Virginia Gravely Stewart

Stewart, Virginia Gravely
99, of Scottsdale, AZ, died December 5, 2013. Virginia Gravely Stewart was born in Monroe, NC on November 11, 1914 one of eight children of Nan and William Gravely. Virginia graduated from Monroe High School, attended the Women's College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and took courses at Columbia University. She married Herman Crawford Stewart in 1934, and they were together until his death on December 19, 1972 in Phoenix. Virginia's career as a university administrator and student advisor began in 1962 at Northwestern University when the family transferred from Atlanta to Evanston, IL. She served as administrative assistant to Dr. Richard C. Snyder, Chair of the Department of Political Science. In 1971, when her husband's corporate headquarters moved to Phoenix, Virginia accepted and administrative post at the Arizona State University School of Law, and quickly advanced to Director of Placement, a position that she held until retirement in 1984. She made a difference in the lives of many Law School graduates, many of whom are now prominent attorneys, professors and jurists. For many years during retirement, she toured Europe from the British Isles to Turkey. Her favorite place was Reuti, high in the Swiss Alps. She would go there every summer for many years and rent a chalet from a Swiss family whom she got to know very well. The grandeur of the Alps appealed to her aesthetic sense and natural artistic talent (she was an accomplished artist). She was also an accomplished equestrienne, who rode horses as long as she was physically capable of doing so. She was a giving person with empathy for others. Her love and compassion for animals and for disadvantaged children were familiar traits to all who knew her. She generously supported many animal rescue and humane organizations, and was always eager to participate in programs to provide toys for poor children at Christmas. She was also cited by the Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation as a benefactor. She will be remembered for her kindness and her friendly, outgoing interpersonal style. Virginia is survived by her brother, Philip Gravely of Charlotte, NC, her son, Dr. John E. Stewart of Dothan, AL, various nieces and nephews, and Melissa, her Lhasa Apso dog A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 14, at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, 22405 N. Miller Rd., Scottsdale, 85255.
Pastor Susan B. Snook will conduct the Traditional English rites. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Church, or to one of her favorite animal rescue organizations, the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, PO Box 35490, Tucson, AZ 85740-5490.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Dec. 15, 2013