PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 5, 2015) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today released the following statement on the death of former NAACP President Jerry Mondesire:
The City of Philadelphia and the working men and women of our region lost a great champion and public servant yesterday. On behalf of the employees of the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney and myself, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Jerry’s friends and his family.
I had the privilege of learning from and working with Jerry for decades and came to admire him, not just for his unending dedication to our city, but for his kindness and support. Jerry was a champion for social, racial and economic justice – a truly powerful force for good in our city’s many neighborhoods.
Personally, Jerry was like a father to me. As Chief of Staff to former Congressman Bill Gray he chaired the committee that offered me an appointment to attend West Point, and even after I left the military academy and went to Penn State, he regularly checked on me and remained a mentor. Jerry was a key adviser on my 2005 campaign for DA and was always there for advice and just to talk. Simply put, he was never shy and never sugar coated it. During my campaigns for office he would call me like clockwork at 7 a.m. to make sure I was out shaking hands. And as DA, he would reach out to remind me to always do the right thing regardless of the political consequences.
Jerry, I’ll miss you and your signature boots and Stetson and know that you and your family will be in my prayers.