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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

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