Kenneth Earl Stewart

Kenneth Earl Stewart was born in Peotone, Ill., on Sept. 14, 1916, to Charles and Flora (nee Roberts) Stewart. He was among the youngest of 10 children who all stayed connected with each other throughout their lives.

Ken worked and traveled throughout the western U.S. during the Great Depression and was eventually was drafted into the U.S. Army at the beginning of World War II. He fought in France, Belgium and Germany and was discharged at the end of the war. Using the GI bill he went on to college and obtained a doctor of optometry degree.

While at college in Chicago he met the love of his life, Mary McKenna. They were married on Jan. 28, 1950, and subsequently moved to Hartford. They raised five children and lived their life together in Hartford for the next 59 years. During this time, Ken worked his optometric practice, was a devout member of the First United Methodist Church and a longtime member of the Rotary. Family was the most important part of his life.

Ken enjoyed traveling the world with Mary, golfing, hunting, reading and going for walks. Mary departed this life on Monday, March 30, 2009. After the passing of his beloved wife, Ken left Wisconsin for the last time and lived contentedly for the remainder of his life with his daughter Jackie in Sante Fe, N.M.

On Aug. 13, 2010, Ken died of congestive heart failure. Preceded in death by his wife, Mary; his nine brothers and sisters; and great-grandson, Breone.

Ken is survived by his devoted children, Jackie (Greg) Parrish of Santa Fe, N.M., Brian (Waleska Davila) of Milwaukee, Bruce (Jody Hawthorne) of Olympia, Wash., Bradley (Shad Wenzlaff) of Madison and Philip (Sandy) of Hamilton, Mont.; and eight grandchildren, Jeremy (Andrea), Jesse (Celeste), Josh (Jessica), Elena, Shane, Sean, Sydney and Alex; and five great-grandchildren, Makayla, Shai, Micah, Isaiah and Elijah.

Visitation will be at the First United Methodist Church, 738 W. Monroe St., Hartford, on Friday, Aug. 20, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either the First Methodist Church of Hartford or the Episcopal Relief & Development fund for the Haiti Recovery, both of which were near and dear to our father.

Shimon Funeral Home is assisting the family.