William (Bill) Harold Stewart August 18, 1924 – January 13, 2018
Bill was born in Shelton, WA to Wynne and Beatrice Stewart. He moved to Kent at age 5 with his parents and older sister, Mary Jane. He attended Valley Elementary, Kent Junior High and graduated from Kent High School in 1942.
After graduating from high school in 1942 he started college at the University of Washington. At the end of his freshman year, he enlisted and was sent to midshipman school at Harvard University for the Navy in 1943. He was commissioned as an Ensign just as WWII ended and shipped to Enewetak on his 21st birthday in 1945. He served as a supply and finance officer in Enewetak and Marcus Island until August of 1946. He continued to serve in the Navy as a reserve and left the Navy at the rank of full lieutenant in 1961.
While in the reserves he returned to the University of Washington and was a proud member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated with a BA in Economics and Business in 1947. He sold life insurance for eighteen months then utilized the GI bill and returned to UW to attend Pharmacy school from 1950 -1955. He worked as a pharmacist in Kent at the family business, Stewart Drug, with his father and sister in the 1950s. With the gradual failure of his sister’s health and the death of his father in 1954, he took over the business after graduation.
In 1958 Bill met Lois Laxson at a dinner party hosted by a local Kent physician. They dated for a year before being married on August 29, 1959 at University Congregational Church in Seattle, WA. By 1966 they were blessed with five children. Each married, adding five spouses and eventually eleven grandchildren.
He served 60+ years in the Kiwanis Club of Kent and was an active member of the Greater Kent Historical Society, Kent Library Board, Kent Chamber of Commerce, and Kent Downtown Partnership. He retired and closed Stewart Drug in 1991. He always treasured the people he met and the lifelong friendships he made while serving others. He will be greatly missed by all who loved him.
Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend and led a life filled with helping others. Preceded in death by his parents and sister, Mary Jane, he is survived by his wife Lois, five children and their spouses, Bob (Gretchen), Dick (Monica), Janet (Dan), Jim (Angie), Karen (Ron) and eleven grandchildren Doug, Megan, Stephanie, Trevor, Natalie, Aaron, Brendan, Laura, Garrett, Carson and Allison.
A funeral service will be held 11:00 AM Monday January 22, 2018 at Kent United Methodist 11010 SE 248th Street Kent, WA 98030. A private burial will take place at Hillcrest Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kent United Methodist Church, Greater Kent Historical Society, Kiwanis Club of Kent or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.org). Please visit www.yahnandson.com for more information.