Yosif (Joseph) Stalin Kim Roane, born to the late Joseph J. Roane and Sadie Russel Roane in Uzbekistan, Tashkent on December 4, 1931, transition from Washington DC Veteran Affairs Medical Center to his forever home on November 8, 2021.
Yosif held the unique distinction of being the first African American whose parents were both African Americans to be born in the young Soviet Union (founded December 30, 1922).
Arriving at his father’s ancestral home in Kremlin, Virginia in 1936, speaking no English he soon bonded with childhood and lifelong friend and neighbor, Cherry Dowling. Yosif attended elementary school in Westmoreland County, Virginia and joined Potomac Baptist Church at an early age. He graduated from A. T. Johnson High School in 1949; attended Delaware State College and graduating from Saint Paul’s Polytechnic Institute (Saint Paul’s College) in 1955 and enlisted for active duty in the United States Navy December 1955.
In 1957, he married the late Bernice Cooper of Franklin, Virginia while in the U.S. Navy. To this union was born one daughter, Yolanda.
Yosif loved his father’s birthplace and set about making it his family home. He often said, “everything Pop did I did.” Following his father’s footsteps, he was employed by the Westmoreland County Public Schools in 1958 as an elementary teacher at the newly built Cople-Montross Elementary School. Having taught over the years in several schools he retired from the school system in 1981. He became more involved with the family farm business and opened a barbershop at McCoy’s corner.
Yosif was initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated on January 8, 1953, at Epsilon Gamma Chapter, Saint Paul’s College, Virginia. Brother Roane was a Charter Member of Tau Rho Chapter (1964), Fredericksburg, Virginia, and a Life Member of the Fraternity. Until his declining health he served the Fraternity in various capacities and was always willing to give a kind word to the brothers and provide uplift in a time of need.
Yosif was also a musician. He recorded a jazz record while a student at Delaware State College. A saxophonist with the renowned Blast from the Past band until the band dissolved in the 1990s.
In a 2016 an interview on Radio Free Europe/Liberty Free, he was reintroduced to Uzbekistan. He was delighted to learn that his father’s story of being a pivotal member of the team of African- American agronomists recruited by the Government of the Soviet Union to bring their expertise to the Soviet Union in 1930s to create a strain of cotton seed that would grow in the cold climate of the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. And to be told in the interview that Uzbeks still grows the types of cotton created by his father in the 1930s certainly put a big grin on his face and forced a chuckle to travel the airwaves.
He married the late Thelma Kelly of Washington, DC in 2009 with this union his small immediate family expanded to include one stepson, Marlon Lewis, Esq. and one stepdaughter, Gail Dickens; grandchildren Aaron and Jamie Dickens; Eric and Victoria Lewis. During their marriage he divided his time between Westmoreland County and Washington, DC when not traveling to their favorite vacation spots.
His civic contributions involved founding memberships in the Westmoreland County Optimist Club; Westmoreland Volunteer Rescue Squad; and the A. T. Johnson Alumni Association. He held memberships in the A. T. Johnson Museum of African American Education and Culture as member of the Board of Trustees, Westmoreland County Chapter of NAACP, Westmoreland County Democratic Committee, St Paul’s College Alumni Association, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and his family’s ancestral beloved Potomac Baptist Church.
Surviving members of his immediate family are daughter, Yolanda Roane Walden, stepdaughter Gail Dickens; stepson Marlon (Rosemarie) Lewis, Esq.; grandsons; Joseph, Charles Walden III, & Eric Lewis. Granddaughters: Shalanda Walden and Victoria Lewis, MD. Great grandsons; Zion Simmons, Charles, Jakobe & Jaliyah Walden, Sean, Roman & Seth Farrow; great granddaughter Ayuana Forrest; numerous cousins and a host of friends and neighbors. Yosif’s passing leaves a void in the circle of lifelong school friends and confidants with whom he has maintained contact over the years
Graveside service for Yosif Roane will be held on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 12 Noon at the Potomac Baptist Church Cemetery, 6099 Nomini Hall Road, Hague, Virginia
Remains may be viewed from 4PM until 6PM on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 in the chapel of the WELDON-FISHER FUNERAL HOME.
Please continue to follow CDC guidelines, your continued support is greatly appreciated.
Services will be Live Streamed by Mark Bunns on Face Book live @weldonfisher page or weldon-fisher funeral home