A Life Well-Lived

Joseph S. Prewitt, Class of 1975

 

August 12, 1957-July 10, 2018

 

A Tribute from a Classmate

Procrastination often plays an enticing melody in our daily lives, luring us to put off tomorrow what we should do today.  Tomorrow's chimes played in my head as other tasks pushed their way to the top of my To-Do-List.  

But, I had a plan.  I always lead with a plan. 

 

I decided to profile my former honors Spanish classmate, Joe Prewitt--now a highly respected physical therapist and owner of the Phoenix Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center--in our alumni website's spring 2018 post. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daffodil beds quickly replaced snow drifts. It was time to contact Joe for the June 2018 post.  Suddenly, I felt an urgent need I hadn't experienced before.  I couldn't delay another moment. 

Fortunately, that procrastination melody fell mute.

 

I left a private message on his facebook page.  Afterwards, my eyes wandered to the pictures of praying hands and the many prayers being prayed for him. 

What was happening?  Oh, no... was I too late?  

 

He was in the hospital fighting for his life.  I had no idea he was sick.  I was so thankful I hugged him at our 40th reunion, the year before.  Yes, reunions are important to attend.  Now, I was smacked with the reason why reconnecting is so important at any season of life. 

I yearned to be back in Frankford's hallway, averting my extremely shy eyes as he passed me with a playful grin.  This time, I'd bravely look up, smile back and say a few words.  Even if it was only in Spanish.

Several weeks later, I went on vacation, and the day of my 26th wedding anniversary, July 11, the dread returned. 

 

Joe passed away on July 10, 2018. 

Nothing could stop me from attending his packed Celebration of Life service at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Germantown. 

 

I discovered a Life Well-Lived, and met a Joe Prewitt I never knew, through his family's, Omega Psi Phi brothers' and friends' memories.  His God-given gifts impacted so many lives, and will continue for years to come. 

His purpose-filled life was presented in a beautiful memory booklet, I'll share below in this tribute.

It's June of 1975, and we're crammed into the bleachers on graduation day.   With sweaty hands and joyful hearts, we move the tassel over, ready to embrace our long-awaited  journey into adulthood.

Joe heads for Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida.  Known as Philly Joe, he pledges Omega Psi Phi fraternity, earns a bachelor degree in biology, graduating cum laude.  He becomes a lifetime member of the fraternity and FAMU's alumni association.

He returns to Philly, and earns a physical therapy degree at Temple.  Early in his career, he works at Bryn Mawr Hospital, the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Washington, D.C. and the Walnut Street Medical Center. 

 

Joe's commitment to the inner city led to establishing his first physical therapy offices in North and West Philadelphia.  Eventually, he opens and operates for 15-years, the Phoenix Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center, LLC in Germantown.

He works diligently rehabilitating patients dealing with amputations, diabetic wound care, sports injuries and other neurological and orthopedic conditions.

At the same time, he's mentoring many by providing internships and training opportunities for physical therapy students.  He also offers numerous scholarships to minority, inner-city college students that wins him the "Omega Man Of the Year" award.

In 2016, Joe returns to Temple to complete his doctorate in physical therapy, earning his doctorate posthumously in May 2019.

 

As a child, Joe loved playing baseball and basketball; and was a starting guard for Frankford's basketball team.

A devoted, child of God--he joined Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Inc. and worked with Civil Rights Leader, Rev. Leon H. Sullivan. 

 

He was later drawn to the missions-focused ministry of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, under the leadership of Dr. Alyn E. Waller.  He was a member and servant leader of the men's choir and participated in men's ministries.

He adored his daughter, Lauren Ashley, his parents and siblings.  A love for sports, he also never lost his devotion to the Philly teams, especially as a Sixers Season ticket holder.  He stayed loyal to the Sixers and Eagles through good times and bad.

A best friend to many, he's missed by all who stepped into his path during his well-lived life.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations were made to the Joseph S. Prewitt Memorial Scholarship for

Frankford High School (PNC Bank)

P.O. Box #533

Newtown Square, PA 19073

You're forever a Frankford Pioneer!