George W. Stewart Jr.

Obituary
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George W. Stewart, Jr. (USN Cmdr. Ret)

GEORGE W. STEWART, JR. (USN Cmdr. Ret) passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by family on August 3, 2014 after a brave battle with Alzheimer's. He was 89 years old.

Mr. Stewart was born in Clinton, SC during a time when the local cotton mill persuaded the families to leave their jobs on the farm and come work for them. Pay was minimal and health issues rampant. By the time Mr. Stewart was born, he had already lost all 3 of his young sisters to diphtheria and cholera. His mom also died of diphtheria when Mr. Stewart turned just 5 years old. Shuffled from one family member to another, and never having a bed to sleep on, he dreamed of a better life. So when he turned 17, he left with just the clothes on his back and walked out of town looking for his dreams to come true. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman recruit in 1942. With only a 7th grade education, he knew he would need to study longer and work harder than everyone else to achieve his goals. He was going to make a difference.

Mr. Stewart served 30 years in the Navy and advanced to the rank of Commander. His last duty was Commanding Officer of the Navy Oceanographic Research Facility, Lewes, Delaware.

And while his new career was taking off to a great start, Mr. Stewart met the love of his life, Charlene Jean Crouse, and they married in 1948. Her strength and love allowed him to focus on his career and make a better life for his family than the life he knew growing up.

Commander Stewart was torpedoed while serving in World War II, he was part of the occupational forces in Japan following the war, and he participated in the first atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll after the war. His ship participated in many of the amphibious landings in the Korean War and surveyed the west coast of Vietnam while serving as the Commanding Officer of USS Towhee AGS-28 during the Vietnam Conflict.

After retiring from the Navy, Commander Stewart became Delaware's first Boating Law Administrator. In that capacity, he directed the State Boating Safety Program, supervised the Marine Police, Boat Registrations, Boat Safety Education Program, State Game Wardens and the Hunter Safety Program. He retired from State service in 1987 and was presented the "Order of the First State Award" by the Honorable Mike Castle, Governor, State of Delaware. This is the highest award that can be bestowed on an individual by the Governor of Delaware.

Following his retirement from State service, Mr. Stewart worked with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators for 18 years, specializing in testifying before Senate hearings. Mr. Stewart is the recipient of the prestigious "August A. Busch Jr. Michelob Schooner Award", the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators "Bonner Award", the NASBLA Award and the Legislative Award.

Mr. Stewart was widowed in 2001 following 53 blessed years of marriage to Charlene. His sadness was overwhelming, and we thank the Modern Maturity Center in Dover, DE for helping him overcome his grief and get involved with local activities. It was there that he met Ms. Ella Robinson in 2005, and she introduced him to the love of art. Learning to paint in his 80's, his entries in the Delaware State Fair won numerous ribbons.

He is survived by his four children: Carolyn Porter (Gary) of Dover, DE, Wayne Stewart (Janeen) of Washington, KS, Gary Stewart (Kerry) of Millsboro, DE, and Becky (Doug) of Magnolia, DE. Nine grandchildren: Richard, Jennifer, Katie, Kirsten, Michael, Rachael, Ian, Quinn and Drew. Six great-grandchildren: Jeremy, Jessica, Austin, Conner, Aaron, and Raya. And five step-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held, 6PM, Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at Torbert Funeral Chapel South, 1145 E. Lebanon Road (Rt.10), Dover. Friends may call from 4:30 till 6. Interment will be at Bass Point Cemetery, Boone, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The , PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011 or Delaware Hospice, 911 S. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

Letters of condolences may be sent and guest book signed at www.torbertfuneral.com.

Mr. Stewart's philosophy has always been, "success is a journey, not a destination".



Funeral Home
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road
1145 Lebanon Road Dover, DE 19904
(302) 734-3341
Funeral Home Details
Published in The News Journal on Aug. 5, 2014
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