Robert Joe Sterling, Sr was born on October 26, 1948 to the parentage of the late Idus and Ellie B. Sterling in Delta, AL. He was preceded in death by his brothers: Wiley and Calvin; and his nephew, Wiley, Jr. Joe accepted Christ at an early age at Mount Liberty Baptist Church under the pastorship of the late Dr. A.A. Scales.
After graduating from Calhoun County Training School, he received his Associate in Science Degree from Gadsden State Junior College. Joe pursued his Bachelor’s degree at Jacksonville State University. He was unable to complete his studies due to being drafted into the Vietnam War. He began his service commitment on 28 July 1969 with the 66th Armor, 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas as a 67N Aircraft Mechanic. While serving, he earned the Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Expert Grenade, and Sharpshooter Rifle. Joe served his country with pride and valor and was honorably discharged on 1 July 1975.
On February 18, 1978, he was joined in holy matrimony to Cynthia Delorse Hendricks and to this union three children were born: Lil Joe, Q, and Tu Tu. After retiring from the Anniston Army Depot, Papa Joe spent the last of his glorious days catching bass, traveling to see his four grandchildren, Mi Mi, Cobbi 1, Sweet Pea, and Tadaa. He also spent time going to see his favorite team, Auburn. War Eagle! Joe was a chef in the kitchen and his craftsmanship was impeccable. He loved to bake cakes and perfect recipes to his desire. He could tell you the spices included in any dish you could imagine. When Joe wasn’t doing those things, he was enjoying spending time with his special friend, Belinda Kimble.
Papa Joe was a pillar of the Central City Community. In 1974, “Joe Sterling” was one of the 21 founding members of the Easy Riders Motor Cycle Club. As he revved his green Kawasaki, you would often hear him call out, “Hey Baby”. Joe often spent his time spreading knowledge to help young and old to become self-sufficient. His love for books and knowledge was often viewed in the community by many as mentor, guide, and a father figure. His passion for food and dissatisfaction with food became legendary in the community. To his sisters, Maggie and Jitterbug, and his nephews, Chris, Selwyn, and Kelvin, he filled gaps in everyone’s life that will not be forgotten.
Robert Sterling departed this life on Friday, April 1, 2022 in Anniston, Alabama. Left with his ongoing memories are: his children, Robert Joe Sterling, Jr., Quinton Sterling (Bethany), and Adina Sterling Clark; grandchildren, Jacobbi Sterling, Olivia Sterling, Mia Sterling, and Addison Clark; his sisters, Maggie Taylor, and LaTonya Sterling; his nephews, Kemit, Selwyn (Felicia), Kelvin, Cordaryl, Shawn, Jr. (Shundrika), Nicholas, and Stephan; numerous relatives and friends. Joe will also be missed by his special friend, Belinda Kimble.
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