Ian A. Stewart
{ "" }
Share Ian's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Ian Affleck Stewart, of Ottawa, passed away October 24, 2014. He will be greatly missed by his life partner Gail (Ward), his sister Joan Chalmers Stewart, his son Rob (Sue Ellen Gahagan), his granddaughters Avery and Mackenzie, his daughter Jane (Stephen Tevlin), and his son Tim. He was predeceased by his brother William (1924-1952).

In his youth, Ian lived on Toronto's Centre Island, where he paddled and competed for the Island Canoe Club. He attended the University of Toronto Schools before studying economics at Queen's (1953). He subsequently studied, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Oxford, and later at Cornell, where he received his Ph.D. He taught at Dartmouth College before being asked to return to Canada to work on econometric model-building at the Bank of Canada. Called to public service he served faithfully in that capacity for the remainder of his life, including as Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, as Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, and as Deputy Minister of Finance. He served on the board of Voluntary Service Overseas and of the Social Research and Development Corporation and chaired the boards of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

He will be remembered by neighbourhood skaters for creating and maintaining over many years his side yard skating rink in Old Ottawa South, "Oak Leaf Gardens." In recent years, he spent many hours in his cottage workshop at Hurds Lake, restoring a series of canoes and vintage wooden boats.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ottawa Citizen on Oct. 27, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by anonymous
Not sure what to say?
47 entries
October 22, 2015
Dear Gail and family

Remembering Ian. Thinking of all of you one year later and wishing you well! I shall always remember! Best wishes......

Sylvana De Bortoli
Sylvana De Bortoli
April 19, 2015
Do remember Ian so well - a towering intellect and a great sense of humour. He always took time to listen - no matter how far off base one was with a comment or observation. That human touch made our high pressure environment both rewarding and relevant.
Frank Came
December 18, 2014
Learning of Ian's passing cast a shadow on all of us. He was a great public servant, and an honour to be related, however distantly to. Memories of "Uncle Ian" live on and I will cherish the canoe he refinished for me all the more. Gail, Rob, Suzanne, Avery, Mac, Jane, Tim.... there are not words....
Bill Milliken
November 18, 2014
Dear Gail, Stewart and I were deeply saddened to hear of Ian's passing. The world, indeed, will be a lesser place without him. Deepest sympathy. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. He will not be forgotten and therefore lives on in our hearts. Judith and Stewart
Stewart Wells
November 14, 2014
Dear Gail,
My heartfelt sympathy to you and family in your great loss of Ian.
Denis Smith
Denis Smith
November 12, 2014
To Gail & Family

We will always remember Ian as:
A true Friend
A pleasant smile
A sound provider of advice
An imparter of knowledge
A compassionate soul
An uplifting personality
A friend of First Nations people
A real human being

Our Condolences,

George & Family
George Emery
November 8, 2014
Mr. Stewart was a fine example of what a human can be. His generosity of making Oak Leaf gardens brought our community together. Our children, like so many others, learned to skate and laugh in your yard under the shimmering fairy lights.
Mr. Stewart welcomed us and shared his humour and thoughts with us many times over the years on your porch while watching the children skate.
We are all so saddened by his passing.
Please accept our deep sympathy for your loss and know we like so many other neighbours will hold him in our hearts and aspire to be as kind to others as he was to us.
Gallo-Will family
November 6, 2014
Deepest sympathies to the Stewart family. Wonderful memories of Mr. Stewart watering the rink at night in order for us to spend many hours playing hockey. Thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. May your memories bring you solace.

Craig, Denise, Emily and Jessica Nesrallah
November 4, 2014

My deepest sympathies to you. What a tremendous loss this is for you, your family and for Canada. He was a remarkable Canadian and a great public servant.

Warm Regards
Diane Beckett
November 4, 2014
Thank you for being such an important part of the Old Ottawa South community. What a classy guy and incredibly generous man. My thoughts are with Ian's family and he will always have a special place in the hearts of every kid who got to play at Oak Leaf Garden.
November 2, 2014
I am sending my most sincere condolences from Edmonton. Having Mr. Stewart as a neighbour in Old Ottawa South was such a wonderful thing. Growing up, the skate-arounds and garden parties and Halloween spectacles were always so much fun for myself and my brother. As a teen, one of my favourite things to do at night while making dinner or doing the dishes was look across the street to Oak Leaf gardens and watch the children skating underneath the twinkling lights. I'm lucky to have had such wonderful childhood opportunities, so many of which were thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Stewart.
Again, I am so sorry for your loss.
Holly Taylor
November 2, 2014
Gail, Rob, Jane, Tim, Sue, Avery & Mackenzie,
We were so very sad to hear of Ian's passing and know what a tremendous loss this is for all of you and for so many others.
Over the years Ian always welcomed us with much warmth, wit, humour and that ever-present sparkle in his eye. He was a truly wonderful man.
Our deepest sympathy to all of you at this sad time.
Sandy, Tim & Coral
November 1, 2014
What a lovely person. Warm and protective of the kids who he welcomed into his skating rink every year, including mine. A great neighbour. A great mind. A great public servant. We are deeply saddened by his loss.

Rob and Kris
Robert Pinker
November 1, 2014
The sad news about Ian's death has reached me on Vancouver Island, and I want to add my heartfelt words of sympathy and respect for a man who was a mentor to me and to many younger public servants. He represented the "old" values of service to one's country, honest advice to whomever was in power, and decency in treating the humblest with thoughtfulness.And a great sense of humour, the best defence against all the madness that comes with working in Ottawa. The Stewart family has lost a wonderful husband, father, grandpa, and Canada has lost an exemplary civil servant. Sincere condolences from Comox.
Stewart Goodings
October 29, 2014
Gail and family, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of Ian. Reading about his life and the guest book, it is obvious he touched many, including myself.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Martine TOH
October 28, 2014
Ian was ambitious for humanity, but never for himself. He was affectionate, loyal and demanding of his country and its public service, while being himself an unselfish servant of friends, community, country, ice skaters and even canoes. He was a lovely warm-hearted man, and the finest colleague you could imagine, always ready with a joke to redeem even the least promising of results spewing forth from the printer. He is much missed.
John and Millie Helliwell
October 28, 2014
Oh Gail,
I am so thankful Ian was in my life those years in Ottawa. He touched my mind and heart in so many ways. And, he served Canadians in such a quiet and extraordinary way; invisible to almost all of us. I hold him, you and your family in my heart and prayers.
Ruben (Butch) Nelson
October 28, 2014
Dear Rob
Please accept my condolences on the passing of your Dad. I owe a lot of my career to him as he selected me to be the first Finance Counselor in New York. He was a great Canadian and an outstanding public servant. Please convey my condolences to your family.

Ray LaBrosse
Ray LaBrosse
October 28, 2014
Dear Gail and family

It's hard to find the words to express my sadness in the loss of Ian. My thoughts and heartfelt sympathy are with you. Ian was a special human being - in his dedication to his work and his attitude towards people. The years I worked with him were most rewarding. I will miss a dear friend.
Sylvana De Bortoli
October 28, 2014
On behalf of PIAC and everyone who worked with Ian on our Board, we extend our sincere condolences. Ian Stewart was a singularly calm presence and sage counsel and we will miss him very much.
John Lawford
October 28, 2014
Ian was someone very special. There were very few public servants who had his sense of fair play and humanity.
Jack Basuk
October 28, 2014
All my condolences on your loss to the Stewart family, especially to Gail. Ian was a good friend to many
Bill Pugsley
October 28, 2014
Dear Gail,
I was very saddened to hear of Ian's passing. What a full and meaningful life you have shared. Canada will forever be a better place because of Ian's remarkable life of public service.

Elaine Isabelle
Elaine Isabelle
October 28, 2014
We are very sorry for your loss Jane. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family through this difficult time.

Susan & Bruce Langevin
October 28, 2014
We had the privilege of being close neighbours of the Stewart family on Cameron Avenue for 35 years and enjoyed their garden party as well as Oak Leaf Garden skating rink. Ian was a wonderful neighbour and an amazing person.
Bob and Sheila Simpson
October 28, 2014
We could not believe the news and are greatly saddened by it. Ian (and Gail) have been strong community people bringing joy to our neighbourhood through garden parties and the Oak Leaf Garden (with some help from their children). He will always be remembered as a great man. We wish the family peace in the months to come.
Rebecca Melanson
Rebecca Melanosn
October 28, 2014
I have had the privilege of getting to know Ian, or Mr. Stewart as he was known in our home. His quiet interest in our lives and care for his neighbours has left a lasting impression on us all.
Doug, Jane, Kate and Ben
October 27, 2014
Words don't help to convey my sadness at learning of this. Gail my thoughts are with you.
Arthur Dennise
October 27, 2014
My heart broke a little bit when I read that Ian had passed. I work at Patty's pub where for the last seven years I had the pleasure of seeing Ian and his friends every week. He was always smiling and curious about my life and I will miss his infectious laugh and beautiful smile. My heart goes out to his family and friends. This world lost a wonderful man and I will miss him.
Corri Greenberg
October 27, 2014
Very sad news. The Rankin family very much appreciated Ian for keeping us connected to 141

Tom Rankin
Tom Rankin
October 27, 2014
Ian was my first boss, a great mentor, and a true friend....so many wonderful memories of Ian and Gail's 'soirees'. You were both great role models for Charleen and me -- and we will miss Ian greatly. He was a great public servant and made Canada a better place. Our thoughts are with you all.
Fred Gorbet
October 27, 2014
Mes plus sincères sympathies à votre famille.
Manuel Dussault
October 27, 2014
Dear Gail and Family:

Ian was a true friend who succeeded with people because of his positive world view. I will miss him dearly.
Hon. Allan J. MacEachen
October 27, 2014
A wonderful and kind neighbour, and great role model for the community. My condolences go out to the entire family. Please remember that Ian will always be fondly remembered.
Rajiv Samant
October 27, 2014
Oh Gail, My thoughts are with you! as I send my breath heavenward.
Fred and Ian have found each other.
Deeply thinking of You.Blessings to All.
Ann Galley Thompson
October 27, 2014
My deepest condolences. I did not know Ian well, but the rink he maintained for the community in his side lot was much loved. My two sons honed their skating skills on that rink, which was a favourite place to go on winter nights.
Brendan McCoy
October 27, 2014
Please accept my deepest sympathy.
leandrea kane
October 27, 2014
My deepest condolences. I am very sad.
Philip Bury
October 27, 2014
Oh my,
What great sadness juxtaposed with brilliant memories of a smart, warm, welcoming spirit. My love and condolences to the family and my thanks Ian for recognizing and tolerating "a keen group."
October 27, 2014
Ian was a remarkable Canadian and wonderful friend. I will miss him deeply.
Alan Nymark
October 27, 2014
Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Remember - "The Rinkmaker"
Doug McDonald
October 27, 2014
Mes condoléances les plus sincères Rob, à vous et à votre famille. Une grande perte, mes pensées sont avec vous pendant ces moments difficiles.
Andrée Cloutier
October 27, 2014
A true public servant.

We lost Bill Hood earlier in the year.

Hugh Young
October 27, 2014
Hi Rob,

I am offering you all my condolences for your father. All my condolences to all your family.

Thank you.
Julie Lauzon
October 27, 2014
I'm so sorry. Ian was a good, kind, wise and witty man whom I admired greatly. Gail, Jane, Tim and Rob are in my heart today.
Pat Webb
October 27, 2014
Rob, My sympathies on the passing your father.
David Gamble
October 27, 2014
We are so sorry to hear of Ian's passing. Our family enjoyed skating parties and garden parties in that wonderful side yard. Our thoughts are with you all. We will remember Ian fondly.
Jane Forsyth
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences