LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Some sad news to report.

Longtime Acadiana civil rights activist and community leader Joseph “Mr. Joe”, Dennis died Sunday, January 22 at his home.

The Lafayette native was well known for giving most of his life trying to uplift the community.

Dennis was instrumental in moving Acadiana forward with equality and fair opportunity for all, but especially black people during the Civil Rights era to present day.

The Lafayette leader served on numerous boards including the Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services, Smile Community Action Agency, and the Glenn Armentor Pay It Forward Scholarship Program.

The Korean War veteran was a Purple Heart recipient.

A building was dedicated in 2022 in Lafayette honoring him for his pivotal role during the civil rights era so his legacy of lifting his community will never be forgotten.

The Lafayette Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation presented the dedication in conjunction with the Sterling Grove Housing Development and the Evangeline Apartments for elderly and low-income housing.

Funeral arrangements for Dennis are pending. Joe Dennis was 94 years old.