Rev. Leo Josey Sr.

The Rev. Leo A. Josey, Sr., a 49-year Alaska resident, died June 5, 2010, at Providence Extended Care Center. He was 93. Rev. Josey died peacefully with three generations by his side.

A service will be at
2:30 p.m., with visitation from noon-2 p.m., Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church. Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Fort Richardson National Cemetery.

The Rev. Josey was born
Dec. 10, 1916, in Red Springs, N.C. The U.S. Air Force brought him and his family to Anchorage in November 1960. He retired after 22 years of service to his country.

Following his retirement, Rev. Josey remained active. He was instrumental in founding
Anchorage's first African American Southern Baptist churches, Greater Friendship Baptist Church, where he was pastor, and New Hope Baptist Church. Rev. Josey always blazed new trails. He worked with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development in the early '70s, helping to develop one of the first youth employment programs. He attended UAA, where he earned the equivalent of his doctorate in psychology, focusing on alcohol abuse. He worked for the MOA, pioneering the city and state's alcohol counseling treatment program, focusing on respecting the heritage and familial structure of Alaska Natives. In all, Rev. Josey retired three times!

Rev. Josey's hobbies were reading, fishing and gardening. He was devoted to fishing in Seward, Homer and
Willow, dropping his hook from the first day of season. He was a master gardener, growing record size dahlias, marigolds, peonies and cabbage. He was an avid reader who built a library of hundreds of books with a concentration on the classics.

He is survived by his sons, Leo Jr., and Terry; daughters, Carol Jackson and Wisteria Ward; son-in-law, Robert Ward, of Anchorage; goddaughter, Donna Bozeman; grandsons, Joseph Labbe', Marcus Knighten, Leo III, Eugene Ward and Yram, and Mike Wilson of Anchorage; granddaughters, Michele Knighten, Cazoshay Ward, Inman Wilson, Rhema and Breanna, and their mother, Wanda, Tamara and Mila Labbe', and 11 great-grandchildren.

Rev. Josey was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Mary Elizabeth.

Arrangements are with Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Chapel.

Published in from June 17 to June 18, 2010