James Michael “Mike” Stewart, 73, of Campbellsburg, Ky., passed away at his home on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.
He was born Wednesday, July 3, 1940, in Mt. Vernon, to Clarence and Mary (Rutherford) Stewart.
Mike graduated from Mt. Vernon Township High School in 1958, received a bachelor’s of science in physics from the University of Illinois in 1962, and later received his master’s degree.
Mike was a retired aerospace engineer, who began his career as an U.S. Naval Officer stationed in San Diego, after which he worked for Range Operations at the Pacific Missile Test Center in Pt Mugu, Calif. He joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in 1977, until his retirement in 2000, where he enjoyed being an engineer and manager for such NASA space programs as Voyager, Magellan and the Deep Space Network.
Mike was an avid reader, who enjoyed jazz and classical music. He had a love for camping, tinkering with electronics and fireworks. He was an amateur radio operator and a member of the Pyrotechnics Guild International and the Bluegrass Pyrotechnics Guild. He enjoyed sharing his time and interests with his daughter.
He is survived by one daughter, Nancy Brewington and husband James of Lexington Park, Md.; two sisters, Kathy Odorizzi and husband Don of Mt. Vernon and Alice Schill and husband Jerry of Littleton, N.C.; and four nephews and five nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Mary Ann Piper and husband Kent of Mt. Vernon.
Memorial services will be held 2 p.m. Saturday at Hughey Funeral Home in Mt Vernon with Mr. Randy Sells officiating. Burial of ashes will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.
Greeting of family and friends will be from 1 p.m. until the time of service at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hughey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon.