'He would be beaming': Honoring a dedicated Philadelphia public servant in East Oak Lane

Philadelphia honored a once-prominent lawyer in a big way. Longtime defense attorney Thurgood Matthews died in 2020. Saturday, a special street renaming ceremony was held to remember his investment to the community and service to the people of Philadelphia.

One intersection in Philadelphia provides much more than just directions, but offers purpose, as the 1000 block of Chelten Avenue is now known as Thurgood M. Matthews Esq. Way.

"You know your parents, what they do. You know who they are to you, at your house. It’s really, really special to see how impactful he has been to the larger Philadelphia community," daughter Keisha Matthews explained.

Thurgood M. Matthews was a longtime defense attorney and well known for his vibrant personality and fierce defense of his clients.

He passed away during the early days of the pandemic on November 20, 2020.

The Chester County native made relations and impacts on others that could be felt through time. So much so, that he and his family are now receiving a rare honor with a street being renamed in his image.

"It feels amazing! Our father was such a great man and he would be beaming right now, as we are," exclaimed daughter Brittany Matthews.

Dozens of speakers were on hand to pay tribute and speak fondly of the man, illustrating his impact not just to his family, but all those he interacted with. He was a mentor to many young attorneys, teaching them the ropes.

"I just think it is really great to look out and see all the community members who have been such an important part of our lives and continue to. Just feels real good," daughter Therilia Matthews commented.

His children now carry his legacy forward, far beyond the street named for him.

"He didn’t miss an opportunity to give someone a word of encouragement, a word of advice and to do the hard work," Keisha Matthews added.