Cmdr. George Stewart, Jr.

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Cmdr. George W. Stewart, Jr. (USN Ret) passed away peacefully August 3, 2014 after a brave battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Surrounded by his entire family including his children, their spouses, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, he was 89 years old. Cmdr. Stewart was born in Clinton, S.C. on March 21, 1925. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman recruit in 1942, serving 30 years and advancing to the rank of Commander. As a member of “America’s Greatest Generation,” he served in three major confl icts — World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In between, he participated in the evacuation of American personnel from China in 1944 following the fall of Chiang Kai Shek; he witnessed the first Atomic bomb test in the Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads in 1946; he was part of the occupation forces in Japan following the war and witnessed the effects of the devastation of Nagasaki; and he participated in the naval blockade during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Following initial training, his fi rst assignment was aboard ABSD # 2, Manus Island, a fl oating dry-dock in the South Pacifi c upon which he helped ready crippled war ships for return to battle. Thereafter, he served on nine U.S. Navy ships: the USS Barton, USS Iowa, USS Springfi eld, USS Titania, USS Intrepid, USS Salisbury Sound, USS San Pablo, USS Kodiak and the USS Towhee. Command assignments included Captain of the USS Kodiak YF 866 from 1965 to 1967, Captain of the USS Towhee AGS 28 from 1967 to 1969, and Commanding Officer of the Navy Oceanographic Research Facility, Lewes, Delaware from 1969 to 1972. After retiring from the Navy in 1972, Cmdr. Stewart became Delaware’s fi rst Boating Law Administrator. In that capacity, he directed the State Boating Safety Program and supervised the Marine Police, Boat Registrations, Boat Safety Education Program, State Game Wardens and the Hunter Safety Program. In 1984, as an extension of his GED Certifi cate proudly earned in 1952, he was awarded an Honorary Degree from Delaware Technical Community College. He retired from State service in 1987 and was presented the “Order of the First State Award” by the Honorable Mike Castle, Governor, State of Delaware, the highest award that can be bestowed on an individual by the Governor of Delaware. Following his retirement from State service, Cmdr. Stewart served the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators for 18 years as Executive Director, Legislative Affairs. In this capacity, Cmdr. Stewart established direct interfaces with key members of Congress and frequently testifi ed before Senate hearings on issues of boating safety and program funding. Under Cmdr. Stewart’s leadership in advancing boating safety education and regulation, national boating related fatalities decreased on a year-to-year basis every year during his tenure. Cmdr. Stewart is the recipient of the prestigious “August A. Busch Jr. Michelob Schooner Award,” the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators “Bonner Award,” the NASBLA Award and the Legislative Award. Cmdr. Stewart married Charlene Jean Crouse of Boone, Iowa in 1948. After becoming widowed in 2005 after 53 years of marriage, and having experienced three professional “careers,” he learned to paint, and remarkably, several of his entries were awarded Blue Ribbons in the Delaware State Fair. He is survived by his four children: Carolyn Porter (Gary) of Dover, DE, Wayne Stewart (Janeen) of Washington, KS, Gary Stewart (Kerry) of Millsboro, DE, and Becky Towner (Doug) of Magnolia, DE; nine grandchildren: Richard, Jennifer, Katie, Kirsten, Michael, Rachael, Ian, Quinn and Drew; six great-grandchildren: Jeremy, Jessica, Austin, Conner, Aaron, and Raya; and, proudly, five stepgrandchildren, including Brigitte Bruna of Washington, KS. Memorial services were held in Dover, Delaware Wednesday, August 6, 2014, and in Boone, Iowa Friday, August 8, 2014. Interment was at Bass Point Cemetery, Boone, Iowa.

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