Stewart fought the good fight and would have been 90 on November 27.
His loving family survives him: daughter Torri, son Brock, daughter-in law Suzanne, and granddaughters Callia and Holly. He was pre-deceased by his wonderful wife Jeanne (2005), his brothers Gerald and Frank, sisters-in-law Jean and Maxine, and nephew Darcy.
Stewart loved adventure but most of all loved his family. Hugs, kisses, cuddles, tickles, and stories – these were his stock in trade. To be a kid around him was to know you were important, loved, and always, “full of prunes!”
Born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, he was raised in the Turner Valley of Southern Alberta, before his father moved the family to Fort St. John, BC, during World War II, to help build the Alaska Highway. Stewart became a schoolteacher at age 15 and without graduating high school. He later homesteaded land in the Peace River near Hudson’s Hope. BC. The land was later expropriated for the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, which left him with a few dollars in his trousers (never pants), so he moved to Vancouver to attend UBC where he graduated from law school in 1955. He commenced his articles in Vancouver but had them transferred to the firm of George Van Roggen and Eric Nielsen in Whitehorse, Yukon, where he later became a partner. He met, fell in love with, and married Jeanne Luyt in 1962. Jeanne always claimed her love began when she learned that as a bachelor, he had a dishwasher (it was 1962!). Torri was born in Whitehorse in 1963 and Brock was born in Vancouver in 1965, just before the family moved to Nelson. The family loved living in Nelson and Stewart enjoyed many successful years as a lawyer before being appointed as a judge to the Provincial Court of BC in 1981. He loved being a judge and travelled the province to sit wherever he could, and to Yukon where he would often sit when on vacation. He loved travelling to Whitehorse and maintained contacts there for the rest of his life.
The last few years were great ones. He travelled extensively including trips overseas and he moved to Vancouver in 2013 – mostly to spend as much time as possible with his beloved granddaughters Callia and Holly, who adored their Grandpa.
We love you Dad. We don’t quite know how we’ll make it without you, but we will cherish our memories of you and strive to follow the wonderful example you set for a life well lived.
The family wishes to thank the incredible staff and volunteers at the St.John’s Hospice, who made Dad’s final weeks comfortable, kind, and dignified. We would also like to thank the staff at St.Paul’s Hospital, who always took such great care of Dad. Many thanks also to the great staff at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver where Dad lived while patiently waiting to move into his new home.
“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” (Winston Churchill)
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Order of St.John Palliative Care Foundation or Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History.
St.John’s Hospice: http://stjohnhospice.ca/ways-to-give/
A funeral will be held at the Canadian Memorial United Church at 15th Avenue and Burrard Street, on Friday, September 30, 2016, at 1:30 PM.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Nelson at a later date.