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 Obra S. Kernodle III

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Obra S. Kernodle III

Birth
Death
29 Nov 2004 (aged 56–57)
Burial
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID
11543723 View Source

Obra S. Kernodle,3rd, 56, a politically active Center City lawyer who most recently was general counsel to the Philadelphia Parking Authority and a member of the Convention Center board, died of heart failure on 11/29/2004 in Florida, at Baptist Hospital of Miami. Mr. Kernodle, his family and 37 guests had traveled to Cancun, Mexico for Saturday's wedding of his daughter, Whytni Kernodle Frederick. He was on the beach Sunday evening when he suffered a heart attack. He was taken to a local hospital, then flown to Baptist Hospital. The East Mount Airy resident never regained consciousness."He died a good death. He did not suffer," said his former wife, Leslie Benton Wilson. "He had a wonderful time at the wedding. He lived to see his three children graduate from college and was surrounded by everyone he loved when he died."In a career that spanned nearly a quarter century, Mr. Kernodle honed behind-the-scenes skills and combined them with bipartisanship to become one of the city's most influential black political players. He was among a group of blacks who opposed Mayor Street's election bids in 1999 and 2003. Recently, Mr. Kernodle was in a consortium of black businessmen interested in owning part of a gambling franchise in Pennsylvania. As news of his death spread yesterday, friends throughout the city reacted in shock."Obra was one of a kind. A very sweet man. He was a good friend to his friends," said former mayoral candidate Sam Katz, whose campaigns Mr. Kernodle supported in 1999 and 2003."This is a stunning loss. I have not come to grips with his death...I missed him when he just went away for a weekend," said City Councilman Michael A. Nutter, who said Mr. Kernodle was responsible for his being in public service today. "He knew everything about everybody. If he was with you, he was with you all the way. If he was against you, he was against you. A "convener" who could bring disparate people together to solve problems, "Obra had an opportunity to be of service to so many people," said John F. White, Jr., a former mayoral candidate. "We will feel the impact of his life for a long time." White flew to Miami on Sunday to be with the Kernodle family. State Rep. Dwight Evans, who said he had looked to Mr. Kernodle as a brother, said: "He was a unifying person who brought people together." Mr. Kernodle, a native of the Nicetown section of Philadelphia, was a 1965 graduate of Central High School. In 1967, he was married to Leslie Benton. The couple raised 3 children in East Mount Airy before the marriage ended in divorce in 1987. He earned a bachelor's degree in business in 1969 from Temple University, where he was in ROTC before serving Stateside for a brief time in the Army. After earning a law degree in 1974 from Columbia University, Mr. Kernodle worked for IBM and Sun Oil Co. before becoming the regional director for the U. S. Dept. of Energy in 1977.In 1980, he began a private law practice in Center City and worked as a political activist and lobbyist for the rest of his life. Mr. Kernodle also is survived by another daughter, Raigan Winthers; a son, Obra S. 4th; his grandmother Ruby; and a brother.

Obra S. Kernodle,3rd, 56, a politically active Center City lawyer who most recently was general counsel to the Philadelphia Parking Authority and a member of the Convention Center board, died of heart failure on 11/29/2004 in Florida, at Baptist Hospital of Miami. Mr. Kernodle, his family and 37 guests had traveled to Cancun, Mexico for Saturday's wedding of his daughter, Whytni Kernodle Frederick. He was on the beach Sunday evening when he suffered a heart attack. He was taken to a local hospital, then flown to Baptist Hospital. The East Mount Airy resident never regained consciousness."He died a good death. He did not suffer," said his former wife, Leslie Benton Wilson. "He had a wonderful time at the wedding. He lived to see his three children graduate from college and was surrounded by everyone he loved when he died."In a career that spanned nearly a quarter century, Mr. Kernodle honed behind-the-scenes skills and combined them with bipartisanship to become one of the city's most influential black political players. He was among a group of blacks who opposed Mayor Street's election bids in 1999 and 2003. Recently, Mr. Kernodle was in a consortium of black businessmen interested in owning part of a gambling franchise in Pennsylvania. As news of his death spread yesterday, friends throughout the city reacted in shock."Obra was one of a kind. A very sweet man. He was a good friend to his friends," said former mayoral candidate Sam Katz, whose campaigns Mr. Kernodle supported in 1999 and 2003."This is a stunning loss. I have not come to grips with his death...I missed him when he just went away for a weekend," said City Councilman Michael A. Nutter, who said Mr. Kernodle was responsible for his being in public service today. "He knew everything about everybody. If he was with you, he was with you all the way. If he was against you, he was against you. A "convener" who could bring disparate people together to solve problems, "Obra had an opportunity to be of service to so many people," said John F. White, Jr., a former mayoral candidate. "We will feel the impact of his life for a long time." White flew to Miami on Sunday to be with the Kernodle family. State Rep. Dwight Evans, who said he had looked to Mr. Kernodle as a brother, said: "He was a unifying person who brought people together." Mr. Kernodle, a native of the Nicetown section of Philadelphia, was a 1965 graduate of Central High School. In 1967, he was married to Leslie Benton. The couple raised 3 children in East Mount Airy before the marriage ended in divorce in 1987. He earned a bachelor's degree in business in 1969 from Temple University, where he was in ROTC before serving Stateside for a brief time in the Army. After earning a law degree in 1974 from Columbia University, Mr. Kernodle worked for IBM and Sun Oil Co. before becoming the regional director for the U. S. Dept. of Energy in 1977.In 1980, he began a private law practice in Center City and worked as a political activist and lobbyist for the rest of his life. Mr. Kernodle also is survived by another daughter, Raigan Winthers; a son, Obra S. 4th; his grandmother Ruby; and a brother.

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  • Created by: Joan Pacitti
  • Added: 16 Aug 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 11543723
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11543723/obra-s-kernodle: accessed ), memorial page for Obra S. Kernodle III (1947–29 Nov 2004), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11543723, citing Chelten Hills Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA; Maintained by Joan Pacitti (contributor 39820900).