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Eric Stieffenhofer Left Us Smiling!

Eric and Bee dancingEric Stieffenhofer almost made it to his 81st birthday. He liked marking milestones and he had had many in his life. You couldn’t sit in his and his wife, Bernice’s (Bee’s), living room without him pointing out to you his wedding picture proudly hanging over the mantle.

Married for 56 years, he always said it was destiny because you could find the letters of his name, B E R N I C E. A real love story they had. They met at the Fairmount Wallet factory where they both worked. In fact, they were both engaged to someone else. Eric was right about that destiny – they broke off their engagements and the result was five children, Lori, Krae, Beth, Mark and Tara and 12 grandchildren so far.

Initially settling in the Hunting Park area, the family moved to Northwood in 1974. They liked the diversity of the people and had very good neighbors. Beth tells the story of one of the neighbors asking about Eric only to learn that he had really just died. The man stopped and stood in the middle of their street upon hearing this news.

Eric would stop many people walking by as he sat on the front steps. Whether he knew you or not, he soon had you engaged in conversation. You would think you knew him all your life. No matter how he was feeling, Eric always wanted to lift others up. He would do that with a joke. Even the way he told them, you were intently listening until the punch line.

Truly, Eric put the “Pop” in “Pop Pop” as the grandchildren called him. Pop Pop would do the silliest things to keep them entertained. They loved to be with him and his family was most important. He would wrestle with the kids and always showed an interest in whatever they cared about. His granddaughter, Megan, would do puzzles with him on the iPad. His family just loved being with him because he was so much fun. He knew a lot about sports and there’s a lot you can learn from the game shows that he and Bee would watch. Eric was a favorite uncle, too. Eric loved parties and dancing; he knew how to enjoy life.

Eric and Bee were VIP’s, very important parishioners of St. Joachim. I used to see Eric at Mass, and he struggled with health issues that would have stopped anyone else in their tracks, but he was able to keep going.

During one of my visits, he showed me how he kept up with all the Keep the Faith in Frankford news on his iPad as we worked to reopen St. Joachim. I was impressed. Eric took the closing of the church, very, very hard. In fact, his family felt that when his beloved St. Joachim closed in June, 2013, that his health declined further as a result.  He truly believes St. Joachim will reopen. He recounted a vision he had one day and told me he knew the Church would open again. I believe, Eric and we sure are trying!

Eric had special powers. One of them was his sense of humor, a gift he shared freely with all those he came into contact with. His son, Mark, during Eric’s funeral Mass, began a eulogy to his father by telling all gathered a joke. That made us all feel a little better. We all smiled. Eric was still lifting us up and reminding us to smile. We won’t forget to “hear the laughter”, Eric, and we won’t forget you either. You are a part of all of us. There won’t be much resting in peace in heaven as you’ve already had them laughing with a few good jokes!





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Community Meeting on Violence in Frankford


Shootings, stabbings, murders


If you are Concerned, worried, fearful, traumatized and you want answers. You want to know how to handle your reactions  or maybe you want to know how to handle your fears and stress. If you want the violence and murders to stop and you want to work for peace then come meet with stress counselors, city and state officials, violence prevention teams and other concerned neighbors.

Monday, March 28, 2016 at 6:00PM
St Mark’s Church, Frankford
4442 Frankford Av
(215) 535-0635

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Frankford Civic Meeting December

There were a dozen residents at the Frankford Civic Association meeting on December 3rd.

The meeting started with a recap of upcoming events.

  • The Civic volunteered, along with Keep the Faith in Frankford, at Dining with Dignity at St. Marks Church on December 9th.  110 diners were served a meal of shepherds pie.
  • December 12th the 15th Police District Advisory Council will serve dinner to all shifts of the police officers on duty.  Volunteers are welcome to help out.
  • December 19th the PDAC and Barbera on the Boulevard will sponsor a gun buy back.  See this link for details.
  • December 21st is the monthly PDAC meeting.
  • December 17th at 7PM at Aria Hospital is the monthly 15th District PSA1 meeting.
  • Pete Specos invites everyone to drive by his Christmas Land display at 4287 Orchard Street.  Follow this link for a preview.

Discussion about current issues focused on the demolition at Frankford and Torresdale.  The old Edgewater Dye works buildings were partially removed a few months ago.  The multi story masonry building is still standing and is a safety issue now.  The barricades were removed and it will not be demolished until the Spring.

Truck parking (18 wheelers) in the area of Harding Middle School has come been raised at the PSA meeting and came up again at this meeting.  A request for legislative assistance was put in to the office of Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sanchez to ban parking on those blocks surrounding the school.

Veronica Danial is leading the effort to establish a Town Watch working with the police at the PSA1 meetings.  Recruitment is now going on and anyone interested in participating should attend the next PSA1 meeting.

Franklin Daniel commented about the need to recruit new members for the Civic especially younger members.  A new member Elaine who was attending her first meeting, agreed and said she was one of those younger people and found it confusing to decide which meeting to come to in Frankford.  There are so many groups.  Veronica talked about what the various groups. Pete Specos said that there would be a formal recuitment drive for the Civic in the Spring.

The next meeting of the Frankford Civic Association will be held on January 7th at 7 PM at St. Marks Church 4442 Frankford Avenue.