Radio One’s Sheila Stewart was remembered as a connector, a booster and champion of everyone during her home-going celebration at University Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC on Wednesday.
On a bright sunny Thursday, reminiscent of Stewart’s radiant smile, hundreds paid their respects for the radio personality remembered for her love of faith, friends and family. The Obamas, Robert Griffin III’s mother, and Redskins Owner also paid tribute to Stewart.
“Sheila was always family,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Cannon. “She was always a friend and she was a never a foe. She always made sure that she treated people with kindness, respect and love.”
Stewart died following a car accident last week in Atlanta. Her school-age son Jonathan survives her, along with her mother and sisters.
“This hurt so much. When you lose people that you love so soon, it takes time,” said Diane Tucker, former general manager Infinity Broadcast. “We have a responsibility to let (Jonathan) know what great mother she was.”
Tucker was one of more than a dozen people who paid tribute to Stewart during the service. Everyone from Jacqueline Griffin, mother of Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III to President of the Radio Division to Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Cannon to Stewart’s bodyguard/driver shared memories.
Griffin said Stewart helped acclimate her to Washington, and pushed her to share a story. The mother of RGIII needed to how she raised such a wonderful son to help other mothers like herself.
“Sheila wanted nothing,” Griffin said. “She wanted to make sure I knew the right people and nobody took advantage of my family.”
Stewart’s classmates from her hometown of Great Falls, S.C. attended, as did a contingent of friends from the DMV.
The tributes ranged from poignant to humorous such as her love of hair, make up and fashion. She was remembered for dedication to the community, connecting people to each other and championing others.
“Sheila made all of us seem bigger than we really were,” Tucker said.
Radio One’s Wegmann read a letter from the White House and the Obamas. Redskins’ Owner Daniel Snyder sent a flag for Stewart, who was friends with Snyder’s wife Tanya. The Redskins flag was draped over Stewart’s coffin for the recessional.
Drawing on lyrics from Michael Jackson’s hit and the book of Isaiah, Bishop Claude Alexander, Jr. said Stewart’s death and recent death’s in his family made him question why the good and godly die early and the devilish live long.
“When people go too soon it is God keeping them from something more worse than they can imagine,” he said.
Listing people such as Alexander the Great, JFK, MLK, Malcolm and others, Alexander said although Stewart died too soon, she led a full life.
Props to Praise Charlotte