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Sylvester Artis was born on Dec. 17, 1923, and departed this life on May 30, 2005 at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

His parents, Absolum and Laurina Artis, three sisters, two brothers, and a daughter, Lavonchia Artis, preceded him in death.

In 1956 he married Bernice Lewis of Fremont, who survives, along with a daughter, Mercedes Artis of Washington, D.C., three sons, Dewight (Alphonise) Artis of Lanham, Md., Michael (Rosetta) Artis of Landover, Md., and BeOlive (Barenda) Lewis of Charlotte; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; a devoted niece, Evelyn (Steve) Ellis of Raleigh; two other nieces, Mastine and Diane Braswell of Richmond, Va., a host of other nieces and nephews; three sisters-in-law, Elnora Townsend of Goldsboro and Annie Faye Lewis and Lila Lewis of Fremont; and a host of relatives and many friends.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and he was a brick mason by trade.

A World II veteran, he served in Company B, 428th Battalion, and was a recipient of the American Theater Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Two Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Mr. Artis served as Scoutmaster of Troop 163 in Fremont from 1957 until 1959.

He united with the Hooks Grove Missionary Baptist Church in August of 1959 and served as superintendent of Sunday school, financial secretary and treasurer.

He was a member of the Western Ministerial Deacons Sunday School Union and served as its financial secretary for 35 years. He was also a member of J.W. Hood Masonic Lodge of Goldsboro.

He was elected to the Town Board of Fremont in 1987 and served as mayor pro-tem under four mayors, LeRoy Johnson, Judy Fuller, Andy Evans and Devone Jones. As an alderman, Mr. Artis worked hard to improve the community and endeavored to keep low taxes and user fees. He was co-founder of the Fremont Health Clinic, which was established in 1987, and had served on its board of directors since that time. He was a strong supporter of the Martin Luther King Mini Park in Fremont and was a member of the Fremont Fair Labor Support Committee, Black Workers for Justice and the Concerned Citizens of Fremont.

He was truly a dedicated and committed civil rights leader for the community and citizens at large and was a positive role model.

The family extends special acknowledgment and thanks to the Rev. Johnnie Sherrod and family, Ernestine Barnes and family, the family of the late Frank Dickerson, Esther Coley, Marie Jones and Cornelia Smith.

The funeral will be held Friday at noon at Bear Creek Headquarters Building on S. Slcoumb Street in Goldsboro. The Rev. Johnnie Sherrod will officiate. Interment will be in Wayne Memorial Park.

A wake will be held tonight at 7 at Rhodes Funeral Home in Fremont.

(Written & Paid by the Family)

Published in Obituaries on June 2, 2005 1:51 PM