William Jerome Stewart, part of “the Greatest Generation”, died June 7, 2008, doing what he loved to do, trout fishing at Slagles Trout Club, in Cadillac, Michigan. Born March 8, 1920, to the late Raymond and Nina Stewart of Toledo, Ohio, Bill graduated from DeVilbiss High School in 1938. He excelled as student council president, a star of track and football and as an honor student. Bill graduated from the then Toledo University in 1942 with a BS in Pre Med. He enlisted in the USMC and was sent to Parris Island, SC where he completed officers training at Quantico, VA, as a Second Lt. USMC. He then attended Jungle Warfare School at Camp Elliot, San Diego, California.
He married Virginia Mae Walton who preceded him in death and she has been missed every day since her death in 2006. Knowing he could be shipped out to war at any time, Ginnie traveled cross country by herself to marry her Bill on May 8, 1943. They had 2 wonderful weeks before he was selected to become part of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion training in Noumea, New Caledonia. He was in the South Pacific 28 months, participating in 3 major battles, Bougainville, Guam and Okinawa, as a combat platoon leader. He was wounded on Bougainville, receiving a Purple Heart and decorated for battle action at Sugar Loaf Hill, Okinawa, with a Bronze Star.
He entered OSU College of Dentistry in 1946, graduating in 1950. Bill practiced dentistry in Toledo for 41 years, retiring in 1991. He was president of the Toledo Dental Society in 1958 and remained active for his entire career, joining his son-in-law J. Eric Hires, DDS in his practice before retiring.
Bill was an avid outdoorsman. He had such respect for, and knowledge about, everything in the world around him…and he taught his children and grandchildren to love nature as he did. He was also an accomplished hunter, fisherman, and birdwatcher…he was a friend and mentor to several generations and will be remembered for his knowledge, his honesty, courage, quick wit and his passion for life.
He enjoyed his memberships at Beaver Lake Bow Hunters Club, Adams Conservation Club, The Toledo Naturalists Association, the Toledo Dental Society and the Marine Raider Association.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; son, Thomas Walton Stewart; sister, Virginia Hooper; sister, Nina Jane Mikesell and best friend, Robert Morgan, DDS.
Missing him always will be his daughter, Diane Stewart Hires of Sylvania, Ohio; granddaughters, Jennifer (David) Briggs and Samantha (Ahren) Schultheis; special nephews, Dan (Joan) Mikesell of Perrysburg, Ohio and Jim (Connie) Mikesell of Rossford, Ohio; nephew, Stewart Stimson, DDS, of Tyler, Texas; niece, Anne (Andrew) Lucas of Chicago, Illinois; great-grandchildren, Samantha, Zoe, and Bode Briggs, and Addison Schultheis; friend and former son-in-law, J. Eric “Rick” Hires, DDS; and friends, Karen, Bob, Jeff and Allison Knowles.
Bill and our family will always be grateful for the extra love and support of Pat and Ann Hylant, Don and Sally Atkinson, Cindy Baker, Bob and Carol Esplin, Bette and Mike Grotke, Sally and Ed Lee, Bob and Emily Bennett, Judy Lyons, neighbors and friends: Mike and Teena Taylor and John and Jan Pfeiffer, DDS.
Bill’s family will receive friends on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 W. Sylvania Ave. (west of Corey Rd.) where a Marine Corps service will take place at 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, tributes may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.