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Rosa Lee (Bunny) Stewart

Memorial for Rosa Lee (Bunny) Stewart

Born in Austin, Texas on Nov. 13, 1932
Departed on Feb. 18, 2016 and resided in Austin,, TX.
Service: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016
1:00 pm
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Rosa ("Bunny") Lee Stewart was the only child born November 13, 1932 to Lewis and Rosie Hawkins in Austin, Texas. She was a bright, energetic and delightful child who had many gifts and talents. She loved reading, singing and hanging out with her cousins.

At an early age, Rosa started singing at school as well as church. She attended church with her parents at Ebenezer Baptist Church where she was baptized at the age of nine. She attended Blacksheer and L.L. Campbell Elementary, attended Junior High School at Kealing and Graduated from L.C. Anderson High School. She went on to attend Huston-Tillotson College, majoring in Music and graduated Cum Laude in 1953. While there, Rosa was initiated into the Alpha Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. Shortly thereafter, Rosa married Herman Stewart and gave birth to her only child, Denise.

In 1957, the Stewart family migrated up north to Cleveland to look for better job opportunities. Rosa began employment in the field of Social Work as a caseworker for the Dept. of Children and Family Services. She often took her daughter with her on field visits where she taught her the value of compassion and respect for her fellow man. There she made many friends and sung in various choirs.

In 1960, the Stewart family moved to Chicago, where Herman found better opportunities and Rosa flourished as a Social Worker. While there, she attended the University of Illinois, majoring in Social Work, but her love for music and church was never far from her heart. She attended Normal Park Methodist Church on the south side of Chicago, where she and Denise sang Soprano in the choir. In 1966, Rosa graduated with her Masters in Social Work and served as an adoption Caseworker for Chicago Child Care Society for 10 years. While in Chicago Herman and Rosa made many lifelong friends and thought they would retire there, but Herman's health deteriorated and Rosa become a young widow January 6, 1972. She returned to Austin while Denise went on to attend Fisk University, where she graduated in 1975.

Upon returning to Austin, Rosa worked at her alma mater, Huston-Tillotson College as the Associate Dean of Students. There, she supervised the staff of the Women's dormitory. She moved on to the Texas Department of Public Welfare as an Adoptions Specialist. Rosa's daughter, after graduating from Fisk University moved to Los Angeles in 1977 to pursue her dreams….so Rosa decided to see what all the hoopla was about.and moved to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. She immediately landed a job at Kedren Community Mental Health Center as an Intake Coordinator and flourished but she had to return to Texas to take care of her parents.

Shortly after returning home, she worked for the Lutheran Social Service of Texas and helped many people successfully adopt children. She would finally settle down with the Travis County Juvenile Probation department as a counselor, where she received many rewards, certificates and honors for her service and dedication. She worked there for 10 years and retired as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner.

Alongside all that, Rosa continued her Christian Service at Ebenezer and played a very important role in Mission. She worked with the WMU and served as president of Sarah Circle, Mission II. She coordinated Fifth Sunday programs and special observances; such as the Maud Fuller Prayer Observance and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. In 2000, Rosa received the "Ebenezer Distinguished Christian Service Award". She also served as a member of ARC, an organization that supports people with disabilities and served as an Advisory Board member and treasurer of the Salina Senior Activity Center. Her most rewarding ministry, however, was serving as coordinator of volunteers for the clothing bank and pantry, which was a collaborative effort between Ebenezer, ARC and MHMR.

Rosa leaves behind her daughter, Denise Stewart Bates, grandson, Brian C. Parker and her beloved son-in-law, Vincent Bates. Caring cousins, Inez Hawkins, Don Hawkins, Joyce Hawkins Hill, Prince & Margaret R. Hawkins, Jr.; beloved little cousins, Alvin and Connie Williams, Robert and Bridgette Billingsley, Michelle and Gail, her beloved in-laws, the Stewarts, and the extended families throughout the country: the Smiths, the Browns, the Evans, the Pleasants, the Hardens and her many lifelong friends and colleagues whose lives have been touched by her presence.

Services entrusted to A Life Celebration by Franklin, Taylor, Texas

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