Visitation with family
Obituary of Fredrick McGhee
Fredrick Louis McGhee was born on December 17, 1949 in Gadsden, Alabama to Velma McGhee and Sim Sumpter Jr. He was fond of reminding us that he was the only one born at home and delivered by a midwife. His parents preceded him in death. He was educated in the Gadsden, Alabama School System until the age of 12 when he moved to Camden, New Jersey with his beloved grandmother, Daisy McCrea and his sister Patricia. He attended Hatch Junior High School and graduated from Camden High School in June of 1968. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam era as anOrthopedicTechnician at William Beaumont General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He was honorably discharged from the military in 1971 on a hardship discharge that allowed him to come home and assist his grandmother with the raising of his younger brother and sister. He never forgot his Alabama roots and often spoke fondly of his childhood friends and his days living in Gadsden.
In addition, upon his return from active military service, he was employed for twenty- eight years as a printer at thecorporate offices of the Campbell Soup Co. where he rose to head of that department. Fred also studied layout and design at the Philadelphia College of Art at night where he enhanced his skills as a designer. Fred later worked for a printing company in Philadelphia, PA who printed various materials used by offices at the University of Pennsylvania. He loved being around the academic environment of UP and was a historian, geographer and political news enthusiast in his heart. He spent his later years in semi-retirement delivering auto parts for two different companies.
Fred’s teenage years were spent in Calvary Baptist Church in Pennsauken, New Jersey and he accepted Christ as his personal savior and was baptized by the late Reverend Wyatt Tee Walker Sr.in 1963. He loved the old spirituals and often bragged about what great voices his grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins who all sing or sang in church choirs, had.
He met his wife Patricia in June of 1968 and they were married in Calvary Baptist Church of Pennsauken, New Jersey on December 11, 1971. From that union came two sons, Khary Khalid McGhee born May 27, 1975 and Zahir Farid McGhee born January 3, 1980. Fred made great sacrifices for his sons. He was an outstanding father and was probably more protective toward them than even their mother. He picked the schools where they would receive their pre-college educations. He traveled wherever they went from Boy Scouts to basketball tournaments. He was proud of all that they have achieved but he always told them to work hard and stay humble.
Fred served his neighborhood as a community organizer for more than forty years. Fred first helped to organize the Admiral Park Town watch Program in his neighborhood and further organized nightly patrols among the men in the community. Regular town watch meetings were held at his home and the home of other concerned neighbors. Meetings with the Pennsauken Chief of Police and the Pennsauken Public Safely Director were a common occurrence.Often he organized a community clean up day for his neighborhood. He contacted the township officials in Pennsauken, ordered the dumpster and purchased lunch for the maintenance workers who collected the trash on that specified Saturday. Over three hundred homes were notified about this event every year and Fred was there to greet his neighbors as they brought their own items to the dumpster. He visited neighborhood businesses and admonished them for not keeping their properties clean. They in many instances were responsive to his suggestions. With his community activism, he was able to in large part keep The Admiral Park section of Pennsauken, New Jersey safe, clean and a place where homeowners could raise their children and now their grandchildren. His community will certainly miss his broad based perspective toward the community in which he lived.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 47 years Patricia Yvonne, his son Khary and his son Zahir (Erica). Also mourning his passing are three biological siblings, Patricia (Willie) Raymond and Denise, four Aunts, Thelma Turner, Lillie M. Mills, Priscilla Brown and Celesta Marrow. He was blessed with five cousins, Shirley, Sherry, Janice, Jackie and Connie who he considered his sisters and whose children referred to him as “Uncle Fred”. Family was very important to him and he tried never to miss an opportunity to acknowledge a milestone in the lives of his nephews and nieces. He was proud of all of their accomplishments and spoke openly and fondly about them. He had several lifelong friends that included Roman Spikes who was a father figure to him, Dwight Lewis, Steven Wilson, Randy Holloman and Charles Raikes.Many who experienced his sense of humor, his work ethic, and his outgoing personality will miss him. He avidly supported three sport’s teams, the Philadelphia Eagles the Philadelphia 76ers and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football. “Roll Tide” was his favorite utterance.