James Russell Stewart passed away at his home in Mt. Vernon on Oct. 14, 2013. He was 97 years old.
He was born May 31, 1916, in Bremen, Ohio, to Molly (Graham) and Edward Stewart. He was the sixth of nine children. All preceded him in death.
He married Belle (Embry) Stewart in Henderson, Ky. on Aug. 5, 1950, and she survives along with three children, James Russell Stewart, Jr. of Walnut Creek, Calif., Carol Lindsey Stewart and Robert Graham Stewart and wife Dee Ann, of Mt. Vernon.
He is also survived by three grandchildren, Philip Stewart Blackwood and wife Dianna of Knoxville, Tenn., Cameron James Stewart and Paisley Jane Stewart of Champaign; and several nieces and nephews.
Mr. Stewart attended Ohio Wesleyan University and graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B.S. in geology. He was a proud member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Russell was always an industrious person from a young age. He delivered newspapers in Bremen and worked several summers at Atha Supply Store in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. He worked as a roughneck on a drilling rig on the Louisiana Gulf Coast before serving his country during World War II.
He enlisted in 1942, and served four years in the U.S. Navy as a first lieutenant. He was stationed on the destroyer, USS Dallas, in the European Theater which participated in the invasion of Sicily and Italy at Salerno Bay. Russ was one of six Stewart brothers that served their country during WWII.
After the war, he returned to his home in Mt, Pleasant where he joined Stewart Oil Company. He came to Illinois in 1948, to oversee their new drilling program and manage their completion and production operations. One of his joys in life was working with five of his brothers and a son in the business. They made a harmonious team which surely led to some of their success.