Funeral services for Bennie L. Stewart, 89, of Lawrence, KS, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church in Lawrence, KS (3655 W. 10th St.). Military graveside services will be conducted following the services at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence. He died on Friday, May 20, 2011 at his home.
He was born on May 27, 1921 in Hutchinson, KS, the son of Leroy and Hester Lyle Stewart.
Mr. Stewart was a World War II, U.S. Army Air Corps veteran. He was a member of the 805 Bomb Group. He served in Europe and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.
He received his B.S. in Education from Kansas State University and later his M.A. in Education from Kansas State University in 1953.
He was a retired English teacher and Driver’s Education instructor in USD 497 in Lawrence. He started his teaching career in Ashland, KS in 1950. In Lawrence he began at Central Junior High School and retired at Lawrence High School in 1983.
Mr. Stewart was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Lawrence, Dorsey-Liberty Post # 14 of the American Legion, the Douglas County Retired Teachers Association and he worked with the 55 Alive Driving Education Program for senior citizens. He was also a former Boy Scout Cubmaster and Scoutmaster and had received the Award of Merit from the BSA. He was also a 25 year volunteer for the KU Relays.
He was married to Ethel LaRosh on September 4, 1949 in Hutchinson, KS. She survives of the home.
Survivors include two daughters: Anne (husband, Dave) Johnson, of Emmetsburg, IA, Christine (husband, James) Thomson, of Cedar Rapids, IA, two sons: David (wife, Renae) Stewart, of Mesa, AZ, Harold (wife, Darlene) Stewart, of Scottsbluff, NE, a sister, Leola (husband, Jim) Claussen, of Topeka, KS, twenty four grandchildren and thirty four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a great grandson.
The family will greet friends from 5:30- 7 p.m. Tuesday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
The family suggests memorials in his name to the Lawrence High School Endowment Association for a scholarship to be established in his name, and may be sent in care of the mortuary.
Dear Ethel, We are so glad we were able to visit with you and Bennie during our last trip to Lawrence. Kendall is still using the raquet Bennie gave him! Our thoughts and prayers are sent to you and your family. Much love, Lynne, Tony & family
I was very sad to hear about Bennie’s passing -after I got a notice about his upcoming 90th birthday. I worked with Bennie at Lawrence High School, both before he retired and afterwards-When he devoted years to substituting, always having a big smile whenever I saw him. I never met anyone who had such a wonderful disposition-he truly was special. He loved life, and adored his family.
I am truly sorry for your loss.
I was so sorry to hear about Bennie’s passing. He was such a nice man. He would substitute at Lawrence High School and it was always a joy to visit with him. He was always happy to be working and really enjoyed teaching the kids. He will be greatly missed. Lisa Werner
We were saddened by the news of the loss of Bennie. He was a great man and we feel so privileged to have known him. Our hearts go out to his family. We know that he is continuing his Father’s work in a better place. We love and miss you Bennie!
Harold and family, I am so very very sorry to hear of your father’s passing. He was a friend, teacher and just great great human being. He is one of those people that was large in my life because genuinely cared about so many of us young people. Patient, kind and yet firm when needed but, always with a caring consideration. People that are larger than life leave a larger than life hurt when they leave us. But remember, he was your dad and he cared for you more than anything else. Please accept my sincere condolences and I hope that you know how many many people in Lawrence just adored your father. Tad Scales
Benny Stewart, in my opinion, is one of the best human beings to ever grace this planet. He and his wife graciously took me in following a major car accident when I could not care for myself and then took care of me. Benny also went with me to bless my daughter who lay severly injured in the Stormont Vail intensive care nursery. His faith was instrumental in preserving her life when the doctor treating her had given up hope. I have no doubt that when Benny crossed over there was a joyous crowd waiting to great him and a very happy Father in Heaven waiting to embrace him.
My condolences to the family of Bennie Stewart. He was always smiling and cheerful. I taught with him at Lawrence High School. He gave my Mother driving lessons and he was also my teacher for 55 Alive courses. May God bless each of you.
Harold, Sorry to hear about youd dad passing. It only seems like yesterday when we were graduating from high school and your parents let us congergrate at their house to celebrate. He always seamed to have a smile on his face when I saw him pass by me in the halls of school. Again, my condolences to you and your family. Alan
Sorry to hear of your father’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
(Daughter of Jim O’Donnell, former Central Junior High teacher/Assistant Principal & Driver’s Education Instructor.)
I first made acquaintance with Bennie as a youth in the Kansas City Stake, but it was at a high school basketball game at LHS in the early 1970s. Apparently, he recognized me from stake activities and told me that he “would see me at stake conference on Sunday” as he sat behind our team’s bench in the gynasium. He truly has been a hero to me for the many years for that I have known him.
You touched so many people throughout your life and gave freely and willingly of yourself. You will be missed by more people than anyone can realize.
“The world is a lesser place without him. But I know he is with God and the angels and I know even Heaven is improved by his presence there.” (from ’We were Soldiers Once and Young’)
Our sincere sympathy to the entire Stewart family. We knew Bro. Stewart through his daughter and son-in-law, Christine and Jim Thomson and we also met him in the Lawrence Ward when we visited our son and family while they were at KU.
Such a kind and gentle soul who greeted us when we arrived at Church. Also, a fellow Jayhawk and fellow educator. He was a great man and we are all better for having known him. May the Lord comfort the family and friends of Bennie Stewart.