Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 24th at 10:00 am at the Salem Baptist Church, 2741 Woodland Road, Abington, PA with Rev. Marshall Paul Hughes Mitchell, Officiating. Interment will follow in Ivy Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA. Visitation will be held Tuesday 8:00 - 10:00 am at the church.
Dorothy Wilhamena Brown Canty was born June 10, 1921 in Sumter, South Carolina. Affectionately known as, “Mena,” she was the oldest of six children born to Samuel Morris Brown,Sr. and Mattie Harrison Brown. As a young child, her parents moved the family to Jacksonville,
Florida from Sumter and ultimately to Tampa, Florida. She attended the Hillsborough County Public Schools and graduated from Middleton Senior High School.
After graduation, Mena returned to Sumter where she attended Morris College. Always very focused on being and doing her best, Mena graduated Magna Cum Laude. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Mena began a stellar career working for the United States Federal Government, retiring from the Veterans Administration. Morris College, however, provided her with more than a degree. Mena met and married her life partner and husband of 71 years, Mark Canty, Jr. They moved from Sumter to Philadelphia and soon, thereafter, purchased land in Elkins Park, Abington Township where Mark developed plans and specifications to build a beautiful family home. They lived there together until his death and until her health began to fail. She then requested that her nephew, Wendell Duggins, help her with her affairs. He, along with another nephew, Mathew Gallashaw, II, provided Mena the needed support to keep her in her home. After a few years of Wendell’s long distance assistance, Mena consented to move back (December, 2017) to the city where she grew up and had more family for support, Tampa, Florida.
Demonstrating their Christian values through service, Mena and Mark joined Salem Baptist Church where they were both devoted members for over 50 years, giving their time, talents and finances. She continued to attend Salem Baptist after Mark’s death and until failing health caused
her to relocate to Tampa with her nephews and nieces. The music ministry at Salem Baptist was a real passion for Mena. She was a very active member of both the Church Choir and the Evangelical Choir, which eventually combined to form one choir. She was an active member of
the American Baptist Women, on the Board and Secretary of the Building Fund for the Robert Johnson Educational Building and Assistant Director for the Adult Citizens Ministry. Mena also played an integral role in assisting the author, Genester Miller, in writing the Salem Baptist Church
Mena was a Silver Star (25 – 49 years) member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated in the Omega Omega Chapter where she was initiated. Her love of singing continued to prevail by her participation in the Omega Omega Ensemble. Throughout her years in the Omega Omega
Chapter, Mena served on the Black Family, Senior Residence and Social Justice Committees. She was always a supporter of chapter fundraisers and the black college tour. She would often proudly proclaim that she was an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman.
In 1998, Mena became a member of The Delaware Valley Chapter (PA) of The Links, Incorporated. She was a member for over 20 years, holding the position of Chaplain, and continuing her legacy of service. She attended meetings regularly and worked diligently until moving to Alumni status.
Mena embraced her role of support as the wife of a Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. man, by actively participating with the Philadelphia Kappa Silhouettes. She was faithful in her attendance, always available to work on committees and generous with encouragement to those around her.
She will be remembered admirably for her ability to garner support of the community for the Annual Silhouette Luncheon. She was often the top table sales member. She was a team player.
Faithful, focused and fully committed are words that were continually used by those who reflected on their knowledge of her. She made her presence felt and her absence has not gone unnoticed. A woman of strong conviction and unquestionable character, Mena was loved and respected by all who came to know her.
On Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 10:55 p.m., Mena peacefully transitioned to her Heavenly Home. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mark Canty, Jr. and all of her siblings. Mena leaves a legacy of love to daughter, Shelia Canty of Orlando, Florida; 3 grandchildren and 6 great grand children; Nephews, Maceo Chaney (Patricia) of Atlanta, GA; Wendell L.
Duggins (Debra), Larry T. Duggins, Albert M. Duggins (Gwen); Nieces, Evelyn A. Davis (Jimmy), Robyn W. Gordon, all of Tampa, FL and a host of other relatives and very dear friends.
Ms. Canty was shipped in care of Bruce R. Hawkins Funeral Home, 6828 Old York Road, Philadelphia, PA 19126 (215)549 9910.