ALEXANDRIA, VA – Lewis Stearman, the last surviving charter member of the Optimist Club of Alexandria, passed away Monday, March 4 at the age of 95. Stearman and 39 others founded the Club in 1946, where he was Optimist of the Year in 2008.
In 2013, Stearman was recognized as a Living Legend of Alexandria. Living Legends founder Nina Tisara told Zebra that the year he was nominated, so was his friend Joseph Guiffre, and that they had been nominated by each other!
Tisara said, “They each wanted to decline the nomination thinking the competition would reduce the other’s chances of being recognized. They were friends, one Jewish, the other a devout Catholic. Each contributed greatly to the Alexandria community. I encouraged them each to accept the nomination and they were both recognized that year.”
Stearman was an officer director and volunteer in many other Alexandria organizations. His funeral will be on Thursday, March 7, at 11:00 A.M. at Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304.