John L. Wade, 76

John L. Wade Sr.
John L. Wade Sr.
Posted: October 20, 2013

John L. Wade Sr., 76, of Germantown, an award-winning artist and professor emeritus of the Temple University Tyler School of Art, died Monday, Oct. 7, at Good Shepherd Penn Partners in Philadelphia of complications from sarcoidosis.

In addition to having received numerous awards, Mr. Wade's primarily abstract works were exhibited in galleries throughout the country, including the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Mr. Wade was born in Wilmington and graduated from Howard High School in 1955. His portfolio gained him acceptance into Philadelphia College of Art.

His education was interrupted by a stint in the Army, where he served as a military police officer and cartographer. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1965, and his master's in education from Tyler in 1968.

Mr. Wade later became a professor at the school and taught until his retirement in 2009.

Mr. Wade enjoyed using pencil, oil paint, watercolor, and acrylic mediums. As a professor at Temple, he reached out to his students by giving them his formula for success - "patience, perseverance, persistence, and positive attitude," according to his son, John Jr.

For 20 years he conducted a free Saturday seminar for minority students at Temple interested in or majoring in art.

Mr. Wade's family has been working with Temple to establish a scholarship in his name for underprivileged students who wish to pursue an art degree.

Mr. Wade won art awards that included the Silvermine, Woodmere Endowment Fund, and M. Grumbacher Inc. Awards. He was honored by the Jersey City Museum and inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Afro-American Historical Society of Delaware. Mr. Wade served as president of several organizations, including the Tyler School of Art Alumni Association, Artist Equity Association, and Brandywine Workshop.

In addition to the African American Museum, his work appeared in numerous collections, including those of the National Academy of Design in New York City; William Penn Memorial Museum, Harrisburg; Moravian College; the Delaware King Memorial Foundation; the Brandywine Workshop; and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, also in New York.

In his spare time, Mr. Wade enjoyed teaching free drawing classes during the evening and weekends to interested parishioners, neighbors, and members of the community. At his church, St. Francis of Assisi in Germantown, Mr. Wade was a cantor and choir member for 20 years. He was a member of St. Francis, which last year was merged with St. Vincent's Church, for more than 40 years.

In addition to his son, Mr. Wade is survived by his wife of 53 years, Nann; daughter Jacqueline; a brother; four grandchildren; and a half-sister.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at St. Vincent's Church, 109 E. Price St. A viewing will be at 9 a.m.


akuhn@phillynews.com.

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