"He was getting absentee ballots for one person, arranging for the sale of fund-raising banquet tickets for another. Stanley might have retired from the real estate business, but politics? Never!"
Bednarek was born and raised in Port Richmond. In 1917, his father, Michael Bednarek Sr., founded Bednarek Real Estate & Insurance in a store front building along East Allegheny Avenue.
When his father died, Stanely took over the business. Upon his retirement, the firm in turn was taken over by his brother, Joseph Bednarek.
Stanley Bednarek was the first Polish-American to be named a magistrate in Philadelphia, a position that gave him a profile citywide as broad as the one he enjoyed in Port Richmond.
It served him well during a 1957 police sweep of persons in the River Wards suspected of being involved in gambling.
Stanley and Lucy were chatting with a local businessman - whom police later claimed was "a well-known blotter figure" - when they were escorted to the 24th District station house "for investigation."
As soon as they entered the building, a shocked police lieutenant asked: ''Hello, judge. What are you doing here?"
After a profound round of apologies, the officer quickly arranged for the couple's release. Bednarek, however, was not placated.
He considered underhanded police tactics as counter to the American system of justice.
"I am against harassing tactics of any kind - as a former magistrate, as a politician, and as a citizen," said Bednarek.
"The charge is a joke. There is no use arresting anybody without having evidence against them, and the charge doesn't mean anything."
While serving as a magistrate, Bednarek in September 1954 made headlines of a different type after landing a 776-pound bluefin tuna during a fishing trip to Nova Scotia.
It took three hours in a fight that covered seven nautical miles to gaff the monster. When its measurements were taken at dockside, the tuna measured 8 feet, 9 inches in length, with a girth of 5 feet, 5 inches.
Bednarek was the founding president in 1952 of the Port Richmond Lions Club, and shortly afterward help to establish the Port Richmond Lioness Club.
He also was director, treasurer and vice chairman emeritus of the Kazimierz Wielki Savings & Loan Association in Port Richmond, known today as Washington Savings.
Besides his wife and brother, Bednarek is survived by a son, Ronald, and a sister, Marie Berry.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Adalbert Church, Thompson Street and East Allegheny Avenue. Friends may call
from 7 to 9 tonight at the Tomaszewski Funeral Home, 2728 E. Allegheny Ave.
Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery, Ramona and Adams avenues.
Donations may be made to St. Adalbert Church, Thompson Street and E. Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia, 19134.
JOHN R. GRANT SR.
John R. Grant Sr., a former track and field star at Lincoln University who was employed at various local companies, died Saturday. He was 90 and had been living in Germantown.
Raised in Oxford, Chester County, Grant was the youngest of four brothers born to the late John and Josephine Alexander Grant. After attending school in Oxford, he enrolled at Lincoln University where he excelled in track and field.
During his working days in Philadelphia, Grant at various times was employed by Philadelphia National Bank (PNB), the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and the Horn & Hardart restaurant chain.
In retirement, he enjoyed hunting, deep-sea fishing and watching sporting events. In a biography prepared by his family, he was described as a role model for young people, a sharing, sacrificing and affectionate individual.
He was a positive presence in the neighborhood, the biography continued, a man who shared his interest in life, along with the collected wisdom of his 90 years on earth.
He is survived by his wife, Pauline; a son, John Jr.; three daughters,
Judith, Eva and Paulette; three grandchildren, Williford Jr., Richard and John 3rd; and 10 great-grandchildren, Zachary, Robbie, Williford 3rd, Vanessa, Crystal, John 4th, Lloyd, Evan, Ryan and Richard Jr.
Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Holsey Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 5305 Germantown Ave., where friends may call after 9 a.m.
Burial will follow in Chelten Hills Cemetery, 1701 East Washington Lane.
JOHN J. PATTERSON SR.
John J. Patterson Sr., a retired crane operator at the old Westinghouse steam division plant in Lester, Delaware County, died Wednesday. He was 90 and lived in Lansdowne.
Born in County Armagh, Ireland, Patterson came to America at age 17, and became a citizen in 1928.
He was an avid fisherman who enjoyed pursuing his sport off Cape May and in south Florida.
Patterson worked at the Westinghouse plant for 30 years, retiring in 1969. Prior to that, he worked for the Budd Co. in Philadelphia.
He spent four years in the Coast Guard, from 1926 through 1930 on the USS Wilkes and the USS McDougal.
He is survived by a son, James, and three daughters, Mary Leonard, Kathleen McElwee and Susan Glackin.
His first wife, Mary McGoldrick Patterson, died in 1961; his second wife, Kathryn Foster Patterson, died in 1993. He also outlived two sons, John Jr., and Edward.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Church of St. Eugene, 200 Oak Avenue, Primos, Delaware County. Burial will be private.
Contributions may be made to St. Eugene Church, 200 Oak Ave., Primos, Pa., 19018; or the Delaware County Memorial Hospital Hospice Hospice Program, 5030 State Road, Suite 3001, Drexel Hill, Pa. 19026.
THOMAS B. JOHNSON JR.
Thomas Bryant Johnson Jr., a merchandise selector for Sears, Roebuck & Co., died Monday. He was 35 and lived in Mount Airy.
A 1977 graduate of Martin Luther King High School, Johnson attended Temple University where he majored in liberal arts. He also attended the Rets Education Center in Broomall, where he majored in electronics.
During his 13 years at Sears, Johnson was cited for working well with other staffers, and received management recognition for his on-the-job performance, and for perfect attendance.
In his youth, he attended Mount Ephraim Baptist Church. In his adult years, Johnson joined Canaan Baptist Church in Germantown.
He was a member of Canaan's Male Chorus and New Found Joy Young Adult Choir. From 1991-92, he served as secretary of the Male Chorus.
He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Dorothy Johnson; a sister, DeBorah Johnson-Parris; his grandmother, Eleanor Rone-Farmer, and a number of aunts, uncles and friends.
Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Canaan Baptist Church, 5430 Pulaski Ave., where friends may call after 9 a.m.
Burial will follow in Ivy Hill Cemetery, Wadsworth at Woolston avenues.
Services will be held today for William Nolan, a retired School District bus driver. A longtime resident of South Philadelphia, Nolan died Sunday at the age of 80.
Nolan was well known in professional billiard circles, a master of the green felt who played pool under the nickname of "Mister Bill."
He is survived by his wife, Willa-Mae Nolan; two daughters, Adrienne Owens and Angela Nolan Cooper; his mother, Lucy Nolan; three step-children, Janie
Monroe, Robert Simms and Ronald Simms; three grandchildren, Allayne Nolan, Alexander Cooper and Adam Cooper; two sisters, Doris Brown and Vivian Thomas, and several step-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at the First African Presbyterian Church, 42nd Street and Girard Avenue, where friends may call after 9 a.m.
Burial will follow in Fernwood Cemetery, 6501 Baltimore Ave., Fernwood, Delaware County.