Broncos legend and football Hall of Famer Floyd Little dies at 78
The Denver Broncos and Syracuse University lost a legend. Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little died Saturday at 78.
Little spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Broncos. He was selected by the team with the No. 6 overall pick in the first draft following the AFL-NFL merger in 1967. In nine seasons with the Broncos, Little rushed for 6,323 yards and scored 43 rushing touchdowns. He made five Pro Bowls and was named to the All-Pro team once. When Little retired, he was the seventh leading rusher of all time.
Little was inducted in the Broncos’ ring of fame in 1984. He made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
In a statement, Hall of Fame president David Baker called Little “a true hero of the game.”
“Floyd Little was a true hero of the game. He was a man of great integrity, passion and courage. His contributions off the field were even greater than his amazing accomplishments he did on it. Floyd’s smile, heart and character epitomized what it meant to have a Hall of Fame life.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Floyd’s wife, DeBorah, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Floyd’s memory.”
Joe Clark, Paterson, New Jersey’s “Principled Principal,” Has Passed Away
The No-Nonsense Educator was a Mentor for Students to Lean On
PATERSON, N.J., Dec. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Joe Louis Clark, the baseball bat and bullhorn-wielding Principal whose unwavering commitment to his students and uncompromising disciplinary methods at Paterson, New Jersey’s Eastside High School inspired the 1989 film Lean on Me, has passed away. A longtime resident of South Orange, NJ, Clark (82) retired to Gainesville, Florida. He was at home and surrounded by his family when he succumbed to his long battle with illness on December 29, 2020.
Born in Rochelle, Georgia, on May 8, 1938, Clark’s family moved north to Newark, New Jersey, when he was six years old. It was in the Garden State that Clark built his legacy through both his accomplished career in education and his children: Olympian and businesswoman Joetta Clark Diggs, Olympic Athlete and Director of Sports Business Development for the Bermuda Tourism Authority Hazel Clark, and accomplished athlete and Director of Track and Field and Cross Country at Stanford University Joe Clark, Jr.
A Legacy of Laying Down the Law
After graduating from Newark Central High School, Clark continued on to achieve his bachelor’s degree from William Paterson College (now William Paterson University), a master’s degree from Seton Hall University, and an honorary doctorate from the U.S. Sports Academy.
Clark’s post-collegiate career as a U.S. Army Reserve Sergeant and Drill Instructor engrained in him a respect for order and achievement, which came to define his more than three-decade career in education.
First serving as a Paterson grade school teacher and the Director of Camps and Playgrounds in Essex County, NJ, Clark soon found his calling in administration as Principal of PS 6 Grammar School. Under Clark’s command, the once failing school was transformed into the “Miracle of Carroll Street.”
Committed to the pursuit of excellence, Clark greeted the challenges presented to him following his appointment as the Principal of crime and drug-ridden Eastside High School with eager optimism. In one day, he expelled 300 students for fighting, vandalism, abusing teachers, and drug possession and lifted the expectations of those that remained, continually challenging them to perform better. Roaming the hallways with a bullhorn and a baseball bat, Clark’s unorthodox methods won him both admirers and critics nationwide. Steadfast in his approach, Clark explained that the bat was not a weapon but a symbol of choice: a student could either strike out or hit a home run.
Impressed by the expeditious changes imparted on the troubled school, President Reagan offered Clark a White House policy advisor position. Clark’s dedication to his students and community led him to decline the prestigious honor, and his larger-than-life career continued to spark conversations across the country. Clark appeared on programs including 60 Minutes and The Arsenio Hall Show and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine before the motion picture Lean on Me starring Morgan Freeman memorialized his work.
After he retired from Eastside in 1989, Clark worked for six years as the Director of Essex County Detention House, a juvenile detention center in Newark. He also wrote Laying Down the Law: Joe Clark’s Strategy for Saving Our Schools, detailing his methods for turning around Eastside High School and how they can be applied to combat crime, permissiveness, and academic decline in schools nationwide. Nearly thirty years after his retirement, Clark’s captivating career offered inspiration to executive directors John Legend and LeBron James for a television series, reflecting his philosophies’ generational transcendence.
Predeceased by his wife, Gloria, Clark’s legacy as an influential educator and father of New Jersey’s most storied track and field family lives on through his children, Joetta, Hazel, and JJ, and grandchildren, Talitha, Jorell, and Hazel.
Obituary of Darryl Love
Darryl Love was born on July 30, 1960 to the late Leroy P. Hayes, Jr. and Dolores D. Love. He quietly slipped away to be with his Heavenly Father on December 22, 2020.
Darryl (fondly known as Zeek) was raised in Madison, NJ where he was educated in the Madison School District.
He joined the United States Army after High School finishing basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. He completed two enlistments: one in Hawaii and one in Fayetteville, NC.
He worked at Signature Flight Support located at the Morristown Airport in Florham Park, NJ for the past 14 years as an Air Concierge. He did his job with excellence and left a positive impression on everyone he met.
He was a member of First Baptist Church of Madison.
Darryl loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and family. Darryl will be remembered for his humor, always fooling around and joking with people. He always had a smile on his face!
He leaves to cherish his memory one daughter Tasha Love Davis (Marcus) and one son Darryl Love, Jr. (Verniece); two grandsons (Mekhi and Aiden Love); six sisters: Candice Love Ferguson (Gregg), Jacqueline Love, Helen Love Richardson, Lori Stokley (Fletcher), Rachelle Hayes, Dawn Hayes and one brother Leroy P. Hayes, III (Dumpy). He also leaves his fiancé Vera White; Aunt Janet Winston; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family members and friends.
Darryl was predeceased by two brothers Ronald Preston Love and Dean Hayes.
Darryl was deeply loved and will be sorely missed by everyone. He will always stay in our hearts.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Madison Memorial Home.
George E. Kelley
Morristown – On Friday, December 18, 2020, George E. Kelley, loving husband, father, brother, and uncle, passed away at the age of 87.
George Edward Kelley was born on October 23, 1933 in Enterprise, Alabama, to Reather Kelley and Edmond Copeland. He was a devoted big brother to younger sister, Dorothy.
George spent his formative years in Canton, Ohio, where he quickly developed an interest in sports and music. He lent his beautiful tenor voice to a barbershop quartet that regularly performed in churches and other venues throughout the state. While he was loyal to the McKinley High Bulldogs football team, he preferred playing baseball. He was so sure of his talent that he convinced the coach to let him try out as a freshman, and he played on the varsity team during all four years of high school.
After graduating from McKinley High, George joined the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1955. While working in Canton, he was invited to audition for the choir director at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He subsequently won a full vocal scholarship to UAPB and sang as a tenor for the UAPB Vesper Choir.
George developed his political chops in college while serving as President of the UAPB Student Government Association. In 1960, he led a campus-wide rally to protest the state’s attempt to take over the college administration during a time of rising racial tension. The effort landed on the front page of the New York Times and almost resulted in his expulsion. Fortunately, he was able to remain at school, and he graduated with a degree in Sociology from UAPB.
George also met fellow choir member, class Treasurer, and love of his life, Margaret Weathers, at UAPB. They graduated together in the class of 1961 and married in 1963 in McGehee, Arkansas. They settled in Morristown in 1963, quickly becoming involved in civic and community work. George earned a Master’s degree in Education from Newark State College (now Kean College).
George’s career was devoted to children. One of his first jobs in New Jersey was at the Janet Memorial Home for children in Elizabeth, NJ. The Home served children in need of extra emotional and educational support and direction to stay on track in school.
George served as the first Black teacher in the Dover public school system and later became the first Black Director of Special Services for the Mt. Olive Township School District. He was exceptionally proud of his work with the special education community. During his 33-year tenure, he built the special education department and spearheaded a number of initiatives for exceptional children that were the first of their kind not only in the district, but in the state. George founded the group Parents of Exceptional Children to give parents a voice and a means to advocate for their children during a time when special needs children were overlooked and underserved in the education system. He was also awarded a grant to start a pre-school program for handicapped children in Mt. Olive – a first for Morris County. The program incorporated occupational, physical, and speech therapy – something not typical during that time and still, sadly, uncommon today. That program, now known as the Mt. Olive Childcare and Learning Center, is now in its 46th year.
George served as President of the Morris County Urban League in 1971 and 1972. He was also involved in the Morristown chapter of the NAACP for many years. During his tenure, he served at various times as 1st Vice President, and Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Education Committee. George was also a member of the Morris School District Board of Education. At the time, the Board was charged with merging the Morristown and Morris Township school districts in order to achieve racial balance pursuant to an order from the Commissioner of Education. George worked with the Board, the Superintendent of Schools, and other district personnel to help ensure a successful merger. George also spearheaded a successful effort to establish an SAT program free of charge for Black children in the Morris School District. Under George’s leadership, all materials were donated, and teachers volunteered their time. George also served on the Education Scholarship Committee at Union Baptist Church, where he and his family have been members since 1963.
George’s love for the arts continued throughout his life. He and Margaret immersed the family in music, theatre and other creative arts. His booming tenor voice and his performances as a member of the Masterwork Chorus, with which he performed the Messiah at Carnegie Hall, will never be forgotten. Impromptu harmonizations were commonplace. It only took one person to sing a bar of a piece of music to get his attention.
George loved his family and never missed an opportunity to celebrate with and uplift them. Epic family trips he planned to the Outer Banks and Hershey Park Resort and Spa, where friends also often joined, will be fondly remembered. His leadership both in the community and in his family, his exceptionally kind and generous spirit, his lively political conversations, his famous pancake breakfasts and collard greens, and his early morning conversations with Margaret will be sorely missed.
Loved ones who predeceased George are his parents Reather Kelley and Edmond Copeland; his sister Dorothy Jones and his beloved sister-in-law Thelma Barnes. Those who will forever miss him and his loving and consistent guiding hand are Margaret, his wife of 57 years; his daughters Palisa Kelley (South Orange, NJ), Audrey Kelley (Los Angeles, CA), and Candace Kelley (Bound Brook, NJ); his grandson David Strachan III (South Orange, NJ); his uncle John Kelley (Prattsville, AL); cousins Alice Kelley (Enterprise, AL), Sonja Robinson (Atlanta, GA), Clifford Copeland (Conyers, GA), Rev. Chet Hayes (Columbus, GA), and Karen Eutsey, Joe Eutsey, and Gayle Eutsey Dean (Miami, FL); in-laws Rubye Hickerson (Edison, NJ), Charlie Mae Thompson (Southfield, MI), Verdell Hickerson (Morristown, NJ); nieces and nephews Oreon Jones (Canton, OH), Keimani Jones (Canton, OH), Celetta Jones (Canton, OH), Marcus Hickerson (Edison, NJ), Cedric Hickerson (Bethlehem, PA), Adele Hickerson (Edison, NJ), Ila and Charles Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA), Paula Barnes (Lawrenceville, GA), Courtney and Cleydy Barnes (Auburn, GA), Michael Barnes (Greenville, MS), and a host of other in-laws, extended family, friends, and sisters and brothers in music and the struggle for civil rights.
Viewing: Thursday, December 24, 9:00 am to 10:00 am. Homegoing Service: Thursday, December 24,10:00 am to 11:00 am Union Baptist Church, 89 Spring Street, Morristown, NJ 07960 Arrangements have been entrusted to Rowe Funeral Home, Morristown, NJ.
God has gained an angel
By Joseph Green-Bishop
The Rev. Mamie Althea Williams was an angelic servant of God who during nearly a half century of ministry profoundly and selflessly improved the lives of people throughout the world.
A powerful orator and effective church and civic leader, Rev. Williams, who died recently in her Baltimore County home, performed a major role in progressive social change movements in the United States, Africa, Europe and in the Caribbean.
A graduate of Claflin University in her native South Carolina, and the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., there was little Rev. Williams did not do to help others during her lifetime.
It almost seemed as if she never slept. Her energy and her compassion were boundless. At the root of her work were faith, prayer and an intense belief in the goodness of people.
Annually, she organized a reception for the widows of ministers who had pastored United Methodist churches in the Baltimore-Washington area.
While some had forgotten these women, Rev. Williams insisted on acknowledging the roles they played in ministry.
She helped raise money to build and open Africa University in Zimbabwe, recognized as one of the finest academic institutions on the African continent.
When the AIDS epidemic first arrived in this country she worked closely with health organizations, and with medical professionals such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Levi Watkins to educate members of the public about the disease.
Among her friends and mentors were Bishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Joseph Lowery, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Dr. Dorothy Height, the Rev. Frank L. Williams, the Rev. Alfreda Wiggins, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Congressman Parren J. Mitchell and others too numerous to list in this writing.
She was born into a God-centered family in Sumter, South Carolina. She and her surviving sister, Mary Mayhan, spoke by phone each evening.
“Mamie was my rock,” said Mrs. Mayhan, a resident of Georgia who like others said the world will miss Rev. Williams immensely.
Nearly two hundred people viewed a memorial service in Baltimore at the Howell Funeral Home honoring the life and deeds of Rev. Williams.
Written tributes were presented to the family by Sen. Benjamin Cardin, Rep. Kweisi Mfume and the city of Baltimore. Numerous faith organizations and individuals also presented tributes.
“Her life was a sermon,” said the honorable Robert M. Bell, former Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.
“Rev. Williams was a true servant of God who took her religion seriously,” said Judge Bell, whose mother and brothers had been eulogized by Rev. Williams.
“She helped those she encountered in life,” Judge Bell said. “The life and work of Rev. Mamie Williams will be forever celebrated in the hearts and minds of those she touched. She shall live on.”
Elizabeth A. Johnson
Morristown – Elizabeth Johnson passed away on Saturday, December 12th after a long illness. She was 81 years old. Elizabeth was born in Charleston, South Carolina and was the eldest of eight children to the late Janie Alston and Edward Moultrie Alston, Sr. She attended Burke High School in Charleston and moved to Morristown in the late 50’s. She was employed at Atlantic Health System for 20 years until her retirement. She is predeceased by her husband Frank Johnson, and brothers Edward Moultry Alston Jr. (Barbara, Morristown, NJ), and Arthur Alston. She is survived by her three children, Denise Elizabeth Johnson of Washington Township, NJ, Janie Delores Johnson of New Providence, NJ, Franklin Johnson of Morristown, NJ and step-daughter Louise Varner of Sicklerville, NJ; and is also survived by her siblings Kenneth Alston Sr. (Vera) of Morristown, NJ, Delores Alston-Smith (Hilton) of Morristown, NJ, Melvin Alston Sr. (Jeanne) of Morristown, NJ, Carolyn Robinson of Ledgewood, NJ , Jnorow “Raleigh” Alston of Morris Plains, NJ, “Sisters in Love” Antoinette Robinson of Ledgewood, NJ, Lorraine Veal of Montclair, NJ, 11 grandkids, 12 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones who affectionately called her “Aunt Liz”. A viewing will be held from 10 am – 12 pm, followed by a private ceremony at 12 pm on Friday, December 18, at Rowe Funeral Home, 71 Washington Street, Morristown, NJ. The interment will take place at Evergreen Cemetery at 1:15 pm. Please note COVID 19 event guidelines will be followed. Online condolences can be made at www.rowefuneral.com