Overstreet Sr, William "Bill" James
Date: Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Mahn Twin City Chapel, 515 Collins, Festus, MO 63028
Date: Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Mahn Twin City Chapel
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
William "Bill" James Overstreet Sr, 61, of Crystal City, passed away on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at St Louis University Hospital. Born May 14, 1949 to the late Willie and Mattie (Guest) Overstreet. He and his siblings were separated from their parents at a young age. From that time on, Overstreet received care and love from his late foster parents, Fred and Mayme (James) Lewis. He attended Douglas High School, during the segregation era, and graduated from Festus High School. He was a member of Emmanuel Pentecostal Church of Festus.
On July 10, 1971 he married his childhood sweetheart, Gwendolyn (Bisch) Overstreet. After joining the U.S. Marine Corps he received two meritorious promotions and two service medals. Transitioning from the Marine Corps, he returned to his hometown and began working for AT&T as a communications technician. While employed, he was able to further his education at Jefferson College and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in communications from St Louis University. Some of his accomplishments include serving as president of Operation Grassroots, sponsoring a park dedication to honor the founder of Douglas High School.
He and his wife were the first African-Americans to represent Jefferson County as Democratic Delegates to the State Convention for the Third District. He had been a caucus leader for the Jessie Jackson campaign and worked on campaigns for Bill Bradley, John Kerry and most recently President Obama. He was instrumental in organizing community events such as the Miss Black Jefferson County Beauty Pageant, "Meet Me In St Louis" fashion show and other community fund raising events. He marched in the local Martin Luther King parade, played Santa Claus in community events, and supported the St Pius Minority Scholarship fundraiser. He was also a member of the Mt Zion Cemetery Board and was instrumental in obtaining a charter for that organization. His volunteering efforts included supporting organizations such as the Jefferson County Health Department, Oasis, Concerned Parents Organization of Jefferson County and was recently appointed a member of the Jefferson College Foundation and Bridges Across Racial Polarization. Recent honors include the Drum Major Award from the Cultural Diversity Committee, Spirit of Service Award from Giving Back to the Community Organization and Outstanding Alumnus Award for Jefferson
Loving family includes his wife of 39 years, Gwendolyn; son, Andre (Kim) Overstreet of St Louis, MO and daughter: Mamie (Tarmo) Joeveer of Miami, FL; brother, Leroy Overstreet, sister, Louise Overstreet, foster brother, Walter Walker, mother-in-law, Ruth (Charles-deceased)Bisch of Festus; brother-in-laws: Dwayne (Norma) Bisch, Phillip (Josephine)Bisch and Stephen Bisch; sister-in-laws: Linda (Richard) Cayce, Jacqueline (John Jr) Shores, Carolyn Bisch, Tina (Robert) Ruffin and Lola Bisch; grandchildren; and great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son: William "Jamie" Overstreet Jr and a daughter: Nicole F. Overstreet; brother, Tommie Overstreet; sister, MaryAnn Patterson; father-in-law, Charles Bisch; brother-in-law, Bruce Bisch.
American Legion Post 253 will have a service 6:30pm Wed @ Mahn Chapel.