Bonnie writes the life stories of the movers and shakers in the Philly area and South Jersey who have died.

Latest Stories

Dr. Henry Sawyer Mayer, a cardiologist and leader at Bryn Mawr Hospital, dies at 74

In retirement, Dr. Mayer volunteered to sit at a hospital reception desk, welcoming patients. “He was a special guy. Not many doctors would do that,” Andrea Gilbert said.

Elisabeth Shellenberger, international field hockey player, coach and umpire, dies at 98

Miss Shellenberger picked up a field hockey stick at age 10, and knew what she wanted to do in life. Her dedication to the sport put it on the map for players and fans throughout the world.

Louis J. Vastardis, 97, who rose from humble roots to become a builder of restaurants, dies

Usually jovial and smiling, Mr. Vastardis could turn serious in an instant when dealing with work. "When it came to business, he was all business," a family friend said.

Wayne A. Ernst, Bridgeton master baker, dies at 68

Mr. Ernst came from a long line of bakers, the first of whom emigrated to this country from Austria. He took over the Century Bakery in 1981 and ran it with his wife. The bakery became a Bridgeton fixture.

Rudolph V. Tolbert, 81, Vietnam Army veteran, Boeing employee, and community activist

Mr. Tolbert's experiences serving with the Army overseas and as a White House page taught him how to use diplomacy in everyday life. The skills came in handy later, when he worked at Boeing and as a community activist.

Ralph Earle 2d, a Philadelphia lawyer and lead negotiator in the SALT II arms control talks, dies at 91

Ambassador Earle was the son of former Pennsylvania Gov. George H. Earle 3d. He started out as a Philadelphia lawyer and then became an arms control expert in Washington and overseas.

Kathleen Marie Kienlen, office worker, poet, and friend to many, dies at 50

Despite physical challenges, Kathleen Kienlen worked full-time at the Navy Yard, wrote poetry, and kept up with a large number of friends.

Jerry Stevens, a giant of Philadelphia radio broadcasting, dies at 85

Mr. Stevens was not only a legend on the air. He also made Philadelphia one of the leading radio markets for introducing and nurturing new broadcasting talent.

Ricardo V. Taylor Jr., Pennsauken mayor and longtime educator, dies at 73

Mr. Taylor was a township booster. Once, he showed up at a ribbon cutting wearing a cheerleader's costume. He had vowed to wear the outfit if a troubled apartment project was completed. It got laughs.

Marie Gallagher, 72, principal who kept Little Flower High School open in 1992, dies

When officials moved to close Little Flower High School for Girls in 1992, Miss Gallagher assembled the money and research needed to keep it open.