Edward B. Roberson, 64, postal worker, community leader and Army veteran

Posted: March 05, 2014

IF PEOPLE IN the Melrose Park Gardens neighborhood had a problem like vandalism, drug dealing, etc., they wouldn't call the cops directly. They would call Ed Roberson.

Ed had the cellphone number of the captain of the 35th District and he would make the calls. Because Ed was recognized as a longtime leader of the community and one who cared deeply about its welfare, he would invariably get the action he sought.

At election time, Ed invited candidates to meetings he organized at churches or other locations to talk with the voters. He also held monthly meetings to which he invited City Council members, judges and city officials to answer citizens' concerns.

He recently was in contact with SEPTA to urge creation of a new bus route he advocated from the Northeast.

In other words, whenever a problem needed an answer in his neighborhood, Ed Roberson was the go-to guy.

Edward B. Roberson, longtime postal clerk and Army veteran, died Feb. 18 of pneumonia. He was 64.

In addition to his work and community leadership, Ed was a devoted family man who loved children and would make up songs to sing to them. In fact, he composed songs for many occasions, birthdays, wedding receptions, family gatherings, whatever, and would belt them out with little provocation.

"He was a very positive person," said his wife, the former Theresa Copeland. "He liked people and was very caring. He was fun-loving. He loved to laugh, and make other people laugh."

Ed Roberson, formerly of South Philadelphia, was president of the Melrose Park Gardens Civic Association for 20 years. He also started a neighborhood-watch group.

He was active in the Starr Garden Reunion Club, consisting of family and friends from South Philadelphia. His old friends knew him by his nickname, "Fish," and he would sell tickets every year and help out with the annual dinner dance, barbecue and other fundraisers.

He was born in Philadelphia, the sixth of the seven children of Ernest and Janie Mae Roberson. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1966, and earned an associate's degree in management from Community College of Philadelphia.

He was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War era and was a platoon sergeant at U.S. bases, training troops.

After his discharge, he joined the Postal Service. He worked at the main 30th Street station until it closed, when he moved to the Lindbergh Boulevard station, putting in nearly 30 years.

Ed joined Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church as a boy, then went on to Ebenezer Baptist in North Philadelphia. He served as co-chairman of the Men's Fellowship Breakfast and Men's Day. Later, he became a member of Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church.

Besides his wife, he is survived by twin daughters Zarifa and Ayasha; two brothers, Herman and Stanley Roberson; and two sisters, Ernestine Bailey and Mildred Cerdan.

Services: Were Friday. Burial was at Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown, Pa.

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