Final farewell for civil rights leader Mondesire in North Philadelphia

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Friends and family gathered today for a celebration of life for former Philadelphia NAACP President Jerry Mondesire. (WPVI)

Family and friends of the late J. Whyatt "Jerry" Mondesire gathered Wednesday to celebrate his life.

A "home-going service" for the former president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP got underway at 11 a.m. at the Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.

Dignitaries packed the sanctuary.

Among those sharing memories was former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and Congressman Bob Brady.

Mondesire was remembered as a champion of social justice and a long-time journalist.

He led the Philadelphia NAACP chapter for 17 years, was the founder and publisher of the Philadelphia Sun, and co-founded the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.

He died October 4th at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Wednesday's service was held on what would have been Mondesire's 66th birthday.
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