John W. Stewart, Jr.

John W. Stewart, Jr., 93 years-old of Kenedy, Texas, went to his Heavenly Rest this Easter weekend. His loving wife, Laura, was at his side, as she was nearly every day of his life and throughout more than seven decades of marriage.  A native Texan, John was born in Dallas, on May 18, 1924. During his elementary years, his family resettled in Port Jervis, New York, where he met Laura Chase while they were both 9 years-old. After graduating from Port Jervis High School, John joined the Coast Guard at the beginning of World War II.  After the war, John & his bride moved back to Texas to settle in Kenedy, where John found his place serving the community through the family business, Eckols Funeral Home. He also assisted with the family ranching business, raising herds of commercial livestock as well as selling and transporting Red Brahman cattle around the state of Texas and, indeed, around the world.  John was the proud father of four sons — John Winton, III (deceased); David of Kenedy, TX; Philip of San Antonio, TX; James of Bulverde, TX; Six grandchildren (Meredith Chase Ellis of Menlo Park, CA, Philip Chase Stewart of San Antonio, Stacy Stewart Rigby, Virginia Chase Stewart and Chandler Stewart of Bulverde; and Jeffrey Chase Stewart of Houston as well as three great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews.  Though fondly known by his family for his love of the sea and deepwater fishing, residents of Kenedy, Texas likely know John’s principled devotion to serving his community. In addition to operating the Eckols Funeral Home — his calling as much as his job — he also served as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church in Kenedy, President of the Rotary Club,, member of the Kenedy Independent School Board, The Kenedy Masonic Lodge as well as the Kenedy Jaycees, and Past Treasurer for the Kenedy Little League. He was also a proud 70 year member of The Scottish Rite Masonic Order.  Through the years, John and Laura enjoyed vacationing by the ocean in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and along the Gulf Coast. His years in the Coast Guard allowed him the luxury of eating Stilton cheese and onions during family fishing trips on choppy waters, no doubt to the agony of his less sea-hardened crew.   Having lived a full life of early-to-bed and early-to-rise dedication to his family, faith, and community, John W. Stewart, Jr.’s eternal life will be celebrated at the following:  Family Visitation was held Tues. April 3, 2018 from 6PM to 8PM in the Eckols Funeral Home, Chapel. Services were held Wed. April 4, 2018 at 10AM in the Eckols Funeral Home, Chapel with the Rev. Tim Williams officiating.  Interment followed in the Kenedy Cemetery. Pallbearers were Dr. John Evans, Jeffrey Stewart, Philip Stewart, Bill Gregory, Brad Yeater and Patrick Tam.