Ms. Donna Stewart, died on Saturday, April 11. She was 65.
A private burial will be held this week, but after the pandemic associated with the coronavirus is lifted, a city-wide memorial service will be announced.
Ms. Stewart was born to William Vernell Stewart and Geraldine Settles Stewart on February 12, 1955, in Kansas City, Mo. Both parents proceeded her in death.
She attended Milton Moore Elementary school, Central Junior High school and graduated from Central Senior High school in 1973.
While attending Central she was on the tennis team and was an editor of the school’s yearbook committee.
Bishop Mark Tolbert, senior pastor of Victorious Life church, was a classmate of Ms. Stewart.
“When I think back to 1972 and 1973 when I worked on the Central High school yearbook team with Donna Stewart all these memories come flooding into my mind,” Bishop Tolbert said.
“The first thoughts are when Donna and I use to see each other walking to Milton Moore Elementary school never did either of us imagine how our lives would intertwine over the next 60 plus years. Working together on the Yearbook committee. It was Donna Stewart and Betty Stokes who leaned on me as the editor of the 1973 Yearbook to appoint, for the first time in history, a woman as the sports editor. Donna was the editor for the sophomore section of the 1973 Yearbook. She worked untiringly with the class officers to bring a uniquely creative presentation for the sophomore class section of the yearbook,” he said.
“Donna went on to get her Degree in Journalism and found a home working with Mrs. Lucile Bluford of THE CALL newspaper. Donna and I had many conversation about community, politics, education etc. Throughout the past 40 years. I will miss my friend and cohort in the community. Take your rest Donna. We will miss you on 18th street as a foundational part of THE CALL,” Bishop Tolbert said.
Ms. Rita Reed also served with Ms. Stewart on the school’s Olympian Tennis club and The Centralian yearbook committee.
“I served with Donna on the school Yearbook committee and assisted her with publishing the Centralian. She was a great editor. Even then she loved writing and publishing. We didn’t know she was practicing for the job/position she would assume as editor of THE CALL,” Ms. Reed said.
“I loved her and all that she represented. She was my ‘Shero’. May she rest in Paradise,” she said.
Ms. Stewart played on The Olympian tennis club at Central. She served on that team with long-time friend Rev. Laurice Valentine. She stated that Ms. Stewart made a lasting impression in her life.
“Memories, the things life is made of. When I reflect back to when I first met Donna Faye Stewart, it was at Central Jr. High school,” Rev. Valentine said.
“She was unassuming, but, one who caught your attention. She was on the quiet side, but, a very comical and fun loving person. She possessed ‘dry humor’ that kept you in stitches. Something else that sticks out in my mind about my earliest memories of Donna is her Mother’s name. I never met her Mother, but, she frequently talked about her beloved Geraldine,”’ She said.
“What drew us together as friends, was both of our loves for sports and hanging out in the gym, and ‘cutting up’ in class. We shared a friendly rivalry in gym class and in Intramural Sports, which drove each of us to excel in our chosen activities,” Rev. Valentine said.