Vincent Fenerty Sr., Union And Gop Leader

Posted: December 21, 1995

Vincent J. Fenerty Sr., Republican Party official, war hero and a retired Teamsters official who led a courageous union reform movement during the turbulent, corrupt and sometimes violent 1960s, died Monday. He was 71 and lived in Port Richmond. In the early 1950s, Fenerty became a driver for United Parcel Service and an active member of Teamsters Local 107. Dissatisfied with the way the union was being run on the local and national levels, Fenerty became a founding member of the Voice of the Teamsters.

This dissident organization opposed national Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa and dedicated itself to bringing democracy to the union.

As a shop steward and later as a business agent, Fenerty led strikes that

closed all of United Parcel's garages in Philadelphia in the 1960s. The dispute was settled in the union's favor.

Bill Feeney, also a 107 business agent, recalled: "Vince was 100 percent for the men of the union. He was well-liked. Everybody knew Vince. He was the best at what he did. All he cared about was making sure everyone had work and was treated fairly."

When violence and corruption hit a crescendo in the 1960s involving Teamsters Local 107, the federal government put the local in receivership. In 1969, as a member of the reform slate composed of men from the Voice of the Teamsters movement, Fenerty was elected business agent and pension trustee of Local 107.

The slate's president, Jack Cassidy, said: "Vince was one of the most loyal and hard-working men I'd ever met. In a very turbulent time, I always knew I could trust and count on him."

After his career as a union official, Fenerty served as a shop steward and worked as a driver for Ris Paper Co. for 15 years. He retired in 1988.

During the last 17 years, he was active with the Republican Party in Philadelphia's river wards. He was recording secretary of the 31st Ward under ward leader Vincent J. Fenerty Jr., his eldest son.

Michael Meehan, general counsel of the Republican City Committee, called the elder Fenerty "a strong and loyal supporter of the Republican Party in Philadelphia. We could always count on him."

Councilman-elect Frank Rizzo said: "Mr. Fenerty worked very hard in many elections for my father. I know my Dad was very fond of Vince and his entire family. He also worked hard in my campaign for Council at-large. I am very grateful for his efforts and will miss him tremendously."

State Rep. John Taylor added that Fenerty was "a loyal, hard-working and passionate advocate for the Republican Party in Philadelphia."

Common Pleas Judge John J. Poserina, a Port Richmond native and former leader of the 31st Ward, said: "Vince Fenerty represented the 'voice' of the neighborhood as well as the Teamsters union. His main interest was to preserve the quality of life of the working man and woman, both at work and in their own community."

Fenerty's family roots in Port Richmond stretch back to 1845. He graduated

from Northeast Catholic High School in 1942 and enlisted in the Army. He served with Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army. He was twice wounded and returned to the front lines. He received two Purple Hearts. He was one of only two members of his original company to survive the war.

Survivors also include his wife of 48 years, the former Katherine R. McKinley; another son, Michael P.; a daughter, Katherine R. Takoushian; a sister, Theresa Murphy; and two grandchildren, Danny and Tara.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Anne's Church, Lehigh Avenue and Memphis Street. Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham Avenue and Easton Road, Cheltenham.

Friends may call between 7 and 9:30 tonight at the Baj Funeral Home, 2656 E. Thompson St.

Contributions may be made to the church.


Frank A. "Mr. Anthony" Branella, a retired beauty salon operator, died Tuesday. He was 81 and lived in Blackwood, N.J.

Formerly of Philadelphia, Bran ella owned and operated two beauty salons for 35 years, one at Suburban Station and the other at 30th Street Station. He retired in 1986. Branella was an Army veteran of World War II. He served in France and Germany with Troop C of the 88th Reconnaissance Squadron.

Survivors include his wife, Cornelia Branella; a son, Frank D.; a daughter, Lydia Branella Melfi; five grandchildren, and two brothers, Anthony and Michael Branella.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Rita's Roman Catholic Church, Broad and Ellsworth streets, where friends may call one hour earlier.

Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Baily Road and Wycombe Avenue, Yeadon.


Edward C. Williams, a retired employee of the old Modern Laundry at 46th Street and Kingsessing Avenue, died Saturday. He was 75 and lived in North Philadelphia.

Williams, also known as "Hart" or "Addie," worked for 24 years for Modern Laundry. He retired in 1976. He had been a Mason.

"He was a good father and he gave us his time. He raised nine children by

himself," said Audrey Jaskel, one of his daughters. She said he enjoyed dancing.

Survivors also include five sons, Willie, Edward Jr., Zolas and Anderson Williams, and Bobby Byrd; nine other daughters, Barbara Gordon, Ivory Cooper, Linda Ross, Betty Byrd and Ophelia, Printess, Leola, Lois and Mamie Williams; 35 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a sister, Martha Smith, and a close friend, Betty Stewart.

Services will begin at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Savin Funeral Home, 802 N. 12th St., where friends may call one hour earlier. Burial will be in Greenmount Cemetery, Front and Luzerne streets.


Charles Allen Warth Sr., a retired certified public acountant, died Tuesday. He was 84 and lived in Ocean City, Md.

Formerly of Philadelphia, Warth was a graduate of Temple University and for many years was employed by the firm of Haskins and Sells in Philadelphia. He later operated his own business in Media.

His wife, the former Lelia Caroline Cutler, died in 1961. He is survived by a son, Charles Allen "Chip" Warth Jr.

Graveside services will begin at 2 p.m. today at Arlington Cemetery, Lansdowne Avenue and School Lane, Drexel Hill.


James E. Holmes, a retired singer, died last Thursday. He was 74 and lived in West Philadelphia and New York.

Holmes, who sang with the Ink Spots for a time, also performed with the Jimmy Holmes Trio for many years. The group played supper clubs in the Philadelphia area, particularly in the Northeast. He retired nine years ago.

"He was a beautiful brother. We were buddies," said Alberta Wise, his sister. "He had a bubbly personality. He was just a great guy who was loved by people all over."

Holmes grew up in West Philadelphia and was a graduate of West Philadelphia High School. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.

Survivors also include two brothers, George and Bill.

Services will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow at First Corinthian Baptist Church, 51st and Pine streets, where friends may call one hour earlier.

Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery, 6500 Baltimore Ave., Fernwood, Delaware County.


Janice E. Leary, the former Janice Brinkley, died Saturday of a heart attack. She was 39 and lived in Beverly, N.J.

Formerly of Yeadon, Leary was a graduate of Yeadon High School.

"She was fun-loving, a happy person even though she was sick most of the time," said Joan Jackson, one of her sisters. Leary had Lupus, said Jackson.

Survivors also include two daughters, Mia Alahalia and Megan; a son, Anthony; another sister, Jean Robinson, and four brothers, Eugene, Earl, Jerrell and James Brinkley.

Services will begin at noon tomorrow at the Julian V. Hawkins Funeral Home, 53rd Street and Haverford Avenue, where friends may call two hours earlier.

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