Robert “Bob” Nelson Stewart passed away from a stroke and illness related to age on August 15, 2014, at the Beehive Home in Hurricane, Utah.
Bob was born on April 13, 1922, to John Moffitt Stewart and Vida Elizabeth Riding Stewart in St. George, Utah. He was raised in LaVerkin, Utah, by his mother and stepfather, Junius J. Duncan.
Bob served in the U.S. Navy and was trained in radio construction and repair, and radio communications. He served in Europe, France, Italy and North Africa on a small landing craft control, manned by only seven men. In North Africa he was able to work in an office as secretary to an officer on base. He was sent to San Diego, California for a short time as ship’s company typist secretary. From there he was sent to the South Pacific arena on the destroyer USS Strong where he saw battle action that affected him throughout his life. Though he never discussed the details of the action he saw, he was proud of the time he was in the service of the United States and often made mention of the fact that he served on the USS Strong.
Following his service he moved back to LaVerkin to work. He met a cute young girl from Enterprise, Verda Louise Terry, and they were married in the St. George LDS Temple on July 31, 1946. Bob completed electrician schooling in Provo, Utah. While looking for permanent work, Bob and Verda moved back to LaVerkin and then moved to Enterprise and to Acoma, Nevada, to work with Union Pacific Railroad. Within a few years, they settled in St. George where they raised their family.
After working for several different companies, Bob was a custodian for the St. George Post Office for a time, but his abilities as repairman/electrician eventually led him to work with Pickett Lumber Company where he became known as a great “fix anything” repairman. Later, he was awarded a contract to maintain the Federal Office Building in St. George. After working there several years, the government changed the contract status of his employment and Bob was hired as maintenance engineer at the Hilton Inn, where he worked for eight years before retiring.
Bob always served in the LDS church. He was ordained an elder before his service in the Navy. After the war he served as stake missionary, seventy, and high priest group secretary, instructor, and historian. He was thrilled when he and Verda received their mission call to Portland, Oregon, in 1988. They enjoyed making friends with missionaries, members, and nonmembers in Sweet Home, Oregon, for the time that they were there. Upon their return, they were called as ordinance workers in the St. George LDS Temple, where they served until they were unable to continue.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Beth; brother, Evan (who died in childhood); and one grandson, Jacob Stewart. He is survived by his wife, Verda; sisters, Grace Church and LaRee Campbell; children Linda (Lynn) Stout of Bloomington, Utah, Paul Stewart of Ogden, Utah, Gail (Bruce) Christensen of Kaysville, Utah, June (David) Jeffery of LaVerkin, Utah and Howard (Debra) Stewart of Henderson, Nevada; 19 grandchildren; and 33 great-grandchildren.
Bob loved living in St. George and had many friends. As life got too difficult to manage on their own, Bob and Verda were moved to the Beehive House in Hurricane, Utah, in December 2012 where they were able to receive care and support necessary for their aging years. Dad missed the St. George friends and sitting on his front porch across from the park, where he could visit with passers-by. He always worked with his hands and if there was anything to fix, he was working on it – if it could be fixed, he could do it. He was a good example to his children to hang on and never give up, of a good work ethic, and being responsible for your actions. Bob was always early with assignments and to meetings and was known for that “hurry and get it done” ethic. The family is grateful to the caring staff and residents at the Beehive Home, the caring members of the Hurricane 15th ward, and St. George 10th ward, beloved friends in their St. George neighborhood that was their home for over 57 years, and many others who assisted in taking care of Bob’s and Verda’s needs as they aged. Caregivers throughout the years include nurses, aides and medical professionals from Southern Utah Home Health, the Five County Association of Governments, Applegate Home Health, and Dixie Home Health and Hospice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, telephone 435-673-4221. For condolences and funeral listings please visit the Metcalf website.
- Funeral services will be Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 2 p.m. at the St. George LDS 10th Ward Chapel, 591 West 500 North, St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be held Tuesday, Aug. 19 from 6-8:00 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 West St. George Blvd, St. George, Utah and Wednesday, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the chapel prior to services.
- Interment will be held in the St. George City Cemetery.