Julius “Lester” Sturdivant, 85


Julius Sturdivant was born on Nov. 15, 1925, in Wadesboro, N.C. He was the eldest child of the late Lester William Sturdivant and Ethel Robinson Sturdivant.

Affectionately called “Lester” by family and friends, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease several years ago. And although he waged a brave battle against this relentless disease, he succumbed to his illness on Feb. 16 in the Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Beaufort, S.C. Services were held at the Parish Church of St. Helena Episcopal Church, with interment in the National Cemetery Beaufort, S.C. on Feb. 23.

Lester served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II. He attended Howard University and was employed with U.S. State Department for over 35 years. Through his service, he became a member of the United States Foreign Service Reserve and in 1981 reached the pinnacle of his career, retiring as the first African American printing officer liaison to the Government Printing Office.

Lester had a wonderful partner on his life journey. He met and married Ella Chaplin Sturdivant when she moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue her career as a registered nurse. Lester and Ella enjoyed 53 spectacular years of wedded matrimony. Together, for over 50 years, they were members of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Silver Spring, Md. Lester was a diligent church worker, performing many duties within the church including vestryman and usher.

Lester was a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Iota Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Silver Spring. Ritualistic final rites were performed by the fraternity’s Xi Gamma Lambda Chapter of Beaufort. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a life member of the NAACP, and a member of the American Legion. He gave his knowledge, time, and treasure to each of these worthy organizations throughout his adult life. Lester and Ella relocated to St. Helena Island, S.C., in 2008.

Lester is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Ella C. Sturdivant; his sons, Brad L. and Tim D. Sturdivant; his daughter-in-law, Toni C. Sturdivant; his grandsons, Jordan T., Justin D., and Jared C. Sturdivant and loving sisters, Ethel (Peggy) Reese, Katie Lee Butler, Helen McLendon, Rose Young, and Ruby Baldwin. He was preceded in death by his sisters Lillie Mae Redfearn and Hazel Edwards, and his brothers, Edward and Osborne Sturdivant.

His memory will be cherished by sisters-in-law Alva C. McNeal, Pearlie J. Chaplin and Miriam T. Chaplin; his brothers-in-law Charles Redfearn, Wendell Butler, Vernie McLendon and Charles Young. Additionally, he leaves a host of nieces and nephews that will all miss him dearly.

Lester touched the lives of many people with his charm and generosity and maintained his trademarked sense of humor and stoutness of heart until the end. Although gone, he will never be forgotten.

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Julius "Lester" Sturdivant, 85

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