David Ebo, 43; Sang With The 'Blue Notes'

Posted: December 03, 1993

Singer David Ebo, whose hits included "I'd Rather Be by Myself," died Tuesday after a battle against bone cancer. He was 43 and lived in North Philadelphia.

Ebo, whose ebullient and commanding style marked him early for stardom, began going on the road with rock 'n' roll when he was 17. His career went into gear around 1972 when he played drums for a group called "Blue Velvet." He soon moved from the drums to lead vocalist.

Around 1975, Teddy Pendergrass quit as lead singer of "Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes." Old friend and classmate Ebo stepped in to fill the slot. During this time he had two records go gold: "Reachin' For the World" and ''Prayin' ."

"He had irrepressible charm," said Jacky Landes, a sisters. "He was a

joy to be around and he'd keep you rolling in the aisles. He used to say, 'It's hard not to like a guy like me."' She said he was a "presence in any room."

She also said he was multi-talented. "He could play instruments, sing,

draw - and he was a writer. He was a creative genius."

Diagnosed last October, Ebo showed an incredble courage and will, said his other sister, Eleanor Ebo-Johnson. She said her brother's doctor, Dr. Joel Ackelsberg, was amazed at how long Ebo held on against the disease. She said a bond developed between her brother and the doctor, which often happened with people who spent time around David Ebo.

Survivors also include his wife, the former Marian Richardson; a daughter, Marian, three brothers, Tyrone, Kenneth and Maurice.

Services will be at 8 p.m. Sunday at Bright Hope Baptist Church, 12th Street and Columbia Avenue, where friends may call two hours before the services.


Raymond D. DeLuca, senior vice president of finance for Underwood-Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, N.J., died Wednesday after a four-year battle against colon cancer. He was 57 and lived in Magnolia, N.J.

Originally from Philadelphia, DeLuca had worked at Underwood since 1978 and had a widespread reputation as an exceptionally competent hospital executive with remarkable skills in dealing with people of every rank and station.

He was a 1960 graduate of Temple University with a degree in accounting. He became a certified public accountant, working for five years with the firm of Ernst & Ernst in Philadelphia.

He was employed as comptroller for the Medical College of Pennsylvania before joining Underwood.

DeLuca began at Underwood as comptroller and that same year was named vice president of finance. He was promoted to senior vice president last year.

Survivors include his wife, the former Antoinette Barcelone; a son, Robert J.; his mother, Josephine DeLuca; two sisters, Anna DeLuca and Theresa DeLuca, and two grandchildren.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Gregory's Church, Evesham Road and White Horse Pike, Magnolia. Friends may call between 7 and 9:30 tomorrow night at the Pennsylvania Burial Co., Broad and Reed streets.

Contributions may be made to Underwood-Memorial Hospital Foundation, 509 N. Broad St., Woodbury, N.J. 08096.


Mary P. Woods, a retired supervisor at the old St. Vincent's Hospital for Women and Children and a leader in the Daughters of the Eastern Star, died Nov. 26, of heart failure. She was 73 and lived in West Oak Lane.

Woods had been a laundry supervisor for 20 years at the former home for unwed mothers at 70th Street and Woodland Avenue. She previously worked for Thomas Textiles, and during World War II, for the old Quartermaster Depot.

Her experience with unwed mothers imbued in her an earnest desire to educate young people about the perils of unwanted pregnancies and how to avoid them, said a family member. In later years she would counsel young girls in her neighborhood and also give talks to clubs and churches on the subject.

Woods was a member of the Eastern Star for more than 30 years. She had been a Worthy Matron of St. Ann Chapter 57, and was Associate Matron for 13 years until illness slowed her down.

The former Mary Medley, Woods was a graduate of William Penn High School. Her husband, Albert Woods, died in 1981.

Survivors include three sons, Charles A., James J. and Vernon B.; a daughter, Marie Gail Davis; a sister, Gertrude Medley, 27 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at noon tomorrow at New Inspiration Baptist Church, 4400 Germantown Ave., where friends may call two hours before.


James J. Wellons Sr., a retired audit manager in the city controller's office, died Nov. 25 of heart failure. He was 59 and lived in Yeadon, Delaware County.

Raised in South Philadelphia, Wellons was graduated from South Philadelphia High School for Boys and received a bachelor's degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

He began his career with the city in 1954 as a clerk. He held various positions in the Collections Department and the controller's office. After receiving his degree he rose through the ranks in the controller's office to become auditor manager. He retired in 1989 for health reasons.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Wellons; a daughter, Marsha Wellons- Barnes; five brothers, Leonard, Sherman, Robert, James Johnston and Bernard Johnston, and three sisters, Edna Holt, Helen Johnston and Virginia Collier.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Calvary Baptist Church, 6122 Haverford Ave., where friends may call two hours before the services.


Howard "Skeets" Casey, a lounge owner for many years, died Saturday after suffering a stroke. He was 66 and lived in West Oak Lane.

For the past five years, Casey owned and operated Casey's Lounge at 17th and Clearfield streets. He turned over the daily operation of the business to Paula Casey, one of his daughters.

Casey started out in construction work when he came to Philadelphia in 1945

from Atlanta. He saved and started his own business.

"He was a hard-working man. He was a man who was a friend to everybody. People liked him. He never could say no. That's the type of man he was," said his wife of 41 years, the former Pauline Green.

He is also survived by another daughter, Stephanie Casey; three sons, Larry, Howard Jr. and Willie, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Christ Memorial Baptist Church, 2132 Germantown Ave., where friends may call one hour before the services.


Louise McElveen Wilson, an active member of her church, died Monday of kidney failure. She was 80 and lived in North Philadelphia.

Wilson was a member since 1966 of Ruffin Nichols African Methodist Episcopal Church where she belonged to the Missionary Society. She grew up in Cades, S.C.

"She enjoyed cooking and loved gardening. She was warm and friendly and would help anyone," said Carolyn Wilson, one of her daughters.

Her husband, James G. Wilson, died in 1965.

Survivors also include three other daughters, Annie Ruth Matthews, Mazzie McClam and Claritha Graham; three sons, Ernest, Wadell and Henry, and a sister, Vernice Mayes.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Ruffin Nichols African Methodist Episcopal Church, 11th and Mount Vernon streets, where friends may call one hour before the service.


Rosemary L. Sullivan, a retired non-teaching assistant, died Wednesday. She was 52 and lived in Cheltenham.

Sullivan had been a non-teaching assistant in the Philadelphia public school system for 19 years before retiring about three years ago.

The former Rosemary Brown, she was a graduate of William Penn High School.

Survivors include her husband, Thomas Sullivan; three sons, Thomas Jr., William and Michael; a daughter, Marsema Sullivan, nine grandchildren; two brothers, Robert Brown and John Shurman and a sister, Isabel Brown.

Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Antioch Baptist Church, Chestnut and Logan avenues, where friends may call one hour before the service.

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