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Jehu Govens

June 30, 2023


Jehu William Govens, Jr. was affectionately known as Jay, Chief, King, Gun, and Bayou. Born to the late Rosalee Mitchell and Jehu William Govens, Sr. in Philadelphia, he was raised and resided in Philadelphia until his passing.
He was educated in the Philadelphia public school system, graduating from Thomas Edison High School in 1962.

On July 31, 1965, he married Irene Diane Livingston. From this union, three children were born: Bnita (Ne-Ne), Margaret (Peggy), and Rose (Moe).
In 1964, Jay joined the US Army and served two tours in Vietnam. He then transferred to the US Navy where he retired in 1986. He started a career in insurance after he retired from the military. After a number of years, he decided to pursue insurance part-time and embarked on a full-time career in security. He worked at PGW up until his illness. This would mark his 20th year. Jay holds many diplomas and certificates as his thirst for knowledge was never quenched. He was also a member of Bright Hope
Baptist church for over 30 years. In 1989, he married Lillian Phillips where they enjoyed numerous years of fun and traveling. In his down time, he enjoyed traveling, going to casinos, visiting with friends and family and spending time with his dog Chi Chi. He also loved listening to Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, and Mary Wells
while enjoying a good meal. Legend has it he spent many a day singing doo wop with his friends on the corners of North Philadelphia. He was also a great dancer, (doing a split at the age of 70) and would teach anyone that wanted to learn how to bop.
Preceding him in death were sisters Edith, Margaret, Rose, Elaine, and brother Charles. Jay is survived by: sister Evelyn Govens; aunts Josephine Johnson, Bernice Kilbrew, and Shirley Middleton; daughters Bnita Govens Ellis (Raymond), Margaret Govens-Bonner (William), and Rose Govens Johnson (Jeffrey); nieces, Valencia (Cordie) Martin, Carmetta Dickerson, nephews Maurice Mitchell, Sr., Calvin Mitchell, and Douglas Dickerson Jr.; granddaughters Jasmine Govens, Jade Govens, Aneise Bonner, Morgan Bonner; grandson Cameron Bonner; great granddaughter Amiyah Dawkins; and a host of cousins, great nieces, great nephews and special friends.

Jehu’s patience, kindness, willingness to assist others and overall demeanor is one that will be surely missed.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Disabled American Veterans organizations.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jehu Govens, please visit our floral store.

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July 14, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, Inc.
6653-75 Chew Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19119

Funeral Service
July 15, 2023

10:00 AM
Bright Hope Baptist Church
1601 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
Tel: 1-877-832-6997


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