FROM THE white sands of Fiji to the cliffs of the Swiss Alps, Aleta Hall was at home.
Or maybe on a cruise ship to the Caribbean, chilling out on the deck and maybe dreaming of the treacherous slopes she loved to try.
Aleta actually had her 15 minutes of fame in the mid-'90s when she appeared in a Verizon TV commercial, extolling the virtues of the service.
"She did very well," said her sister Karen W. Eskridge. "She looked good."
Aleta C. Hall, longtime employee of the old Bell Telephone Co. (later taken over by Verizon), intrepid traveler, teacher and active churchwoman, died Wednesday of cancer. She was 63 and lived in Yeadon, Delaware County.
She worked several jobs at Bell and Verizon before her retirement in 2002.
"Then her life took off!" her sister said.
She indulged her love of traveling to the hilt. "If you didn't find her sunning on the Jersey Shore, the Florida coast or the white sands of Fiji, you were bound to find her swishing the ski slopes of the Swiss Alps or the mountains of New Zealand, Aspen or New England," her sister said.
"And for true relaxation, cruising was her vacation of choice. The last trip she took was to the Holy Land Experience in Florida, and she thoroughly enjoyed it."
Aleta graduated from Peirce College with a degree in business management and went to work as a teaching assistant at Khepera Charter School in West Mount Airy.
She enjoyed teaching kindergartners. "She loved her children, and the children loved Mama Leta," her sister said. "Aleta never left one child behind and remained active with children through tutoring and mentoring."
In 2004, Aleta joined Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church. She served on the Steward Board and co-chaired the Ministry of Membership. She was a member of the Church School, Bible Study and Vacation Bible School.
As a member of the Drama Club, Aleta was known for her role as the "devil in a red dress." She also was a member of the Divine Movement Dance Ministry and the Praise Team. As a member of the Beautification Ministry, she helped prepare the church for services.
She was president of the Excelsior Choir and sang her favorite hymn, "Jehovah Jireh":
My God shall supply all my needs:
According to his riches in glory.
He will give his angels
Charge over me.
Aleta was born in Bryn Mawr to Wynyard and Willa Hall. She was raised in Yeadon and graduated from Archbishop Prendergast High School, now Bonner Prendergast High.
She married the late Jeffrey Branche in 1969.
Besides her sister, she is survived by two sons, Jeffrey Branche Jr. and Stephan Branche; two other sisters, Lois Barnes and Kathie Hall; two brothers, Wynyard and Peter Hall; and nine grandchildren.