Ray F. Stewart, 79, of Hot Springs, longtime Pine Bluff resident, died Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004, at St. Joseph's Regional Health Center in Hot Springs.
Born in 1924 in Leachville, a son of Elsie Marie Field Stewart of Monette, and the late Leland Stanford Stewart, he was reared and received his early education in Leachville.
He began working as a teenager before moving to Jonesboro and joining Barton Lumber Company there. In the early 1950s Barton's transferred him to Pine Bluff where he joined Pine Bluff Building Material Company. In 1956 he started Stewart Building Supply in Pine Bluff and was the owner and operator of that business until 1995. He moved to Hot Springs in 1996.
Mr. Stewart married Lucie Lee Vinson in Pine Bluff on Dec. 29, 1961. Mrs. Stewart died Aug. 22, 1994.
He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Pine Bluff. He was a Mason, member of Pine Bluff Lodge Number 69 F&AM, the Royal Order of Jesters and Sahara Shrine Temple. He served as president of Rosswood Country Club in 1975-76. He was also a member of the Papa Bear Deer Camp at Pansy and the Elks Lodge number 380 in Hot Springs.
Survivors include two sons, Ray Stewart, Jr. of White Hall and Jay Stewart of Elko, Nev.; his mother; a brother, Bill Stewart of Pine Bluff; a sister, Mary Wilda Lovelady of Leachville, six grandchildren, Ashley Via, Jayanne Stewart, Reid Stewart, Mackenzie Stewart, Jessica Stewart, and Jennifer Stewart; and one great-granddaughter, Olivia Via.
Services were held at 11 a.m. Monday at graveside with Dr. Bob Harper officiating in Memorial Park Cemetery, Pine Bluff. The family received friends at Ralph Robinson & Son. (online register: www.ralphrobinsonandson.com).
The family requests anyone wishing to leave a lasting memorial consider the Shriner's Children's Hospital, 3100 Samford Avenue. Shreveport, La. 71103; First Presbyterian Church, 717 West 32nd, Pine Bluff, Ark. 71603; or the American Cancer Society.