Whitewater fixture Stewart passes at the age of 85

By Jennifer Eisenbart



James McBridge Stewart, a fixture in the Whitewater community for his military, community and university service, has died at the age of 85.

Stewart died at AngelsGrace Hospice Care Friday, Nov. 26. He is survived by his wife, Claire and several children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Arrangements are through Nitardy Funeral home and can be found on their website.

An immigrant from the United Kingdom, Stewart saw the impact of World War II before coming to the United States. Stewart graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

He spent time in France, Vietnam and South Korea before being assigned to the ROTC program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1974. While there, he earned both a masters of arts and masters of science degree while serving the ROTC program.

Stewart retired from active-duty military service in 1979 with the field grade rank of Lt. Colonel.

In 1980, he became assistant registrar at UW-Whitewater and continued to work at the university until his retirement as registrar in 2001.

While working at UW-Whitewater, Stewart was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1982. He had biennial committee assignments on the children and human develop, higher and vocational education and labor committees.

He was also elected to the City of Whitewater Common Council, appointed to the city’s fire and police commission and also served on the Whitewater School Board until his passing.

The Whitewater Unified School District issued a statement Tuesday afternoon:

“The state of Wisconsin, the Whitewater community and the Whitewater Unified School District lost a true public servant with the passing of Jim Stewart. Jim served on the WUSD School Board for almost 27 years. He was elected as a School Board Member in April, 1981, and served until April, 2002.

“He ran again in 2016 and was elected that April. He continued to serve until his passing on November 26. During his time with WUSD he served as a Board President for six years, Vice President for two years, and Treasurer for six years.

“His loss will be felt deeply by all those who knew him. Every Board and staff member that knew Jim, knew he was a champion for education. He was the first person I met when I arrived at my new position,” said Dr. Caroline Pate-Hefty. “Jim was able to support our direction with history and a background that will be unmatched. The WUSD family extends its deepest condolences to Jim’s family. He will forever be a Whippet.”


For a full story on Stewart’s life and service, please see the next issue of the Whitewater Register.

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