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Nancy Stewart


1939 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Nancy Stewart Obituary
Stewart, Nancy
1939 - 2018
Nancy Bell Stewart, mother, community activist, promoter and protector of Clintonville, and friend to many passed suddenly on December 27, 2018 at her home in Columbus, Ohio. Nancy was born on November 6, 1939 to John and Catherine Bell of Brockton, Massachusetts. She is survived by her sister, Mabel Sawyer and Mabel's husband, Curtis Sawyer of Bridgewater, Massachusetts; her son, James Russell Stewart and daughter-in-law, Victoria Stewart of Columbus, Ohio; her daughter, Jennifer Ann Stewart and son-in-law, David Anthony of Cincinnati; niece, Beth Sawyer; and nephew, John Sawyer; life-long friend and global travel companion, Elinor Reynolds; and her former husband and friend, Philip David Stewart of Sarasota, Florida. Nancy's mother passed when she was barely five years old, after which she and her sister and their father lived for a number of years with her Uncle Francis Maynard and Aunt Jemina McGarrigle. Nancy attended Elmhurst College, was married in 1961, then attended Indiana University with a focus on biology and nutrition. Nancy accompanied her husband during his exchange year at Moscow State University from August 1962 through May 1963, after which Nancy organized a three-month tent-camping tour of Europe in their VW bug. After a year in Washington DC, she and Phil moved to Columbus. A year later they moved into her home where she raised her two children. She loved making her home a special place and the center of her family's life for fifty-four years. Her desire to make the world a better place spread out into her community. She had a life-long passion for improving her community through political activism. Her preference was for working in the background and bringing support and recognition to others, but this past February she was named "Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce 2018 ThisWeek Booster Community Volunteer of the Year." At first she tried to get out of it, so others could be honored. In her own words: "There are so many other people more deserving of this than me." After her initial hesitation, she gracefully accepted the praise that so many around her wished to give her. She was an incredibly strong woman who was independent and fearless, yet soft and nurturing. She often held meetings at her home for the community organizations she was involved with, including the Clintonville Area Commission, the Sharon Heights Neighborhood Association, the Democratic Party, Ward 21, (the fighting 21st- which she helped to found), Flags on High (which she also helped found) and several others. Since the 1960's she volunteered at Buckeye Bargains to raise scholarship funds for OSU students. She was also active in the OSU Women's Club Antiques Club, the Gourmet Club and the Day-Trippers. When not volunteering, she could usually be found in her garden tending to her flowers and caring for the birds who lived in her collection of birdhouses. She had a life-long love of travel and was fearless and enthusiastic in her exploration. She enjoyed home-stays in remote parts of the world and had the ability to connect with people from many cultures. Her family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and admiration for her expressed by her friends and neighbors in the community. Her children are grateful for her life and celebrate all that was good and kind in her; and ask for the comfort and assurance that her memory will remain a source of inspiration to all of those who treasured her. A Remembrance Gathering for Nancy Bell Stewart will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019 at Bleu & Fig, 4622 North High Street, in Columbus, Ohio. The Open House will run from 1-5 p.m. This is an occasion for friends of Nancy to gather and share their memories. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Flags on High, c/o B.J. White, 362 E Kanawha Ave, Columbus, OH 43214.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Jan. 8 to Jan. 11, 2019
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