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Matriarch

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NEWS
July 20, 1998 | by Joe Clark, Daily News Staff Writer
Services will be held today for Stephanie Jesiolowski, matriarch and community "cornerstone" who didn't fear taking a chance and, along with her husband, opened what might have been Bridesburg's first flower shop almost 50 years ago. The lifelong resident of Bridesburg died Thursday. She was 79. The Jesiolowskis opened their business, Ideal Florists, in 1950 in their home on Thompson Street near Orthodox, just a half block down the street from where "Stephie" was born and raised.
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jane Higgins Hurley, 90, the matriarch of a large Bryn Mawr family, died Saturday, March 28, of cardiopulmonary arrest at Waverly Heights, Gladwyne. The pillars of Mrs. Hurley's life were faith and family: She was baptized and married at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Bryn Mawr; her Mass of Christian Burial will be held there Wednesday, April 1. A homemaker, Mrs. Hurley and her husband, Joseph J. Hurley, reared 12 children in Villanova and then Bryn Mawr. "She raised her children with a gentle and loving touch," said her family in a prepared statement.
NEWS
October 18, 2010 | By JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573
SOME MIGHT find a kind of irony in the fact that Mary Coleman's first job was at a school for the blind, because later in life she, too, lost her sight. Being visually challenged did not stop Mary from leading a full and long life, much of it devoted to serving her Baptist religion. Mary Coleman, a matriarch who could be counted on to provide spiritual sustenance to family and friends, died Oct. 8. She was 93 and lived in Southwest Philadelphia. She and her late twin brother, Joseph, were born in Robeson County, N.C., the last of the 10 children of John David and Sarah Currie.
NEWS
September 16, 1995 | By Martha Woodall, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Mae E. Forman, 86, who immigrated to Philadelphia from Russia with her family as a child and became the matriarch in her large extended family, died Tuesday in Los Angeles while visiting her daughter. A longtime former resident of the Northeast, she had lived for the last few years in Jenkintown. Mrs. Forman, who was the youngest of seven children, lived first in South Philadelphia. She attended South Philadelphia High School for two years and then enrolled at a commercial school and became a bookkeeper.
NEWS
December 14, 2010 | By JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573
HOW DO you live to be 106? Well, follow the lead of Viola Waters. She shunned greasy foods, concentrated on fresh vegetables and had a daily drink of hot tea, which she believed removed impurities from the body. She certainly must have done something right, because not only did she live nearly seven years beyond the century mark, she was healthy and alert almost to the end. "Last June, she visited me in Strawberry Mansion and didn't want any help walking," said her granddaughter Donna M. Stoney.
NEWS
February 24, 2000 | by Jim Nicholson, Daily News Staff Writer
Lucille Summers "Dootsie" Singleton, a former private duty nurse and seamstress who enjoyed her role as family matriarch, died Saturday. She was 75 and lived in North Philadelphia. "She enjoyed being the matriarch. Everyone loved Mrs. Dootsie. She'd give you her last, literally speaking, she'd borrow to help you," said Jessie Gaymon, a daughter. "My mother was outgoing and loving to all who knew her and she gave until she couldn't give anymore. " She said that once a friend of her mother's said there wouldn't be enough to outfit her eight-year-old for Easter.
NEWS
May 21, 1999 | by Scott Flander, Daily News Staff Writer
There was no doubt who ran Rita Cermele's family. She did. "Momma enjoyed being in the role of the matriarch," said her son, Dominic, a former Traffic Court judge who now runs the city's Office of Administrative Review. "She was the boss. She controlled her family, though she did it kindly. " Cermele, a strong-willed woman in the South Philadelphia tradition, died yesterday at the age of 78. She was classic South Philly in other ways, too. She baked pies and bread, and took great pride in her "gravy," the downtown term for spaghetti sauce.
NEWS
December 30, 1998 | by Jim Nicholson, Daily News Staff Writer
Mattie Adams, a retired seamstress and family matriarch, died Saturday. She was 98 and lived in Sharon Hill. "She was really a sweet person and friendly with her neighbors," said Mary Adams, a daughter-in-law. A resident of Sharon Hill since 1942, Adams had previously lived in West Philadelphia. Born in Atlanta, Ga., the former Mattie Butts graduated from high school in Macon. She married Ernest Martin in 1918 and was widowed at an early age. She married Matthew Adams in 1928.
NEWS
June 23, 2011 | By JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573
ANYBODY WHO needed a place to stay knew that Joyce A. Dickerson would take them in. "She raised a lot of people, friends and family," said her great-granddaughter Verona "Rosie" Martin. "She was very loving, compassionate and feisty. " Joyce Dickerson, the loving matriarch of the Dickerson family, a former dietitian for the school district and an active churchwoman, died Sunday. She was 79 and lived in North Philadelphia. She was born in Philadelphia to Frank and Reola Dickerson, and attended public schools.
NEWS
April 14, 1990 | By Ralph Cipriano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Edna Meredith Green, 91, the matriarch of a family of 11 children, 30 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren, died Monday at the Sacred Heart Medical Center in Chester. The former Edna Meredith Pendelton, formerly of Yeadon, was a religious, hard-working woman who did the wash by hand, faithfully tended her garden and dispensed homespun wisdom to anyone who needed it. She was also very superstitious. If Mrs. Green's nose was itchy, it wasn't hay fever. It was a sign that someone was coming to visit, her granddaughter, Lorraine Branham, recalled.
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NEWS
April 9, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
ANNIE LEW JACKSON knew something about raising children. She had more than a dozen children of her husband's late parents to help raise before she even started having her own. It all began when Annie Lew married Leslie Jackson in 1939. His parents died, and she and Leslie were called upon to raise six of their 13 children - at a time when Annie was pregnant with her first child. Later, she gave birth to seven more children. Annie Lew, an active churchwoman and devoted family matriarch, who enjoyed tantalizing family and friends with her Southern-style cooking skills, died March 27 at age 95. She was born in Bishopville, S.C., to Loula Michelle Smith.
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jane Higgins Hurley, 90, the matriarch of a large Bryn Mawr family, died Saturday, March 28, of cardiopulmonary arrest at Waverly Heights, Gladwyne. The pillars of Mrs. Hurley's life were faith and family: She was baptized and married at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Bryn Mawr; her Mass of Christian Burial will be held there Wednesday, April 1. A homemaker, Mrs. Hurley and her husband, Joseph J. Hurley, reared 12 children in Villanova and then Bryn Mawr. "She raised her children with a gentle and loving touch," said her family in a prepared statement.
NEWS
February 12, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
IT WAS HARD for Hattie Belle Gillis to quit working. And so she didn't - not until ill health finally slowed her down. Until then, Hattie put together three careers, starting with 25 years as a police matron, the first black woman to have that job, at Police Headquarters, first in City Hall and later at the Roundhouse. She worked mostly with female suspects. She tried to retire in 1985, but couldn't stand being idle. She took a job as a kitchen aide for the Cheltenham School District.
NEWS
December 17, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
IF ANYBODY in the Gallo or Barone families needed information about current events, sports, medicine or any number of other subjects of interest, they didn't go to the library or the computer. They asked Grace. "Ask Aunt Grace," nephews and nieces would say. "She'll know about this. " And very often she did know, because Aunt Grace was a news junkie who not only kept up with what was going on in the world and the city, but also checked out the latest advances in medicine, and knew who was doing what to whom on the basketball courts, ice rinks and football gridirons.
NEWS
December 12, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
CHESTER WAS a bustling port city on the Delaware River 103 years ago. It built sailing ships for the Navy. Horse-drawn wagons clattered over the streets. There were no airplanes in the sky; few cars on the streets. William Howard Taft was in the White House. And Ada Elizabeth Dawson was born. She was the fourth of the nine children of Samuel P. Dawson and the former Mary Johnson. She lived long enough to see men land on the moon, jet planes fly faster than sound, streets clogged with traffic - and a black man in the White House.
NEWS
December 4, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
THELMA MILDRED Walker never believed she had made any painful sacrifices in her life. It was true, she gave up her dream of becoming a nurse by going to work in a factory to help support a growing family. And she gave up any notion of exploiting her natural talent as an artist for a career in the arts. And as a mother of five, it was always necessary to put her family's needs ahead of her own. "I used to think it must have been painful for her to sacrifice so much," said her son Reginald.
NEWS
November 26, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
PATRICIA HOSGOOD was such a dedicated anti-abortion activist that she didn't mind occasionally being arrested for demonstrating a little too fervently at an abortion clinic. She finally gave it up when a grandchild said, "Grandmom, please stop being thrown in jail. " But Patricia was a woman of strong opinions when it came to a cause close to her heart. If it meant handcuffs and being dragged away by cops, Patricia was willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort. Her husband, Dennis, was stoic about it. On two of the three occasions she was arrested, he made the trek to the 8th District police station at Academy and Red Lion roads to pick her up. A friend got her the third time.
NEWS
November 11, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Vera Szostak, 101, of Philadelphia, a seamstress and family matriarch who lived to know her great-great-grandchildren, died Wednesday, Oct. 29, of pneumonia at Blessed John Neumann Home in Bustleton, where she had lived since July 2013. "She had so many trials early in life, but she rose above them," said her niece Carol A. Petroski. Her ongoing vigor may have been due to her love of walking and eating fruit. Mrs. Szostak was born in 1913 in Jersey City, N.J. Her father, Anthony Kichak, died in the 1918 influenza epidemic, leaving her mother, Anna, to raise six children.
NEWS
September 25, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
WHEN KATHLEEN Young came to Philadelphia from a small town in North Carolina to attend nursing school, it had to have been something of a culture shock. But rather than being cowed or changed by the clash of environments, Kathleen adjusted, got married, had five children and reveled in the artistic opportunities available in an urban setting. She brought her Southern charm and graciousness with her, and they never deserted her. Kathleen Troncelliti, as she became after marrying world-renowned surgeon Manrico A. Troncelliti, a tireless volunteer in numerous charitable and civic endeavors, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died Sept.
NEWS
September 17, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
JUST TO LOOK OVER the delicacies that Catherine Sullivan specialized in is to regret that you were never invited to her home for dinner. Try manicotti, clams and spaghetti, crabs and spaghetti, or lamb and spaghetti, often served at her beach house in Ship Bottom, N.J., with the sound of the surf and the gentle sea breeze at the window. If you notice an Italian flavor to her menu, it's understandable, since her maiden name was Garofalo. "Catherine may have been the matriarch of the Sullivan Clan, but she knew her Italian cooking," her family said.
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