February 15, 2015 |
William J. Coopersmith, 88, of Glen Mills and Jupiter, Fla., a retired executive, civic leader, and sportsman, died of cancer Saturday, Feb. 7, at Taylor Hospice Residence in Ridley Park. A Philadelphia native, he graduated from Villanova College in 1950 and spent a year studying at Georgetown Law School. The world of commerce beckoned, though, so he joined his father, becoming general manager of Great Leopard Super Markets. He operated one of the nation's first supermarkets in the refitted shell of a textile mill in Chester.
February 13, 2015 |
William Lawrence Dixon, 86, of East Mount Airy, a retired Philadelphia police detective, died Thursday, Feb. 5, of complications from pulmonary disease at Fairview Care Center Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill. Born and reared in West Philadelphia, he graduated from Overbrook High School in 1945. He enlisted in the Navy in 1945 and served in the Seventh Fleet aboard the Merrimack, a fleet oil tanker. Following his military service, Mr. Dixon was employed at the former Frankford Arsenal as an optical etcher, engraving glass used in Army telescopes and binoculars.
February 10, 2015 |
Charlie Vogel is a familiar face - a celebrity of sorts - in the Hershey's Mill retirement community in East Goshen, Chester County. In a dozen years or so, he has done more than 100 interviews for the community's Channel 20 TV station, which reaches 1,700 homes. Among his most memorable guests were former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, Phillies' Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, and TV weather forecasters Herb Clarke and Cecily Tynan. Vogel also interviewed Bill Campbell, the famed Philadelphia sports broadcaster who called Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962.
January 27, 2015 |
Eddie Campbell's four tours of duty as a Marine in Korea and Vietnam helped prepare him for the battles that confronted him in Willingboro nearly 30 years later. But there were still a few ambushes. Campbell became a councilman in the predominantly black suburb in 1998 and had to tackle the fallout from white flight, shrinking tax revenue, and spiraling foreclosures. He was first appointed to the governing body after his wife, Doreatha, died of cancer while serving as mayor of their adopted hometown.
January 26, 2015 |
"Let's head back to Montana next summer," said my fly-fishing buddy Tom. We had spent a week the previous summer on the beautiful Madison River, and in nearby Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, with our good friend Jim. While not catching a ton of fish, we had a fly fisherman's dream week. "I'm in. Let me talk to Jim," I responded, with visions of 20-inch trout rising to my dry fly filling my head. Jim said yes immediately, and to make the idea more palatable on the home front, we decided to ask our wives to go along.
January 20, 2015 |
From a curved corner property on Passyunk Avenue, his windows packed with merchandise and signs promising to make men look better "if you let us," Abe Mandel has sized up a great many people over the years. Usually, it's to get them into the best-fitting slacks or most flattering shirts. Lately, his focus has been on three men in particular, to determine whether they are the right fit to succeed him at the helm of A Man's Image. He has decided they are. Mandel, 74, proprietor of menswear establishments in the same block of Passyunk (near 12th and Morris Streets)
January 18, 2015 |
A memorial service will be Saturday, Jan. 17, for Loretta Yvonne Mason, 66, a retired Philadelphia School District teacher, who died last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from complications related to her lifelong battle with sickle-cell disease. A North Philadelphia native, Mrs. Mason had moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2004 after she retired. The daughter of Junius and Marie Hicks, Mrs. Mason helped establish a scholarship fund with her brothers to honor their mother for the role she played as plaintiff in a lawsuit that led to the integration of Girard College, following a 1968 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
January 13, 2015 |
JOE O'DOWD, a crack Daily News police reporter, was relaxing at his rental house in Brigantine, N.J., in the summer of 1987 when there came a heavy knock on the door. It was a Brigantine cop with a message from Joe's office telling him to get back to Philly to cover a development in the notorious Gary Heidnik murder case. Apparently, the office didn't have a number for Joe's summer place, so it had to track him through the local cops. Of course, Joe hightailed it back to Philly to check out the case of the man who kidnapped, tortured and raped six women he held prisoner in his North Philadelphia "House of Horrors," killing two. Joseph Donald O'Dowd, considered one of the best of a legendary contingent of reporters who covered the cops for the Daily News, the Inquirer and the Bulletin in the days before cellphones and the Internet, died Wednesday of cancer.
January 5, 2015 |
By Michael Carroll I confess that I am a little envious of the peculiar and controversial public employee retirement program known as DROP, for Deferred Retirement Option Plan. I like the image, the sound of it, and the opening it provides for imagination. I would also like the money. Few inside Philadelphia government understand DROP completely, and even fewer outside have a clue. As I understand it, city employees declare their intention to retire in a few years, which is supposed to give the city time to plan for their departure.
December 31, 2014 |
Joanne Williams has been riding Eugene "Smitty" Smith's Route 29 bus across South Philadelphia for many years. "He's an angel. He just don't want to marry me yet," she lamented the other morning. Since the SEPTA driver is retiring Tuesday, she knew this would be her last chance. At her stop, bracing herself on her cane, she whispered in his ear. "Nah," he replied, "my wife's a keeper. " They both smiled. Then she leaned in and gave Smitty a hug - he's been collecting many of those of late - and exited his bus at Broad Street for the last time.