Michael B. Washington, activist and housing coordinator

Michael B. Washington
Michael B. Washington
Posted: June 29, 2014

Michael B. Washington, 55, a housing rehabilitation coordinator for Delaware County and a longtime activist in North Philadelphia, died of cancer Saturday, June 21, at Lankenau Hospital.

He was the son of the Rev. Paul Washington, the well-known rector of the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia. Although not a clergyman, Mr. Washington became community leader like his late father, serving on the boards of the Advocate Community Development Corp. and the Paul and Christine Washington Community Center adjacent to the church.

"The folks in the neighborhood were real neighbors to Mike. On the street, the way folks would greet him was special," said the Rev. Isaac Miller, former pastor of the Church of the Advocate and interim priest at Calvary St. Augustine Episcopal Church in West Philadelphia. "Mike touched one heck of a lot of folks in the community in exactly the way you want to see happen."

Mr. Washington's wife, Angelina, said, "Michael was extremely compassionate. His heart always reached out to people who were less fortunate."

The couple married in 1997 and had two daughters, Danielle and Regina. They lived in Yeadon for many years.

The Philadelphia native graduated from the former Father Paul Washington High School in 1977 and attended Cheyney University.

He worked for the Delaware County Office of Housing and Community Development as a coordinator for a housing rehabilitation program for seniors and low- and moderate-income residents.

He was a member of Heeding God's Call, an antiviolence group that in recent years held protests at gun stores in the city.

Mr. Washington's other interests were photography and music. He taught himself to play the bass and especially loved reggae and jazz, his wife said. African drumming was another of his interests.

Mr. Washington also enjoyed camping with his family, said his brother Kemah. He enjoyed trips to New Jersey's Bass River State Forest and Front Royal, Va., the gateway to Shenandoah National Park.

"He was always joyful and telling jokes, making everybody feel better," his brother said. "He just had a good warm spirit that everybody loved."

In addition to his wife, daughters, and brother, Mr. Washington is survived by another brother and a sister.

A Celebration of Life service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 5, at the Church of the Advocate, 1801 W. Diamond St.


vclark@phillynews.com

215-854-5717

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