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STEWART JOHN THOMAS STEWART, III President of Family Owned and Operated Stewart Funeral Home, Inc. Peacefully transitioned on Friday, February 8, 2013. Beloved husband of Norma Jenkins Stewart for 42 years; devoted father of Stacye J., Natasha J. and Shelli N. Stewart; son of Margaret B. and the late John T. Stewart, Jr. He is also survived by two grandchildren, Brea T. Stewart Newman and Nathaniel Stewart; brother, Carlin O. Stewart, Sr. (Bonita); uncle of Nicole L. and Carlin O. Stewart, Jr.; and a host of other relatives and friends. John T. Stewart III was born September 3, 1936. He would carry the mantle as the third generation and after the death of his father, John T. Stewart, Jr. in 1981, he became the patriarch of the Stewart Funeral Home family. An honor and responsibility that many would have found debilitating, John T. Stewart, III wore this responsibility well. John traveled extensively over the years, but his favorite place in all the world was Eagle Harbor, Maryland. He was often chided by family members that he loved being at the family home on the Patuxent River because he was almost born there. His mother barely made it to Freedman's Hospital in Washington, DC before his birth. He fondly remembered spending wonderful summers with Grandmother Carrie and his Eagle Harbor friends. John was especially proud of winning First Prize in the Metropolitan Washington Home Design Contest for the Washington Metropolitan Region while attending Springarn High School. It was an honor that he proudly held, displaying his design and the impressive trophy to this day. John attended West Virginia State University; however, a call from Uncle Sam interrupted his collegiate career and he entered the military near the end of the Korean War. His military experience fueled a life-long fascination and love for Asia. He shared this passion with his beloved bride Norma by taking her on a 21-day honeymoon to Korea, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. After his stint in the military, John entered Howard University, School of Architecture. However, when his father became ill, he heeded the call of duty to his family and redirected his career. He entered the American Academy of Funeral Service, New York City, to prepare to assist in the family business. He served his mortuary apprenticeship under his father as well as learned best management practices. His father was purposeful in teaching John the importance of community and public service often citing the fact that the first service of the Stewart Funeral Home was a charity case of an infant child. The Stewart leadership manifested strong positive values and competent service. Steeped in this strong family tradition, John was a role model, adhering to high principals and standards of his profession. For almost 50 years he provided service to the public with integrity, dignity, and quality. John was humbled and proud to be a part of that tradition and was honored to serve as president of the oldest African American family operated funeral home in the District of Columbia. He was an exemplary and thoughtful leader in the mortuary profession as well as an active and stalwart supporter of the Independent Funeral Directors Association and Epsilon Nu Delta Fraternity. Acknowledged for his personal and professional excellence, John served on the Board of the District of Columbia Funeral Directors and was a member of the Maryland Board of Funeral directors. Mr. Stewart will lie in state at Asbury United Methodist Church, 926 - 11th Street N.W. (11th and K Sts.) on Monday, February 18 from 9 a.m. until funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the John T. Stewart III Memorial Fund for Military Families, c/o The Community Foundation for Prince George's County, P.O. Box 3418, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-3418. Online condolences may be made at: www.stewartfuneralhome.com
Stewart Funeral Home
4001 Benning Road, N.E. Washington, DC 20019
Published in The Washington Post from Feb. 10 to Feb. 16, 2013