In Memory of William Stewart
Stewart, Rev. William “Bill” ascended into the Kingdom of Heaven on Monday, November 4, 2019.
Born in Milwaukee in 1942, he spent most of his life living in Wisconsin. After he retired in 2004, he enjoyed many winters in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas along with many other Snow-birds from the Mid-west while continuing to “Summer in Wisconsin” as he liked to say. The bonds of friendship which were formed meant so much to him, and it was always difficult to leave, even when knowing it was time.
After graduating from Carthage College in 1964, he attended Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary. He married his only love, Barbara Susina in June of 1966. He was ordained on June 2, 1968 and served as Pastor in a two-point parish in Washburn Wi and Iron Mountain Michigan. Subsequently, he served as minister at Shepherd of the Lakes in Waupaca WI, Christ the King in Brookfield WI, Bethel in Menominee MI, Bethesda in Dresser (Sand Lake) WI, and finally at Our Saviour’s in Stanley, WI. During many of those years, he enjoyed serving as the Parliamentarian at the annual Synod Convention, reportedly because “nobody else wanted to do it”, although he was recognized after his retirement for all the years of serving in that role. Recently, he celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife Barbara (Susina) Stewart, and his parents William (Big Bill) and Winnifred (Winnie). Both of his parents and Barbara were educators, so he established scholarships at each of their Alma Maters in their Honor (Carthage College, Hamline University and St. Olaf College). He is survived by his daughter Lauren Stewart and his brother Todd Stewart (USAF-Ret). Although he didn’t have any grandchildren, he “adopted” many children from his extended family and the local neighborhoods.
An avid golfer, although not a very good one (sorry, Dad, I couldn’t help myself), he enjoyed many rounds in many different places. He seemed to enjoy the people he met on the course and at the 19th Hole as much as the golf itself. Scores were tallied (semi-accurately), glasses were raised and laughs were shared. He found himself continuing his Ministry in a different way, but impacted many lives without any vestments or ceremony. He was mystified and humbled at that realization, but found meaning and purpose in those interactions. Always humble, he would never truly appreciate how much he was loved or how much he will be missed.
In his last years, he resided at Cedar Community Assisted Living center in West Bend, WI. The friendship, compassion, and extraordinary care he received were truly a Godsend for all of us. When his health deteriorated, he enrolled in Hospice, but was able to remain in his own apartment which had become home to him. The ultimate blessing we received is that he passed while the Hospice Chaplain was singing Amazing Grace.
Visitation will be held on Friday, November 8 from 5-7 pm at Williamson-White funeral home in Amery WI (222 Harriman Ave). Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 10 at 11:00 (with visitation one hour prior) at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Amery, WI (217 Deronda St) with interment to follow at Bethesda Cemetery in Dresser, WI. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your place of worship, favorite school or college or to Cedar Community Hospice.