NE Hall of Fame announces new inductees

  • Hall of Fame honors:Sister Francesca Onley, president of Holy Family, announced the 2014 Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame inductees during a May 8 news conference.

  • Hall of Fame honors: City Councilman Dennis O’Brien announced the 2014 Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame inductees during a May 8 news conference. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

The North­east Phil­adelphia Hall of Fame last week an­nounced its 2014 in­duct­ees. The new­est in­duct­ees will be Steph­en Dec­atur, Vir­gin­ia Knauer, Pat Wor­thing­ton Stop­per, Chris Mat­thews and the Jew­ish Com­munity Cen­ter Klein Branch. The an­nounce­ment was made dur­ing a May 8 news con­fer­ence at Holy Fam­ily Uni­versity by Sis­ter Francesca On­ley, pres­id­ent of Holy Fam­ily, and City Coun­cil­man Den­nis O’Bri­en.

The in­duct­ees were chosen by a nine-mem­ber se­lec­tion com­mit­tee, chaired by Sis­ter Francesca. The pub­lic par­ti­cip­ated by sug­gest­ing can­did­ates for con­sid­er­a­tion. The in­duc­tion ce­re­mony will be on Oct. 19 at Holy Fam­ily.

Here is more in­form­a­tion on the in­duct­ees:

• Steph­en Dec­atur (1779-1820) was raised in Frank­ford and briefly at­ten­ded the Lower Dub­lin Academy in Up­per Holmes­burg. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1798. He com­manded a ship in 1803, tak­ing to the Medi­ter­ranean for ser­vice in the first of the Bar­bary Wars — Amer­ica’s wars against North Afric­an pir­ate states — where his lead­er­ship and ac­tions were ac­claimed. He also dis­tin­guished him­self in the War of 1812. In 1815, he re­turned to the Medi­ter­ranean for the second Bar­bary War, where he se­cured a treaty with the Bar­bary States.

• Vir­gin­ia Knauer (1915-2011) and her hus­band Wil­helm in 1948 bought and re­stored a his­tor­ic home along the Delaware River in Tor­res­dale. They later foun­ded the Knauer Found­a­tion for His­tor­ic Pre­ser­va­tion. Vir­gin­ia Knauer be­came the first wo­man to serve on City Coun­cil. In 1969, Pres­id­ent Richard Nix­on ap­poin­ted her Spe­cial As­sist­ant to the Pres­id­ent for Con­sumer Af­fairs. She later be­came dir­ect­or of the fed­er­al Of­fice of Con­sumer Af­fairs, a po­s­i­tion she held un­der Pres­id­ents Ger­ald Ford and Ron­ald Re­agan.

• Pat Wor­thing­ton Stop­per, born in 1928, comes from a fam­ily whose roots in the North­east go back more than 300 years. She has spent many years col­lect­ing, pre­serving and shar­ing loc­al his­tory. A long­time res­id­ent of Bustleton, she has re­searched and writ­ten about the neigh­bor­hoods of Bustleton, Somer­ton and By­berry, and has giv­en present­a­tions to schools, lib­rar­ies and his­tor­ic­al groups. In the early 1990s, she was a found­ing mem­ber of the North­east Phil­adelphia His­tory Pro­ject and worked with fel­low his­tor­i­ans on two books on the his­tory of the North­east. She also pub­lished two pictori­als on Bustleton, Somer­ton and By­berry. She has also been act­ive in re­search­ing and pre­serving the his­tory of her church, Pen­nepack Baptist. In 2013, she donated her his­tor­ic­al col­lec­tions to the Friends of North­east Phil­adelphia.

• Chris Mat­thews was raised in Somer­ton. He served in the Peace Corps in Africa from 1968-70. He ran for Con­gress in 1974 in the Demo­crat­ic primary, but was crushed by Rep. Josh Eil­berg. He served six years as chief of staff for U.S. House Speak­er Tip O’Neill. He spent 15 years as a journ­al­ist for the San Fran­cisco Ex­am­iner and San Fran­cisco Chron­icle. He is best known as a polit­ic­al com­ment­at­or and news host for NBC and MS­N­BC. He hos­ted the Chris Mat­thews Show from 2002-12 and has been host of Hard­ball with Chris Mat­thews since 1997. He has writ­ten sev­er­al books, in­clud­ing the best­seller Jack Kennedy: Elu­sive Hero. His most re­cent book, Tip and the Gip­per: When Polit­ics Worked, is about the work­ing re­la­tion­ship between Ron­ald Re­agan and Tip O’Neill.

• The Jew­ish Com­munity Cen­ter Klein Branch, at 10100 Jam­is­on Ave., has been serving the people of the North­east for al­most 40 years. Foun­ded in 1975 and en­dowed by busi­ness­man and phil­an­throp­ist Ray­mond Klein and his wife Miri­am, the branch of­fers a vari­ety of so­cial, edu­ca­tion­al and cul­tur­al ser­vices and pro­grams for all ages. Activ­it­ies in­clude health and well­ness, after-school pro­grams, sum­mer day camp, sports classes and leagues, and adult edu­ca­tion classes and pro­grams. So­cial ser­vice pro­grams are avail­able for im­mig­rants at risk, low-in­come fam­il­ies, seni­or cit­izens and the hungry. The branch provides more than 45,000 home-de­livered meals to seni­ors each year.

The North­east Phil­adelphia Hall of Fame is sponsored by Glen Fo­erd on the Delaware in part­ner­ship with Holy Fam­ily, the His­tor­ic­al So­ci­ety of Frank­ford, the North­east Times and Coun­cil­man O’Bri­en. Jack Mc­Carthy is the pro­ject dir­ect­or. ••

You can reach at

comments powered by Disqus