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Colonel William R. Stewart, Jr.

Obituary for Colonel William R. Stewart, Jr.

February 14, 2020
San Antonio, Texas



I am an American; not because I am tall or short, not because I am a boy or a girl, not because my skin is white or black or brown and not because I am old or young. I am an American because of how I feel in my heart.

* I am an American because I believe the Church and the State should be separate.
*I am an American because I want to live where my conduct is governed by laws, we the people have approved.
*I am an American because I believe authority should not be centralized but divided between those who make the laws, those who enforce the laws and those who interpret the laws.
*I am an American because I feel the role of government should be limited.
*I am an American because I feel the general prosperity is best advanced by those citizens who develop new jobs for everyone and those who create new things and better ways.
*I am an American because I believe in individual liberty and the opportunity to exercise individual initiative.

I value my freedoms;
*Freedom to worship as I choose,
*Freedom from unwarranted search,
*Freedom to go where I want,
*Freedom to say what I want and read what I want,
*Freedom to protect myself when danger threatens,
*Freedom from legal presumption I am guilty when accused.

I am an American because I believe in the responsibilities that go along with my freedom.
*I am responsible for what I do.
*I am responsible to control my greed.
*I am responsible not to be a burden to others.
*I am responsible for my conduct toward my fellow Americans and toward all human beings.

Though I make mistakes, and they are many, and though I do things that are wrong for I am only human, yet I will strive to live my life by these principles. It is the trying that counts.

I am proud to be an American because I am part of the greatest social experiment in the history of the human race.

Won't you be an American, too?

Col. William Robert Stewart, Jr. (Ret. - USAF)
April 7, 1919 - February 14, 2020

His generation was called "The Greatest" because of men like Col. Stewart. A second-generation career military man, he graduated from West Point in 1943 and dedicated his life to Duty, Honor, and Country. We enjoy unparalleled prosperity and freedom in this country because of men like Col. Stewart.

He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Born April 7, 1919, the first child of William Robert Stewart and Mary Agnes Simpson, at his grandfather's medical facility. He was raised in an army family (Coast Artillery) and spent five years on Alcatraz as a teenager while his Dad was in charge of the military prison. At age 99 he wrote the book Alcatraz Kid (Amazon) about growing up there.

He enlisted in the Army in 1937, won a competitive appointment to West Point in 1939, graduating January 19,1943. He earned his pilot's wings with class 42-K in CA, November 1942. His first assignment after West Point was to train B-17 pilots in Pyote, Texas. He knew most of those young men would not survive their duty. As a B-29 Commander in Okinawa at the end of the war, he flew over Tokyo Bay during the Japanese surrender ceremonies aboard the battleship Missouri. During the Korean War, he was in combat support at Wright-Patterson AFB, then in The Hague, Holland, as military assistance for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Of his whole military career, he was most proud of his key role in air rescue operations after a major flood in south Holland in January 1953. His leadership with quick and decisive action saved many lives. During the cold war he continued his logistics work at USAF Headquarters. During Vietnam, while stationed in Hawaii, he set up computers in the Pacific for CINCPAC. He graduated with honors from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and received his MBA from George Washington University in DC. His last assignment was Kelly Air Force Base. He retired from the Air Force July 1, 1968. He served 31 years of active duty for our country.

He went to work for USAA and as Executive Director of Personnel was instrumental in starting their four-day work week in 1973. Retiring from USAA in 1980, he became active with the Order of Daedalians, where he served fifteen years as Trustee, Secretary and Chairman of gifts. He was Editor of their national magazine, Daedalus Flyer. He served 40 years in the local chapter, The Stinsons Flight No. 2, including Flight Captain and worked with his friends to establish ceremonies, scholarships and awards.

Bill's most memorable achievement was the reenactment of the 100th Anniversary of the flight of Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois during the Fort Sam Houston Centennial of Military Aviation on March 2, 2010.

On March 2, 2020, a plaque will be dedicated and tree will be planted next to the Military Aviation monument by the flagpole on the parade field at Ft. Sam Houston in his honor for his dedication to the Daedalians.

Colonel Stewart was married on January 20, 1943 to Marian L. Fulton. They had four children: William Robert III, Lynne, Suzanne, and Clay. He married the love of his life, Marilyn on September 13, 1975 and spent the best and happiest years of his life with her. He loved Texas Hill Country life near the headwaters of the Little Blanco River. He was happy working there and getting back to nature.

Bill is survived by his wife Marilyn; brothers, Ray and Stanley (Masako); daughter, Suzanne Passafuma; son, Clay Stewart; step-daughter, Allison Frey (Douglas); step-son, Mark Weinhardt (Natalie); eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, William Robert III; daughter, Lynne; son-in-law Lonnie Passafuma; and granddaughter, Melissa.

The family wishes to thank Embrace Hospice for their loving care of Bill.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at Porter Loring Mortuary.

12:30 PM

Rev. Suzy Royston will officiate. Interment with Full Military Honors will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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