August 15, 1933 - April 04, 2015
August 15, 1933 - April 04, 2015
REVEREND MELVIN “PETE” STEWARD SR was born on August 15, 1933 in Kimball, West Virginia to the proud parents of the late Viola and John Steward. Melvin peacefully departed this life on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at the age of 81.
Melvin enlisted in the U. S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict and became a Korean War Veteran.
Melvin was united in holy matrimony to the love of his life, Cleopatria, on January 30, 1953. They have been married for 61 years.
Melvin was a high school graduate from Kimball, West Virginia. He completed four years of course work for Dress Design and Tailoring at Madame A. Walker Taylor School of Dress Design in Columbus, Ohio and became an accomplished seamstress. While employed with the Federal Government, Melvin received extensive training in Contract Law, Contract Administration, Advanced Procurement and Contract Negotiations, Defense Contracting and Subcontracting with Small and Disadvantaged Business Concerns, Management of Defense Acquisition Contracts and Defense Small Purchase Correspondence Course.
Melvin retired after 35 faithful years of service with DCSC. During his tenure there, he helped construct the DCSC Federal Metro Credit Union and also served as 2nd Vice President for this newly developed credit union for 5 years.
Melvin dedicated his life to serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was an ordained deacon in 1983 at St. Phillip Community Church and was active in the church as a Sunday School Superintendent and Bible Class teacher. He became a licensed Ordained Minister under the River of Life Christian Center and was an Advisory Board Member there. Melvin held the office of Pastor at the Temple of Love and New Beginning. At the time of his death, Melvin was a faithful member of Hope Lutheran Church.
Melvin was an astute businessman and entrepreneur. He was the founder and owner of the Stewards Monument and Marker Company for over 40 years, and Steward Food Mart and Deli for 27 years.
Melvin was well known as a dedicated community leader who was passionate about the inner city neighborhoods and its people. He served as President of the Mt. Vernon Avenue District Improvement Association, Director of the Near East Side Community Resource Center, Member of the I-670 Businessmen’s Association, Founder and Supporter of the Mt. Vernon Avenue Youth Association, Board Member of the Columbus Compact Corporation, Worksite Supervisor for the Franklin County Courts-Juvenile Restitution Program, Member of the Community Partners for Health, Member of the Community Housing Network, Inc. Neighborhood Council, Member of the Near East Side Healthy Lifestyle Center, Member of the Near East Health Advisory Committee—Physical Fitness Committee, Member of the Leadership Council of the American Diabetes Association.
At the time of his death, Melvin was an active Member of the Near Eastside Residents Liaison on matters related to Code Enforcement, President of the Near Eastside Community Resource Center, Treasurer of the Inner City Lion Club of Columbus and Member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The most recent honor bestowed upon Melvin Steward Sr. was being selected as one of the honorees to be memorialized on the Long Street Cultural Wall due to his efforts to keep business thriving on Mt. Vernon Avenue, anchored by his own two businesses.
Melvin received accommodations from the City of Columbus’ Department of Development as a valuable source for code enforcement because of his ability to match the homeowners with possible resources to help them correct housing violations.
In addition to all of the above mentioned contributions Melvin accomplished during his lifetime, Melvin currently has a grant in motion for the Melvin Steward Wellness Center at the Mt. Vernon Plaza in support of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association.
Melvin had the wonderful gift of “gab.” His ready smile, joking nature and insatiable desire to remain on top of current events, afforded him the ability to converse with anyone. Those who had the opportunity to know him were blessed by his mentorship and engaging conversations.
Throughout his progression of accomplishments, his sole objective was to help the neighborhood grow and prosper. Melvin was a community leader who worked tirelessly and was passionate about helping others who had fewer advantages in life. Most importantly, Melvin always made time for others, especially to help people find jobs, financial assistance or connecting them with Human Services.
Melvin created the Urban Community Awards which provided annually recognition to youths that excelled in school and in recreational center sports. The schools and recreation centers would provide the names of the youths each year to Melvin. This effort helped develop self-esteem and self-worth.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents Viola and John Stewart; sisters Helen McGee, Elnora Edwards and Maggie Tyree; brothers Emanuel, John and “Tob”.
He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted and loving wife of 61 years, Cleopatria; sons Dwight (Tonya) and Melvin Jr. (Myrtle); Daughter, Kathy; brother James “Skinner” Stewart; special cousins, Mattie Bell Stewart-Dillard, Johnny (Barbara) Stewart and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Special thanks to Stella Nsong at the Woodlands at Eastland and St Joseph Hospice Center from whom the family received compassionate care and support. The family wishes to recognize Tonya Steward for her unwavering support.
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