William James Stewart was born at Halkirk, Alberta on November 12, 1916 to John and Martha Stewart. He passed away in Stettler, Alberta on July 2, 2016 at the age of 99 years, just 4 months 10 days short of 100 years.
He grew up on the farm with siblings Jennie, Elmer, Eva, Harold, Dorothy and Mary. Willie’s mother passed away unexpectedly when he was only 12 years old, which deeply affected him the rest of his life. He finished grade 11, then took the opportunity to begin his lifetime livelihood in farming with his brother Elmer. During World War II Willie spent an enjoyable year working in Conscientious Objector camps at the Columbia Icefields and area. In 1949 he moved to a farm just south of Stettler where he continued to grain farm and run a dairy with Elmer until he retired, and lived there until his passing.
In early 1956, Willie went for a load of coal north of Halkirk and happened to stop in at the Hornady farm for a visit on the way home. He continued those visits until Willie and Norma Hornady Stelfox were married on June 21, 1956. He became a loving dad to Elsie and often said, “I was lucky when I got married: I got two girls-Norma and little Elsie!” Four more children were added to this loving couple-Merlin, Orin, Stanley and Renita. Willie was a loving, sweet, gentle, wise, patient and kind husband and father. When asked, “What did you learn from your dad?” the immediate response was, “A lot!.. but most of it was by example.”
At age 15 Willie made a public profession to serve the Lord. He did this with his whole heart until his last breath.
Willie was predeceased by his parents John and Martha; siblings Jennie, Elmer, Eva, Harold, Dorothy Langmo and Mary West; granddaughters Marsha Yates, Brianne Thue and Cheyanne Thue; son-in-law Philip Thue and daughter-in-law Lori Stewart. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years Norma Stewart of Stettler; daughter Elsie (and Don) Yates of Stettler and their son Glen (and Alma) Yates of Union Bridge, Maryland, their children Sergio and Sofia, their daughter Sharla Yates (and Peter Andrushuk) of Edmonton; son Merlin of Stettler and his sons Cody (and Sera) of Pullman, Washington and Rioux (and Lindsay) of Omaha, Nebraska; son Orin of Sylvan Lake and his daughter Raina of Sylvan Lake; son Stan (and Lisa) of Sardis, British Columbia and their children Courtney of Sardis, Cameron of Stettler and Jacalyn of Sardis; daughter Renita Thue of Canmore and her daughter Anecia (and Kyle) Becker of Rocanville, Saskatchewan, and their children Haze, Bria, Skyra and Joetta, her son Jed (and Jazmin) of Rycroft and their son Jaxx, and her daughter Jillian Thue of Regina, Saskatchewan; numerous nieces and nephews and many dear friends.
Willie was a lover of life, and saw something special in every bird, flower, animal and mountain. He was known and will be remembered for his sweet, gentle, optimistic nature. Forever loved!
On behalf of Willie’s family, they would like to thank Dr. Lockhat and the care staff at Heartland Medical Clinic and Stettler Hospital and Care Centre for the wonderful care of their father, your kind and compassionate acts will be remembered.
A funeral service for Willie Stewart was held on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 in the Heartland Chapel of Stettler Funeral Home with Janet Dorey and Merlin Affleck officiating. Willie was laid to rest in Lake View Cemetery, Stettler, Alberta with Jim Howlett, Rick Redel, Rob Howell, Raymond Cowan, Lee Erickson and Derwin Massey serving as pallbearers; Valarie Colli and David Jury led the graveside service. Donations in memory are gratefully accepted to a charity of your choice c/o
STETTLER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIUM,
Box 1780, Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0,
who were entrusted with the care and arrangements.
To send or view condolences to the family,
please visit www.stettlerfuneralhome.com