Andrea Marcel Case, 78, formerly of Philadelphia, entrepreneur, business owner, fashion designer, teacher and social justice advocate, died Friday, April 28 of a heart attack at her home in Cape Coral, Florida.
Creative and energetic throughout her life, Miss Case earned a bachelor’s degree in art, design, and education in 1965 from Howard University and shaped a career in Philadelphia that spanned three decades. From the 1970s through the 1990s, she owned and operated high fashion and bridal boutiques, Rubys Showcase and Andrea Marcels Boutique, in several locations in Philadelphia and later in malls in Montgomery County.
She designed dresses, hosted weddings and other formal affairs, and held fashion shows and public events in her stores and elsewhere. She specialized in wedding dresses and hats and enjoyed showing off her own collection of hats.
Her mother, Ruby, founded Rubys Showcase in Germantown, and Miss Case took over her operation after her mother retired. Later, she opened her own boutiques.
Miss Case closed her last store in the Cheltenham Square Mall around 2000 when her father fell ill. Earlier, she honed her design skills in college by joining the Howard Players and designing costumes for the prestigious theater troupe.
In the late 1960s, she taught art, math, and other subjects for a few years in the Philadelphia school district. She enjoyed both art and education, her brother Arthur said. She liked to develop the talents of young people.
Inspired by her mother and aunt, both active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Miss Case attended rallies, meetings and lectures on social justice and personal responsibility. She valued her employees, customers and students and sought ways to improve the lives of everyone she met.
She was a citizen, always wanting to help people in the community have a better life, her family said in a tribute.
She was a board member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation and a member of the NAACP, Order of the Star in the East, Howard University Alumni Group and other organizations. She was friendly and compassionate, her brother said. She was down to earth and always looking for ways to help others.
Andrea Marcel Case was born on September 2, 1944 in Philadelphia. She grew up in West Mount Airy and graduated from Germantown High School in 1961. She later moved to Wyncote and then to Florida in 2002.
Neighborhood friends called him Casey, and a junior high school classmate said in a online tribute: She was small, soft-spoken and one of the nicest, most modest girls I have ever known.
She studied art and design after high school, was active in the High Street Church of God, and sang in the James Cleveland Mass Choir in Philadelphia. She enjoyed boating and enjoyed trips to Bermuda and the Bahamas.
She adored her dog, Carlton, and cared for both parents selflessly for months as their health declined.
As the family’s organizer, she researched her lineage, organized meetings, and cared for others when relatives died. He was a beautiful person of stature and character, his family said. She radiated class and compassion.
In addition to her brother, Miss Case is survived by other relatives.
A visitation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 23 at Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119. A service is scheduled to follow at 11 a.m.
Donations in his name may be made to Christ Center Church of God, 1615 W. Chelten Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19126.