Retired Lt. Ervin Louis Stephens, 82, passed away in Raleigh on Sunday, 17, 2022. He retired in 1991 with 28 years of service. He was one of the city’s first (career) black firefighters, hired in 1963 and 1964. See below.
The funeral service will held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church, 9104 Sauls Road, Raleigh.
The visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., preceding the funeral service at the church.
Burial will be at Carolina Biblical Gardens, Garner.
Stephens hired on May 1, 1963, and was one of the seven original black firefighters hired by the city in 1963 and 1964. Six of the seven were assigned to Station 2, with an integrated crew but segregated living quarters. Stephens was assigned to Station 1.
The crews were dispersed from Station 2 to other stations in 1965. Read about them and more African-American heritage in the Raleigh Fire Department on this web page.