Award-winning journalist Beverly Pharo (Randolph) Blackway, a long-time resident of Johnsville, died March 11 at the age of 89.
Mrs. Blackway, a reporter and editor for 28 years with Montgomery Newspapers, was born in Ithaca, N.Y., the daughter of Marian Pharo Randolph and Percy L. Randolph. She was married for 45 years to the late Richard Edwin Blackway who died in 1992.
Mrs. Blackway began her career as a correspondent for the weekly Public Spirit, the forerunner of Today’s Spirit, a daily paper launched in 1973. She held a variety of positions, from staff writer covering municipal government, school board meetings, court cases, court hearings, police and fire activities, to a copy editor and columnist. In 1987, after Today’s Spirit returned to weekly publication, she was named associate editor of that paper, as well as its sister papers, the Willow Grove Guide and the Spirit of Bucks County.
Just months before she retired in 1991, Mrs. Blackway, then in her sixties, took first place honors in the Keystone Press Awards competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association for team coverage of an airplane crash. She also was part of a team which took second place in a national contest for best breaking news story, an entry which competed with others from both daily and weekly suburban newspapers.
Mrs. Blackway also held a first place Keystone award for editorial writing and several awards for page design from the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association. At Mrs. Blackway’s retirement dinner, State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf presented her with a Senate citation, praising her for her dedication to and the professionalism she brought to community journalism. She also received a Pennsylvania House citation from the late State Rep. Roy Cornell, and letters of appreciation from then State Sen. James Greenwood and then State Rep. Jon Fox.
Mrs. Blackway was well versed in the history of the communities she covered in Eastern Montgomery and Bucks counties. She was passionate about preserving that history and contributed dozens of articles and photos to the Millbrook (historical) Society based in Hatboro. She was an acknowledged contributor to the 2010 publication, “Images of America/Warminster Township,” and the 1986 “A History of Warminster Township, The First 275 Years.” She also was a member or the Washington Crossing Card Collectors Club, sharing vintage postcards she had collected from throughout Pennsylvania and treasured cards from correspondence with her grandmother.
Mrs. Blackway, a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Jenkintown, was devoted to her family. She is survived by three sons, Glenn of Huntington Beach, CA; Lee of Johnsville; and Jason (Ruth) of Johnsville. A fourth son, Roland, died in 1995. She also is survived by a son-in-law, Fernan Royo of New York, N.Y.; five grandchildren, Michelle Rossini (Kevin) of Evans, GA; Derek (Natalie) of Sierra Madre, CA; Christopher (Donna) of Doylestown; Bradley (Cheryl) of Johnsville; Paul (Kristina) of Sellersville; seven great-grandchildren; a beloved sister-in-law, Elfi Randolph of Hatboro; two nieces and four nephews and their families. Mrs. Blackway’s two brothers, Donald and Douglas Randolph preceded her in death.
Services for Mrs. Blackway will be private, at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: First Church of Christ, Scientist, 908 West Avenue, Jenkintown, PA 19046, or Paralyzed Veterans, 801 Eighteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20006-3517. Arrangements are by the James R. Baskwill Funeral Home, Hatboro. Condolences may be made online at www.baskwill.com.
June 23, 2017