John Joseph Stewart of Titusville, FL passed away on Thursday, March 12, 2020. He died peacefully at home from influenza at the age of 86. John was born on Aug. 14, 1933, in Syracuse, to Isabel and Willard Stewart. He later moved to Fayetteville, then Jamesville, before relocating to Titusville. He enjoyed summers at Brennan Beach on Lake Ontario.
John was an Air Force medic stationed at Sampson Air Force Base during the Korean War. He started his career in real estate sales and then became an assessor for the State of New York and the City of Oneida, N.Y. He later opened a self-titled real estate appraisal firm in Syracuse. He finished his real estate career as assessor for the town of Tully, N.Y.
A fan of big band and swing music, he was a ham with a good voice. As a kid during WWII, he and a group of friends bought a truck and collected and sold scrap metal to make money. Unfortunately, this got them kicked out of the Boy Scouts because owning a truck was, for some reason, against scout rules. Among the scrap they collected was an old Cadillac previously owned by Jack Dempsey and a P-40 airplane.
Rumored to be descended from William Whipple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, John once said that was likely only if the Founding Fathers were looking for signers among those stumbling out of the bars near Constitution Hall. Not surprisingly, he was actually descended from casket makers/bootleggers who smuggled whiskey into the U.S. from Canada in horse drawn carts filled with their wares.
For the past 16 years, John was an active member of the Great Outdoors Community Church, where he and Elaine led Bible study groups. He was also very involved in activities in their community, The Great Outdoors, where he was one of the founders of the Photography Club and a long-time trustee of the Sawdust Club. When he lived in Fayetteville, he was President of the Brookside Neighborhood Association and Co-President of the Enders Road School PTA.
He was pre-deceased by both of his parents. He leaves behind his loving wife, Elaine, two daughters from his first marriage, Kimberly Butler (John) of Essex Fells, NJ and Beth Stewart (Karen Wickert) of Lafayette, N.Y., two grandchildren, Michael and Katie Butler of Essex Fells, NJ, two step-children, Stacey Williams (Jeff) of Winter Park, FL and Jon Rogers (Jeannine) of Syracuse, and three step-grandchildren, Brynn and Chloe Williams of Winter Park, FL and Gabe Rogers of Syracuse.
A service will be scheduled at the Great Outdoors Community Church in Titusville at a later date. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to On Point for College, 488 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13202