FARMINGTON — Marie E. Stewart, 93, of Farmington passed away July 3, 2011, at the Presbyterian Manor following a brief illness. Widow of the late Jesse D. Stewart, Mrs. Stewart was the editor and publisher of the Farmington Press from the time of her husband’s death in 1967 until 1973.
Active in the community and the Memorial United Methodist Church, Mrs. Stewart was honored by the Farmington Business and Professional Women as Woman of the Year in 1972. She was instrumental in establishing the pre-school at Memorial United Methodist Church where she was a Sunday School teacher for many years. She was a long-time member of the Fortnightly Club and an active member of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Stewart served the Southeast Missouri Press Association as secretary/treasurer and vice president. She is a past Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star.
Mrs. Stewart earned a degree in nursing in 1939 from Missouri Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis. She moved to Bonne Terre to begin her career at Bonne Terre Hospital. While there she met and married Jesse Denny Stewart, who at that time was the publisher of the Bonne Terre Bulletin.
During the war years, Marie stayed in Bonne Terre while Jesse served with the U.S. Army in the South Pacific. While caring for her own young children, she also mentored three younger sisters who lived with the family during their high school years.
When Jesse returned from overseas in 1945 he was appointed Circuit Clerk of St. Francois County and the family soon moved to Farmington. He also bought an interest in the Farmington Press and later became its full owner, editor and publisher.
Marie continued to practice nursing part-time while raising a large family and assisting her husband in the newspaper business. After selling the Press to Wit Ledbetter in 1973 she returned to her chosen profession as a registered nurse at the Farmington State Hospital.
Marie Stewart was born December 1, 1917, in St. Louis, the oldest of seven children of Frederick and Helen (Clark) Marquette. She grew up in St. Louis and graduated from Webster Groves High School.
Mrs. Stewart is survived by two sons and four daughters: William F. (Pat) Stewart, Daniel Stewart, Jeanne (Mrs. Larry) Daniels, and Carol Crites, all of Farmington, Beth (Mrs. David) Herreid of St. Louis and Jo Ellen (Mrs. Gerald) Schrader of Cape Girardeau. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren, 6 step-grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. A sister, May (Mrs. Arthur) Thompson of Fenton, MO, also survives. She was preceded in death by her husband Jesse and son David, both of whom perished in a tragic fire that destroyed their Farmington home in 1967, and a son-in-law Eugene Crites.
Friends may call at the Cozean Memorial Chapel on Wednesday, July 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. Visitation will resume at the Memorial United Methodist Church on Thursday at 9 a.m. until the funeral service which begins at 11 a.m. Burial will be in the family plot at Hillview Memorial Gardens in Farmington. Memorials may be made to the Memorial United Methodist Church. View Tribute Video and share your memories and condolences at cozean.biz.