Adolph Overton, first African-American lawmaker in Lackawanna - The Buffalo News

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Adolph Overton, first African-American lawmaker in Lackawanna

Feb. 2, 1930 – Nov. 4, 2013

Adolph Overton, the first African-American to be elected to the Lackawanna City Council, died Monday in Absolut Care of Orchard Park. He was 83.

A Lackawanna native, Mr. Overton attended public schools in the city.

He served in the Army from 1951 to 1952 as part of a unit sent to participate in the reconstruction of Germany after World War II.

He worked as a steelworker at the Bethlehem Steel plant until his retirement in the early 1980s.

Mr. Overton also owned and operated a liquor store on Ridge Road in late 1960s through the 1970s.

He was elected to the City Council in 1974 and represented the city’s 1st Ward for one term.

His wife of 59 years, Mattie Owens Overton, died in 2011.

During their long marriage, the couple took in and raised four boys, including Broadway and film actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, whose autobiographical play, “Lackawanna Blues,” was adapted into an award-winning HBO film in 2005.

Mr. Overton also is survived by three others sons, Anthony, John Gordon and David Bowens; a sister, Thelma Harbin; and two brothers James and Dewitt.

A service will be at noon Monday in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 66 Wasson Ave., Lackawanna.

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