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Nancy G. Lavin, 76, Community Leader in Center City

May 8, 2008
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Nancy Gould Lavin, 76, a community leader and founder of PhillyWalks, died April 5. She was a resident of Philadelphia.

Lavin graduated from the Walnut Hills School in Cincinnati, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1953 from the University of Pennsylvania.

After graduating from Penn, Lavin remained in the Philadelphia area for the rest of her life and, throughout her years here, served in several key positions as a community leader in Center City.

In the early 1970s, Lavin was executive director of the Walnut Street Walk Project and is featured -- as well as quoted -- on a public display commemorating the inaugural Walnut Street Walk. (The commemorative display can be found on the Walnut Street bus shelter between 15th and Broad streets.)

In the 1980s, Lavin was the founder and president of the South Street Neighborhood Association; more recently, she founded and served as president of PhillyWalks, a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization for pedestrian safety in Center City.

From 1974 until her retirement in 1996, Lavin was employed as a psychiatric social worker in the Mental Health Division of the Philadelphia Public Defender's Association. Since 2001, she has been Judge of Elections for Philadelphia's 8th Ward, 21st Division.

Lavin is survived by her son, James M. Gould; a brother, Thomas H. Heiman; and two granddaughters.

Memorial donations can be sent to: the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19103, or to the Wissahickon Hospice of UPHS, 1 Presidential Blvd., Suite 125, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.

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