April 13, 1927 – January 10, 2022
It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of Ronald Alexander Stewart, in his beloved Barrie home, on January 10th, 2022, in his 95th year. Devoted husband of Emma Norene Stewart (née Wallwin), adored father of Donna Joan Craig, Dr. Robert Ronald Stewart, Julie Ann Roper, and Shane Burrows Stewart. Deeply loved father-in-law of John Roper and Patricia Stewart and loving “G-Pa” to Robbie (Nicole) Craig, Alexandra (Brent) Bettencourt, David, Sarah and Lexie Roper, Carling, Barclay and Knoxton Stewart, and great grandchildren Hannah and Olivia Craig and Dallas Bettencourt.
Ron was born in Beeton, Ontario on April 13th, 1927. In 1948, he was summoned from his studies at Waterloo College, back to Barrie, to assist in his father’s wholesale business following the death of his father’s business partner. Ron subsequently built Stewart Wholesale Company Limited into a well-known and successful enterprise with five locations - a business he sold in 1997, which still bears his name. In 1977, Ron returned to Wilfrid Laurier University and earned his degree in political science at age 50.
A proud Canadian, passionate about serving his country, Ron was elected Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Simcoe South in 1979. He was re-elected with landslide victories in 1980 and 1984 and served in various Parliamentary Secretary roles. He was an outspoken defender of small business, freedom of speech, less government, and linguistic fairness. He was proud of his Private Members Bill to make “O ‘Canada” our official National Anthem, and his instrumental role in bringing Honda and Volkswagen Auto Plants, and the Mariposa School of Skating to his riding.
Ron was a tenacious and humble fundraiser for countless charities, and spearheaded numerous community activities including: the Royal Victoria Hospital Board; Barrie Kiwanis Club; Barrie Toastmasters Club; Barrie Winter Carnival; Barrie Colts and Flyers Hockey Clubs; Barrie Collegiate Band, and was an active member of Trinity Anglican Church.
He was a life-long and devoted member of the Masonic order (Master of Kerr Lodge 1961), and became Potentate of Rameses Shrine Club in 1978 with some 6000 members. He was also Director of the Royal Order of Jesters.
Ron loved golf, cottage life on 12 Mile Bay, dogs and travelling - visiting upwards of 100 countries. He celebrated life with meaning, humour, kindness and boundless energy and enthusiasm. A gifted orator, he also delighted in reciting his much-loved poet Robert Service. He reminisced about sailing the Great Lakes as a young hand on “the boats” and expressed pride in his service as second Lieutenant in the Canadian Officers Training Corp in Base Borden. In short, he lived the life of 10 men.
He will be sadly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him - especially his wonderful wife “Emmie” of 72 years.
The Stewart family would like to express warm and heartfelt thanks for the compassionate care and guidance received from Dr. Alex Dickson and nurse Colleen Wormsley, as well as all Personal Support Workers from Bayshore Healthcare. Also, endless gratitude to Delaila Kishi for her selfless and ongoing love, care, and kindness.
Visitation will take place at the Steckley-Gooderham Funeral Home, 30 Worsley St., Barrie on Monday, January 31th, 2022 from 6 – 8 p.m. Funeral Service will occur the following day on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at the Trinity Anglican Church, 24 Collier St., Barrie at 2 p.m. Private family interment in the Spring at the Barrie Union Cemetery. Online condolences may be left at www.steckleygooderham.com
Due to Ontario’s Covid-19 restrictions, the Funeral Home is able to accommodate up to 75 people in the Chapel for a Service. Guests must be wearing facial coverings and allow proper social distancing.