Douglass Murray Stewart was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on October 5, 1921 and went on to become an important figure in the international Natural Gas Industry. He studied at Oklahoma University graduating top of his class in Petroleum Engineering and Geology. During World War II, he served his country as a First Lieutenant in the US Army. He was on active duty during the Normandy Invasion, landing on Omaha Beach. Following the war, Doug worked for Humble Oil Co. in Texas, which later became a part of The Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (now Exxon). He met and married Jane Lively in 1948. They raised three children, and moved the family to Connecticut in 1957 when Doug was summoned to work in Standard Oil's New York headquarters. In 1960, he was assigned the task of what do with the world's second largest natural gas deposit discovered in Holland. His plan meant that he and the family would be living in Europe. Through his vision and determination, Doug successfully had clean-burning natural gas piped into homes in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. This eliminated the need for sooty coal-fired heating and cooking appliances and improved the environment and the economies of those countries. He later wrote an account of this era of his life in a book called "The Texan and Dutch Gas". Returning to the United States in 1965, he continued to work for Standard Oil. In 1981, he started his own very successful gas and oil exploration company, DMS Oil Co. in Houston, Texas. Following the passing of his wife Jane in 2001, Doug moved to Palm City, Florida where he married Patricia Diefendorf, enjoying golf and philanthropic endeavors. His extremely generous contributions helped build a new shelter for Safe Space, which provides secure living conditions for battered women and children. He also contributed to many other charities, including student scholarships for his beloved Oklahoma University. He passed peacefully on Wednesday, October 11, a few days after celebrating his 96th birthday at home with his family. Doug was loved and admired by everyone who met him. His humor, generosity and zest for life will be missed. He is survived by his wife Patricia and his children, Douglass Jr., Jane Ann, Mark Allan and his wife Janet Lynn, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to United Way, Safe Space or Hospice in Stuart, Florida. There will be a memorial service on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 4pm at the Palm City Presbyterian Church, 2700 Martin Highway, Palm City, Florida 34990.
Published in New York Times on Oct. 15, 2017.