Wilfred (Bill) Gayle Stewart

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Wilfred (Bill) Gayle Stewart, 81, of Buckeye, Ariz., passed peacefully Saturday, Aug. 18, surrounded by family. 

Born June 30, 1937, in Algona, Iowa, first born to Wilfred and Wilma Stewart. He graduated class of 1955 from West High School in Waterloo, Iowa. 

Bill was hired at Deere & Company, Waterloo, Iowa, in 1956, at the Foundry. He later bid into the Assembly Area where he worked until elected to a full time Committeeman position in 1971, representing workers. Bill served as an elected member of the Local Union Pension Committee for many years. In 1977, he was elected Shop Committee Chairman representing all of UAW Local 838 in the Grievance procedure and served as Co-Chairman of the UAW Deere Negotiating Committee. In 1979, Bill was appointed to the International Union Staff and in 1982 appointed Assistant Regional Director of Region 4. Bill was elected Regional Director in 1984 and served as Director until his retirement on June 30, 1995.

A man of strong conviction in his work and country, Bill spent much of his life fighting for worker rights and proudly supporting American made production. He enjoyed driving his beloved American made Corvettes in support of the UAW. When not advocating for the working man, he could be found enjoying nature’s spoils in Prairie du Chien, on Greymore Lake, fishing for walleye. He enjoyed hunting and the challenge of archery competitions amongst friends. 

Bill’s passions flowed to those around him, instilling strong work ethic, American pride and a love of the outdoors within his children and grandchildren. His legacy will live on through those who loved him.

Bill is survived by his wife of 33 years, Debra Jean Stewart;  siblings Lowell Stewart, Phil Stewart and Susan Boss; son Scott S. Stewart; step-daughter Julie K. (Jonas) Keim; step-son Lt. Col. William J. (Nichole P.) Clark; and grandchildren Cassandra Stewart, Denzil Carpenter, Willis Keim, Athena Carpenter-Keim, Edna Shelton, Joseph Keim, Braden Keim, Coby Keim and Caroline Clark. 

He is preceded in death by his parents Wilfred and Wilma Stewart; granddaughter Vivian Clark; and first wife Donna Cool.

A private service was held in his honor.


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