April 30, 1925 - November 14, 2013
Harold LeRoy Stewart April 30, 1925 – November 14, 2013Harold LeRoy Stewart was born in Topeka, Kansas, on April 30, 1925, the sixth child in a joyous clan of nine children born to Joseph and Oda. After the family farm burned when Harold was just four years old, the Stewarts relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Harold spent most of his life. In Tulsa, the Stewarts settled their large family into cozy 2-3 bedroom houses, where the family grew vegetables in their backyard garden, and Harold and his siblings sold the produce door to door to supplement the family income. As a child, Harold was especially close to his brother Donald Eugene, two years his junior. He was also very close to his older sister Maxine, who took Harold under her wing when it was time to polish his social skills. Harold graduated from Will Rogers High School in 1943, where his favorite subjects were Math, Spelling, Music, and Woodshop. He lived in the Tulsa area another sixty years before retiring to his esteemed Corpus Christi, Texas, both for the warm climate and to spend more time with children and grandchildren who had relocated there before him. Harold met his beloved wife, Jayne Robertson Stewart, when they were both in a Christmas play at College Hill Presbyterian Church. Harold began to court Jayne just a few months after they met at church. He was 17, and she just 14, but they were serious from the start. On their first date he brought her a proper corsage and then escorted her to a play at his high school. One of their favorite dates included a 10 cent movie, preferably at their favorite Plaza Theatre, followed by ice cream at Hawk’s Ice cream on 11th Street. To Harold’s great delight, he discovered that from the roof of the Mayo Hotel where he worked as an elevator boy, he could spy on Jayne sunbathing with her friends across the street. Prohibition was still in effect in Oklahoma, and in Tulsa the only place to get a drink was at the Mayo Hotel. Harold recalled some entertaining memories of the various underground activities occurring at the Mayo during his employment. Jayne accepted Harold’s sweet proposal on her front porch swing when she was 15, and they were married at May 27th, 1945 at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Ok, just two days after Jayne graduated from high school. Fifty years later, their large extended family would gather at that same church to celebrate their union of half a century. Their marriage would go on to last over 68 years. Harold and Jayne soon started to fulfill his wish for a big family of their own by starting off with a bang, as twins Harold Wayne and Carole Jayne joined their family in 1947. Their family was joyfully expanded in 1951 by the arrival of another son, Russell Joseph. Russell was quickly followed by the big finale: Kathy Joan and Patsy Jean, the second set of twins born in 1952. Harold loved having a family that nearly rivaled the size of his own and the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that followed. At last count, Harold and Jayne’s clan includes 5 children, 13 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and counting, and 1 great-great-grandchild with another on the way, plus numerous spouses and friendly exes. Family reunions should continue to be interesting and lively. Harold’s long work history is nearly all with Sears Roebucks’ Tulsa Warehouse. As a newlywed he worked in a small office near the Tulsa Train Station, and from there he moved to Sears’ Warehouse, where he held a number of positions and rose to the rank of Warehouse Manager. His most cherished time at the company was spent driving deliveries in a big rig to stores in surrounding states. He retired from Sears after 39 years, a loyal and dependable employee to the end. If you were raised by Harold, or even married or born into his family, you learned by his example at an early age to love board games, puzzles and especially domino and card games. Favorite card games included Hearts, Spades, Tripoly, I Doubt It, Shanghai Rummy and Uno. When no one else was available to play cards, Harold enjoyed Solitaire, and was secretly convinced it was the main reason to own a home computer. He delighted in portraying Santa Claus for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for neighbors and friends, bringing joy to generations of children. For many years he even had a glorious white beard of his own to give real authenticity to his role. Harold treasured time in the outdoors, from sandy Texas sea shores to woodsy Oklahoma parks to Colorado Mountains. He regularly treated his family to spirited camping trips. In the beginning, the large family squeezed into tents or slept in cars and on cots under the stars. Soon they upgraded to a tent trailer, then a succession of larger and larger travel trailers, and finally to a deluxe motor home. He took the family to nearly every state in the US, and they all looked forward to the next road trip. When it was time to stay closer to home, Harold and Jayne purchased a weekend trailer home they named “Bent Oaks” on the Gulf Shores outside Rockport, Texas. In Broken Arrow, Harold combined his love of woodworking with Jayne’s creative flair in many mediums to form the “Honey Do” craft business. They produced many beautiful creations that they sold from their home and gifted to family and friends. Their popular natural plaques – composed of either sea shells, sand dollars, and starfish they collected on beach vacations, or nuts, seed pods, wild flowers and pine cones from camping trips, were featured in a July 19th, 1968, Tulsa Daily World newspaper article and photo. Harold and Jayne have a long and commendable history of volunteering for favorite organizations and charities. Some of the most significant include Tulsa’s Spotlight Theatre Saturday showings of The Drunkard, Broken Arrow Neighbors, and in Corpus Christi, the Texas State Aquarium, Chamber of Commerce, and Timmons’ Ministry. For years Harold taught AARP’s 55 Alive Mature Driving Program classes. Many churches benefited from Harold’s active membership over the years, and religion played a huge part in his daily life. From College Hill Presbyterian Church where Harold met and married Jayne, to John Calvin Presbyterian Church where he opened up his home for services in the early days, to a long history with First Methodist of Broken Arrow, and several Methodist churches in Corpus Christi. Many of Harold’s dearest friends were discovered through their active church lives, which included activities like prayer breakfasts and fish fries at the church lake cabin with men’s groups. He also enjoyed close personal relationships with several church pastors and their families, and he and Jayne were happy to sponsor the singles group at Broken Arrow First United Methodist Church in the eighties. Harold had a variety of hobbies and interests. In his younger years, Harold enjoyed watching wrestling matches with his dad or friends, especially those with his favorite all-time wrestler Leroy McGurik. As young parents Harold and Jayne were avid square dancers, and the children loved to tease them about the ruffled dancing costumes hanging in their parents’ closets. He and Jayne were active in the Volksmarching sport and accumulated numerous medals from walks in Oklahoma and surrounding states. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a proud Shriner. He was also member of the Grand Lodge of Texas, Corpus Christi, #189 as well as the Al Amin Shriners of Corpus Christi, Texas. Harold had a glorious bass voice that his family loved to hear. He was a strong voice in many church choirs over the years, and his children never missed a chance to catch one of his beautiful solos. He and Jayne shared a love of music, and eventually they found their song: “You Are My Sunshine”. This tender song became very important to the couple in Harold’s last few months, where Harold seldom failed to join in with the lyrics whenever his family and friends would start the melody. Especially touching were the end times when Jayne would sing the lyrics just for Harold, as he was no longer able to sing with her or to her. This verse is especially poignant for us now: “The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping I dreamt I held you in my arms When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken So I hung my head, and I cried.”Harold’s children and grandchildren looked up to him as an incredible role model. From his inspiring dedication to Jayne and their marriage, to his tender and affectionate love for the children, to his unselfish gifts of his time and money to so many deserving organizations, to his staunch moral code. He was tolerant and forgiving, patient and understanding, dependable and a rock when family members needed advice or support. He once advised his family to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. His legacy of faith, love and devotion lives on in the family that adored him and misses him so much. Harold had a wicked sense of humor, and he was skilled at delivering the punch lines to his many jokes. The children loved finding their own jokes to share with him, just to hear his great booming laugh. The family’s favorite eating place was Snoopy’s Pier, where Harold would privately whisper a made up name when he placed his order, and the family would guess which one was his as the orders were called. It was often pretty obvious, as you seldom run into real people with names like Archie, Hubert, or Wilbur. Harold’s children and grandchildren learned that up until the very end they could always bring a smile to his face by bringing a sweet treat, something he wasn’t allowed very often at home to prevent a creeping waistline. He was especially delighted by monster sized cookies home-baked by one of “his girls”. His childhood favorite treats were oatmeal cookies and divinity candy, but any sweet morsel was lovingly appreciated. Jayne’s cooking never failed to please him, and he once paid $25 for her French Chocolate Pie at a church auction. Harold lived an active life with Jayne, even after his diagnosis of dementia several years back. He and Jayne planned for their final years together, moving into independent and then assisted living. They formed many close friendships among the staff, who were touched by their devotion to each other. Early this year Harold’s dementia progressed to a point where even Jayne’s care and devotion wasn’t enough, the two of them moved to Homewood Residences, with Harold settling into the Claire Bridge Care Unit, and Jayne into assisted living in the next building. Jayne spent her days at Harold’s side, where they especially enjoyed the pianist on Musical Wednesdays and visits from their Corpus Christi family. The rest of the family frequently visited and called to express their love too. For the first time in Harold and Jayne’s long marriage, they said goodnight and then slept apart. It was a difficult adjustment for the entire family. In the last few months Harold began to lose his valiant battle with Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Jayne spent more and more time at his side, holding his hand, conveying her deep love. The out of town children and grandchildren visited and said their goodbyes, and the Corpus Christi families kept vigil with Jayne. Harold LeRoy Stewart finally left this earthly life on November 14, 2013 to knock on Heaven’s Door, where he is tenderly rejoined with the parents and siblings who preceded him, and where he will joyously welcome his wife and family members in their own time. Harold was preceded in death by his brothers Joseph and Don, and sisters Dorothy (Sis), Mary Jane (Janie) Reed, Doris Wermuth, and Betty Jean. He is survived by his loving wife Jayne Robertson, brother Jack and wife Phyllis, sister Maxine Pilkington, brother-in-law Jack Robertson and wife Cathy, son Harold and wife Carol, daughter Carole Jayne, son Russell and wife Millie, daughter Kathy Hanoch and husband Cliff, and daughter Patsy, as well as many adored grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, whose numbers increase every year and brought him much happiness and laughter, and cookies. In the true spirit of giving, Harold’s final wishes included a whole body donation to science. Once every possible benefit has been realized from this unselfish gift, Harold’s ashes will be interred at Floral Haven Cemetery in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. A private memorial service for the family will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Stewart family would like to recognize the caring staff at Garden Estates, Homewood Residencies and Legacy Hospice, who provided love and humor as well as medical skills. Donations in Harold’s honor can be made to the charity of your choice.
Harold LeRoy Stewart April 30, 1925 – November 14, 2013Harold LeRoy Stewart was born in Topeka, Kansas, on April 30, 1925, the sixth child in a joyous clan of nine children born to Joseph and Oda. After the family farm burned when Harold... View Obituary & Service Information
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