Robert Wellington “Bill” Stewart

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 5, 2013

Robert Wellington “Bill” Stewart, 87, went home to his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:05 a.m. at the Louisiana War Veterans Home in Jackson, where he had made his home since May 2009.

Born on Sept. 25, 1925, Bill was dearly loved by staff members and in return, loved them back and was appreciative of their tender love and care, especially in the last three months of his life. He was most fond of Quinton and Bert, who were with him at the time of his death, along with his daughter, Janene.

During World War II, Bill answered the call to serve his country and enlisted in the Army on April 25, 1944. He was assigned to Company L 359th Infantry Regiment 90th Division and was part of the Ardennes Campaign and Battle of the Bulge. On Jan. 9, 1945, he sustained wounds that resulted in the loss of his right eye, as well as multiple traumas to the left leg. He was awarded the European-Africa-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Bronze Battle Star, World War II Victory Medal and American Campaign Medal for his acts of bravery and sacrifice to his country.

After treatment of his war wounds, and upon discharge from military service, Bill returned to the Plainview Community where he was born and raised and began a career as a farmer. He later became known as “Mr. Bill” to the many school children he transported during his 38 years as a school bus driver with the Washington Parish School System. He never allowed his wartime disability to prevent him from leading an active life.

Bill was a life-long member of Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church and also a member of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana F. & A. M. Zona Chapter No 337.

He is survived by a daughter, Janene (James) Dunaway of Bogalusa; three sons, Samuel Densil (Joy) Stewart of Warren, Ark., Steven (Caroline) Stewart of Franklinton and Terry (Tammy) Stewart of Bogalusa; seven grandchildren, Reeca and Mark Mincy of Brandon, Miss., Marche and Chris Brown of Star City, Ark., Jamie and Misty Stewart, Brian Stewart of Franklinton, Hannah and Carter Stewart of Bogalusa and Miranda Stewart of Illinois; two step-grandchildren and their spouses, Jimmy and Minnie Dunaway of Stateline and Dena and Kevin Willis of Loranger; seven great-grandchildren, Zane and Savannah Brown, Devin and Alyssa Stewart, Keagan Saucier, Ayden Stewart and Emma Crowl; six step-great grandchildren, Kara, Jesse and Molly Willis; Kyle and Cole Edwards, Tera and husband Brent Holmes; and one step-great great-grandson, Brady Holmes; two brothers- and sisters-in-law, Waldo and Doris Stewart and Silas Leo and Paula Sue Stewart of Bogalusa; five sisters-in-law, Geraldine Stewart, Mae Stewart, Margie Nell Sheridan, Pauline Goings and Virginia Broussard; a brother-in-law and his wife, Homer and Dean Sheridan; and a sister-in-law and her husband, Dollie and Woodrow Hobgood.

He was preceded in death by his wife, LaVerygne Sheridan Stewart; his parents, James Leslie and Julie Pearl Sheridan Stewart; five brothers, Talmadge, Truett, Erbert Lee, Sam and Horace Stewart; and a sister, Edith Stewart McKenzie.

Visitation will be Saturday, Jan. 5 at Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home from 5-9 p.m. Masonic rites will be conducted at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Sunday at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, from 12:30 p.m. until time for the funeral service at 2:30 p.m., with the Rev. George Moore, Rev. Pete Underwood and Rev. Leon Hickman officiating.

Interment will follow in the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church cemetery, with full military rites conducted by the Magic City Post 24 of the American Legion.