WHEN THE neighborhood kids showed up at Anita O. Seidle's home for trick-or-treating, they didn't get the usual candy corn and Tootsie Rolls. They got hot chocolate.
Disappointed? Hardly. In fact, every year they looked forward to that hot chocolate when the holiday came around. Even after they entered their teens, the kids would come back for that special treat.
Halloween wasn't the only holiday family and friends looked forward to at Seidle's West Philadelphia home. Thanksgiving and Christmas meant turkey with all the trimmings and Anita's famous homemade rolls.
Those rolls often went out to the neighborhood where both she and the rolls were very popular.
Anita Seidle, one of the first black bookkeepers hired by the former Bell Telephone Co. at its headquarters at 17th and Arch streets, a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died May 26. She was 86.
After some 20 years at Bell, Anita took a break to raise her children. When they were old enough, she went back to work, putting in about 20 more years with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, including clerking in the lottery office. She retired in 1988.
Anita was born in Birmingham, Ala., to Annabelle Atkins. She came to Philadelphia as a child and attended public schools. She graduated from William Penn High School for Girls.
After World War II, she met and married Thomas Seidle, a Navy veteran who served in the South Pacific . He later became a long-distance truck driver.
Anita took good care of the neighborhood children, holding birthday parties for them complete with cake and ice cream. The kids came back to see her after they grew up.
"She loved children," her husband said. "But every time she saw teenagers walking around with their pants down low, she would yell at them, 'Pull up your pants!' even if she didn't know them. They always complied.
"She had a wonderful disposition - but don't make her angry."
Anita loved to travel, mostly by car. She and her husband took several car trips across the country to California and Oregon, where one of their children lived. They also took long train rides and a cruise to Jamaica.
Besides her husband, she is survived by three sons, Joseph, Timothy and Albert; 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by another son, Thomas, who was Timothy's twin.