at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. That same year, he married Evelyn Perry of Camden, NJ. To this union one son Mark Sterling Baker was born.

John married Miriam Poulson of Reading, Pennsylvania in 1977. He became father to her daughter Leisha Ann Perry.

In addition to operating two photography studios during the 1950s and 1960s, John was also the proprietor of an auto repair shop and two Philadelphia taverns: The Grand Prix and more recently the Sugar Stick in Germantown.

Electronics, football, mechanics and photography were among John’s interests throughout his years. He also had a passion for jazz music. Ray Charles, Joe Williams and Frank Sinatra were among his favorite singers

His jovial personality, quick wit and intelligence were apparent in his interactions with others. Jack, as he was affectionately known, loved to sing, dance and socialize with good friends and family. He lifted the spirits of those around him with funny stories, hilarious jokes and a wicked sense of humor. He left an indelible impression on the lives of many people particularly his three best pals: Al, Fred and Charlie. He will be missed.

John leaves to cherish his memory his wife Miriam Baker, son Mark Sterling Baker, daughter Leisha Ann Perry, granddaughters Cassandra Perry and Leisha Perry, nephew Dennis Royster, niece Audrey Royster, 3 brothers-in-law Phil Jones, Lester Poulson and Michael Poulson, 3 sisters-in-law Karen Jones, Juanita Poulson and Buffy Poulson and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

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