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Agnes Virginia Blackshear
October 24, 2022
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AGNES VIRGINIA HARRIS BLACKSHEAR was born on Saturday, March 26, 1927 to the late James Alison Harris and Mabel Catherine Brown Williams in Philadelphia, PA at Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.
Agnes, a former Catholic schoolteacher and retired cashier for Philadelphia Transportation Company/PTC (now Septa), was called to rest early on Monday morning, October 24, 2022 at The Germantown Home Nursing Facility.
At an early age, Agnes attended and spent her youth in the Catholic church, in South Philadelphia, Wissahickon, and Germantown. Saint Mother Katherine Drexel, of the Blessed Sacrament Nuns, was a great inspiration to Agnes, because she donated her wealth to Black & Indian orphans. She even considered becoming a nun, before marrying. Agnes placed great pride in education. She attended Saint Peter Claver School, Eleanor Emlen Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School, and graduated from Germantown High School in 1945.
Agnes matriculated at Villanova University, Manna Bible Institute, and Penn State Abington. She was a first grade Catholic school teacher for many years. She wedded Dr. Warren E. Blackshear, Sr., a podiatric surgeon and jazz pianist, on Saturday, June 14, 1952 at Saint Catherine’s of Sienna Catholic Church. They honeymooned in Niagara Falls, NY; resided in West Mt. Airy, and summered in Pleasantville, NJ and Stamford, Connecticut They had three beautiful children; and were married until his death in January of 1993.
After her teaching career, she later became one of the first Black cashiers for PTC (now Septa) to work on the Broad Street Subway. Over the years, she led many customers, who passed through her turnstyle, to Christ. In addition to her love of Christ and her desire to educate, she played soccer and field hockey, was an artist, a swimmer, an avid reader, a world traveler, a classically trained organist and pianist, a classical singer, a fashionista, and she enjoyed fine dining and cooking. Anyone who knew Agnes, knew she loved her hats and high fashion. She led a men’s chorus, and accompanied many soloists as the first Organist at Germantown Christian Assembly (GCA). She started with the Grand Old Gospel Fellowship, later GCA, in 1968, under the leadership of Dr. B. Sam Hart and later Dr. Charles I. Hart. She also played the organ for Montco Bible Fellowship, in Lansdale, PA. In her later years, she worked in GCA’s daycare and was active with the Golden Eagles Senior Ministry. Agnes traveled to various countries around the world, including Israel, Italy, Nova Scotia (as a missionary), and to the Bahamas.
Surviving are her daughter Ghislaine; two sons Mark (Lavon) and Warren, Jr. aka Gino (Alicia); a sister Joann Killebrew (Leonard); a brother George Williams, Jr. (Joanne); two former daughter-in-law’s Claretta and Lora; ten grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a host of other family and friends.