ONEONTA – Oneonta native David Arnold Stewart Sr., 86, whose love of history was expressed in the restoration of his Pennsylvania home and participation in historical societies, passed away peacefully May 3, 2017, under the care of Hospice in Jackson, Mich.
Dave was the son of James and Helen (Morris) Stewart, born May 24, 1930, in Oneonta. A 1948 graduate of Oneonta High School, Dave graduated from Tri-State College (now Trine University) in Angola, Ind., with a degree in civil engineering in 1957. Earning his professional engineering license in the early 1960s, he enjoyed his professional career working for McFarland Johnson, in Binghamton and Woodbury, N.J., Kuljian Corp., Philadelphia, and Day & Zimmermann, Philadelphia.
He retired in 1980 to concentrate with Marilou on the complete restoration of Stone Forge, their circa 1756 Bucks County, Pennsylvania, farmhouse and property. As a dedicated reader, genealogical researcher and carpenter, Dave did much of the restoration work on Stone Forge himself. Dave and Marilou’s 1992 reconstruction of their property’s blacksmith shop ruins earned them national architectural recognition.
An avid antique firearms collector from age 9, for over 50 years Dave was a member of the Pennsylvania Antique Gun Collectors Association, where he consistently enjoyed his table at the association’s biannual Pottstown shows, and the American Society of Arms Collectors for over 32 years. An expert in his field who was published numerous times, Dave’s collections consisted predominantly of Pennsylvania contract muskets and Philadelphia Derringers.
The American Society’s biannual meetings at historical and naturally beautiful locations throughout the United States became a focus for travel, education and camaraderie for Dave and Marilou, with many Society members becoming valued friends.
Dave’s interest in history and family genealogical research led to his becoming a member in the Sons of the American Revolution, Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania State Society. Throughout his 43 years in Pennsylvania, Dave was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury, serving on the Vestry. He was very involved in his church community and the church provided friendship, spiritual support and community purpose to his and Marilou’s life.
David and Marilou loved to travel, and especially enjoyed their numerous trips to the British Isles – and in August, for over 21 years they vacationed with their family on Block Island, Rhode Island, a much-loved tradition filled with wonderful memories.
He is survived by his life-long love and companion of more than 67 years, Marilou (Parsons) Stewart; his three children, David (Wendy) Stewart Jr. of Ripton, Vt., Deborah (Gary) Weber of Bend, Ore., and John (Elaine) Stewart of Clark Lake, Mich.; eight grandchildren: Jane (Casey Wright), Stewart Weber, David III (Haley), Nicholas Weber (Candace), Mary, Connor, William, and Katherine; half-brother, Matthew (Gaire) Stewart of Pumpenbil, Australia, and half-sister, Clarissa Stewart of Oneonta, and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents and his brother William.
Dave’s presence will be so missed by his family and friends. He and Marilou have been the support and bond that have helped foster and maintain the close relationships of his children and grandchildren. His example of quiet purpose, hard work and organization, his humor and love, and his dry wit will be deeply missed by those who were fortunate enough to know him.
The Funeral Service will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 240 Main St., Unadilla, New York, at 11:00 am, May 13, 2017. Burial will follow at Glenwood Cemetery, Oneonta, New York.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to: Doctors Without Borders: https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org Operation Smile: https://www.operationsmile.org Trinity Episcopal Church: http://www.trinitysolebury.org/donate/ The American Society of Arms Collectors: http://americansocietyofarmscollectors.org/research-funding/
Condolences may be left on The Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta, New York, Online Guest Book at www.lhpfuneralhome.com