First African-American Police Officer in Covington to Be Honored
The annual Old Timers Festival returns to Covington's Randolph Park this weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The predominantly black yearly event brings visitors back to the Eastside neighborhood.
Old Timers will kick off Friday evening with its small parade and cook-out.
The Kentucky Human Rights Commission will give an Unbridled Spirit Award to the family of the late Willie Joseph "Joe" Stewart, who was the first African-American police officer in Covington and served from 1967 - 1970.
This is Stewart's obituary, found online:
Willie Joseph Stewart (Joe) was born on April 16,
1946 to Estella Stewart and Joe Wolf Hocker in Covington,
KY. He was raised in Covington by his mother and
beloved Charles M. Jarman.
Joe attended and graduated from Lincoln Grant School
where he loved to play basketball. At age 21, Joe made
history by becoming the first black police officer in
Covington, KY and served from 1967-1970. He joined the
United States Air Force and served for 20 years 8 months
and 15 days (he wants everyone to know that). He
retired from the Air Force in 1994 at Keesler AFB in
Biloxi, MS where he resided. After his military retirement,
Joe worked for the U.S. Postal Service for six years.
Joe was a member of First Missionary Baptist Church
where he served faithfully as a Deacon. He loved to visit
the elderly and the sick and shut in and made it priority to
serve them communion. Joe enjoyed fishing and being
around his close friends and family. All of Joe’s friends
looked to him as a brother, because he always treated
them as family. He enjoyed coming home to Stanford,
especially for the family reunions.
He leaves to mourn: his devoted wife, Rosanna Stewart;
his daughters, Veronica Cotton, Kimberly Johnson
(Detrick) of Estella Frazier and Juanita Richardson (Chris);
stepson, Joseph Whaley; brothers, John (Tommy) Jarman,
Charles (Juni) Jarman (Dorthea), Norbert Jarman (Vickie),
Maurice Jarman (Carol) and Cedric Walker; sister,
Marchelle (Shelly) Mitchell (Maurice); grandchildren,
Robert Cotton, Jr., Detrick Johnson, Jr. and Ronald
Cotton; nine nephews, eight nieces and a host of great
nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
Photo: Willie Steart, via Kenton Co. Public Library Faces & Places