2015-08-06 / Obituaries

Billy Frank (Bill) Stewart

Former Mariposa resident Bill Stewart passed away peacefully and with loved ones present on July 28, 2015, in Medford, Oregon. He was 85 years old.

Bill was born in Merced on Dec. 14, 1929. He was the second child of Luther and Adah (Allen) Stewart, longtime residents of Mariposa.

Bill was a 1947 graduate of Mariposa County High School, where he served as student body president his senior year and starred in his school’s varsity sports.

His frequent return visits to Mariposa and Yosemite over many decades were especially poignant for him. In the past year, he completed a collection of memories of his earliest years, which included his love of classic poetry (which he could still recite at 85) and Mariposa County’s wildflowers.

Bill was a 1952 graduate of the College of the Pacific (now UOP), majoring in history. Rather than wait to be drafted into the Army during the Korean conflict, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) Program. He became a commissioned officer following college graduation and Basic School at Quantico, Va.

He married his high school sweetheart, June Hufford, on Dec. 23, 1950, and they would become parents of five daughters in the following ten years. He and his children suffered a heartbreaking loss when June passed away as a result of a brain aneurysm in 1965.

Bill served as an artillery officer in two major wars, Korea and Vietnam, and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1977. Among his military awards are the prestigious Legion of Merit and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Bill met and later married the former Joy Canny of Carlsbad in South Lake Tahoe on May 12, 1973. At the time of his passing, their blended family included seven children: Cindy (John) Buell of Auckland, New Zealand; Dana (Zan) Schoonover of Oceanside; Susan (Mike) Lamkin of Kearney, Neb.; Jill (Eric) Schifferli of Del Ray Beach, Fla.; Debra (Tom) Rutsch of Elk Grove; Jeff (Astrid) Canny of Moss, Norway; Teri (Jerry) Gerent of Vista; 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Including his first wife, Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ken and sister Luann. Interment of his ashes will be at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, following a service with full military honors.

Return to top

Bill was a wondeful, caring

Bill was a wondeful, caring family man. His large family attests to his commitment to enjoying life and celebrating each generation. He was a strong Marine, a loving father and an affectionate Grandpa. Bill worked hard his whole life and kept his family of five girls together after the tragic loss of their mother. His daughters grew up and made him a proud father. He was lucky in love a second time and found a wonderful woman to share the rest of his life with. He became a treasured father to Joy Canny's two children Jeff and Teri. Bill and Joy's life was filled with travel and many family Holiday gatherings stretching from California to New Zealand.They were Blessed with large family gatherings with Joy's family, The Vermilyea clan, and their reunions were blended with the Stewart side for many good times over four decades. Bill will be missed but he leaves behind a proud legacy.

Bill was a wondeful, caring

Bill was a wondeful, caring family man. His large family attests to his commitment to enjoying life and celebrating each generation. He was a strong Marine, a loving father and an affectionate Grandpa. Bill worked hard his whole life and kept his family of five girls together after the tragic loss of their mother. His daughters grew up and made him a proud father. He was lucky in love a second time and found a wonderful woman to share the rest of his life with. He became a treasured father to Joy Canny's two children Jeff and Teri. Bill and Joy's life was filled with travel and many family Holiday gatherings stretching from California to New Zealand.They were Blessed with large family gatherings with Joy's family, The Vermilyea clan, and their reunions were blended with the Stewart side for many good times over four decades. Bill will be missed but he leaves behind a proud legacy.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Click here for digital edition
2015-08-06 digital edition