Sarnia mourning death of decorated veteran

Lieutenant Colonel John William Stewart (Image courtesy of Smith Funeral Home)

Sarnia is mourning the loss of a decorated veteran.

Lieutenant Colonel John William Stewart passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 25, at the age of 85.

“Family was the most important thing in life to John, followed closely by the passion of flying and community service,” his obituary read.

“He started out as an air cadet and proceeded to join the R.C.A.F. reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. John achieved commanding officer status at both the technical training course at CFB Borden, as well as the senior leaders course in Cold Lake, Alberta. His involvement with the air cadets and the R.C.A.F. led to his contributions to many associations and organizations which included the 403 Wing, Charter Member of Friends of 44, Battle of Britain, COPA, Royal Canadian Legion, Sarnia District Remembrance Committee, Sarnia Highland Games and Celebration of Lights.”

Mayor Mike Bradley said Stewart was named to the Mayor’s Honours List six times, going back to when Marceil Saddy held the post.

“Three times as a leader of 403 Wing and three times personally for community projects and events,” Bradley said. “John touched many lives through his career as a high school teacher and leader in the community. He was a friend who was always supportive and positive about the city with comments laced with his great sense of humour.”

Stewart was the longtime emcee of the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at Aamjiwnaang First Nation, and hosted the most recent service on November 8.

“Happy we had a chance to talk after the event,” Mayor Bradley said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be held at a later date.

His obituary can beĀ viewed here.