In and Around Morningside-Skyline
by Mary McHale 301-735-3451
Jack D’Ambrosio, Gang Leader,
Decorated Cop and Author, Dies
“I have to announce the passing of
probably the most famous past resident of District Heights. Our ‘Honorary Mayor,’ Jack D'Ambrosio, passed
Feb. 21 as a result of his recent fight with cancer.
“Jack was the leader of the
infamous Apollo gang of District Heights during his youth and attended Suitland
High School. Later Jack became the most
decorated police officer in the history of Brevard County, Florida.
“In retirement, he took to becoming
an author. He wrote of his life growing
up in Northeast Washington in his book ‘Family Sins.’
Two other books he authored,
‘Angels with Dirty Faces’ and ‘The Apollos’ were about growing up in District
Heights and the escapades of him and his gang members.
You can take a walk through Jack's
life and pay a beautiful tribute to him by purchasing his books, available on
This Facebook obituary (slightly
edited) was written by one of his District Heights/Suitland High friends. Here’s a little more about him:
Jack Anthony D’Ambrosio was born
July 14, 1943 in Washington to the late Anthony D’Ambrosio and Mary Katherine
Heflin. His book “Family Sins,” is
loosely based on his family history.
He went on to become a decorated
police officer with the Oakland Park Police Department and an investigator for
the State of Florida in West Palm Beach.
He received a Presidential Commendation for the Federal D.A.L.E. Drug
Enforcement Program and had the highest arrest record for the Drug Enforcement
Agency Office in the U.S.
In addition to his parents, Jack
was preceded in death by his first wife Myna Hamilton, his brother Michael
D’Ambrosio, and his sister June Fernen.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah
Abdo-D’Ambrosio; children, Jack D’Ambrosio Jr. and Christine D’Ambrosio;
siblings, Albert and Philip D’Ambrosio, Jeanette Pedone and Judy Calloway; five
grandchildren and three great-grands.
His funeral was at Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in
Annapolis with burial at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton.
Jack’s last book was his autobiography, “Ain’t Life Been Grand,” published in
2011. As one reviewer said, “Loved
it. All of Mr. D'Ambrosio's books are
wonderful. He takes you from roaring laughter and through all your feelings of
Following the incident of concrete
landing on a car traveling Suitland Road as it passed under the Beltway bridge,
Acting Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn offered his
apologies. He announced that more rehab
will be done on that bridge. Work is
expected to take 18 months to two years.
National Harbor continues to get
attention: Conservatives met there Feb.
26 for their annual meeting.
It featured a tribute to President
Ronald Reagan. And I imagine some discussion on who’ll run in the next
Dave & Buster’s restaurant is
coming to the Ritchie Station Marketplace shop-ping
Save A Lot grocery store has opened
in the revitalized Forestville Plaza.
Coming up: Lincoln Assassination
John Wilkes Booth Escape Route Bus
Tours are scheduled for April 11, 18, 25, and May 2. These are excellent all-day trips—I’ve made
the tour three times over the past years.
Contact the Surratt House Museum for availability, at 301-868-1121.
The Light is On, on Wednesday
St. Philip’s and all the other
Catholic churches throughout the Archdiocese of Washington have The Light On
For You on the Wednesdays of Lent, for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, maybe
better known as Confession. St. Philip’s
will open at 6 p.m., other parishes may have different hours.
Vera Met Her Future Husband at the
Elvera Rita “Vera” Dwyer Pope, 94,
a longtime resident of Auth Village, died Jan. 28. She was born in New Orleans, the daughter of
William and Viola Dwyer.
She attended school at Ella Dalonde
in Metairie, La., where she won awards for spelling and memorization
skills. Because her memory was so sharp
she often played the lead role in school plays. But she had to leave school
after 9th grade to help her mother take care of her sister Audrey, who was born
with spina bifida, and eight other siblings.
While working at her father’s candy
stand, she met her future husband, Kermit Eugene Pope. In 1962 they moved to Maryland and Kermit
went into business, building homes with his brother Byron. Pope Homes became well known in the Camp
Vera was an active member of St.
Philip’s Church where she was in the Sodality and one of St. Philip’s first
Vera’s husband Kermit preceded her
in death. She is survived by five
children, Dr. William Pope, Dr. Pamela Merritt, Kermit Jr., Cynthia Mariast,
and Timothy Pope; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; and four
siblings. Mass of Christian Burial was
at St. Philip’s.
Vera was happiest when she was
taking care of her family. When they
visited, she loved to cook her “down home” southern recipes, such as Red Beans
& Rice, New Orleans style Gumbo, and Shrimp Stew.
Happy birthday to Roy Derrick,
March 6; Anna Buck, Jon McKlveen, Shirley Dodgson and my grandson Richard
Shearer, March 9; John F. Latimer, Karl Kaufman Jr., Angelo Meoli, Alberta M.
Smith and my son-in-law John Mudd, March 10; Karen Cordero, Blake James Shipman
and Father Scott Hahn, March 11; Harold Wilson, Rebecca Turner and Marcy
Richardson, March 12.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you Irish!
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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153
BADEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Congratulations to all the students
at Baden Elementary School who received Honor Roll Awards for high academic
achievement, perfect attendance awards and Principal Awards. The community is
very proud of all the students for their achievements.
Happy Birthday to Charlie Canada,
Jr., William Farmer, Myrtle Jones, Charles Lewis, Jr., Vanessa Pinkney, Gregory
Pinkney, Myrtle Jones , Gill Michelle Pinkney and, Kristen Wilkerson who are
celebrating their birthdays in March.
SUNDAY CASINO SLOTS
It’s time for a 2015 Extravaganza
Sunday Casino Slots Fun to Midway-Harrington Raceway and Casino Slots
Harrington, Delaware Sunday, March 15, 2015. Bus leaves Park-N-Ride in Clinton
Maryland at 10:30 AM, and St. Philip’s Church at 11:00 AM. The bus returns from
the trip at approximately 7:30 PM.
Fun Package includes a $10.00 Slot
play rebate with a full buffet meal, Oldies but Goodies 50/50 Raffle. The cost
is $40.00. There will be absolutely no refunds. Pay early so you won’t be left
out. Purchase your tickets by March 8, 2015. Point of contacts is Ruby E.
Hinnant (301) 943-2816, Shirley A. Cleaves (302) 690-4260 and Doretha A. Savoy
CANCER CARE MINISTRY
New Hope Fellowship Cancer Ministry
will be hosting their first Cancer Testimony Service at our Life Center. There
will be testimony giving thru dance, song and poem.. This ministry is to
inspire those that are battling with this disease and to remember those that
lost the battle to Cancer.
There will be light hor’derves
served following the service. It’s an absolutely FREE EVENT on March 21, 2015
at the Life Center. The address is 561 Brooks Church Road Upper Marlboro,
Maryland 20772. POC: Shonnita McCall firstname.lastname@example.org .
ST. PHILIP’S CHURCH
St. Philip’s family and friend’s
line dance social night dates are Fridays March 6, March 20, April 3 and
April 17, 2015 from 7:00 PM-9:00
PM. The cost is $2.00. Point of contact are Ruby E. Hinnant (301) 943-2816,
Shirley A Cleaves (302) 690-4260 and Michele Chase (240) 882 3369). The church
is located on Baden Naylor Road Brandywine, Maryland.
HIDEAWAY HORSE CENTER
Hideaway Horse Center is a full service
equestrian facility that offers lessons in Jumpers, Hunt Seat, and events for
children and adults, beginner through advanced. They offer camps, horse sales,
boarding, a horse lease program, and an after school program in addition to
their Lesson Program. The address is 12301 Cross Road Trail Brandywine,
Maryland 20613. Visit the website at www.hideawayhorsecenter.com.
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