Gerald L. Stewart (Stew), Sr.

Gerald L. Stewart (Stew), Sr. (CMS USAF Ret.) was born on April 21, 1936, in Los Angeles, Calif. While a young boy, his family relocated to Cortez. He lived in Cortez until graduating from Montezuma County High School in 1954. Musically talented, his high school music teacher told him his voice was "one in a million." Stew was offered a full four-year ride for his voice, but he chose to serve his country and joined the U.S. Air Force. While the music business lost out, the country gained. During his 30-year military career he traveled throughout the world.

On Feb. 18, 2012, the world lost a special person. No one cared more about veterans than Stew. After his retirement from the USAF he continued to serve, helping veterans obtain the benefits that they had earned. The McClellan Chiefs Group organized a memorial with full military honors on March 4, 2012, in memory of their fallen warrior. Cards and flowers from people the family had met during Stew's many assignments continued to be received at his home for months following the memorial. With no family, this gave Stew's children a sense of well-being to have such amazing people in their lives. The family gives their sincere thanks to the McClellan Chiefs Group and the NCOA, who continue to protect and serve, and take care of their own. His family is also grateful to the Mather VA ICU team for the excellent care Stew received. They are dedicated to assisting the nation's veterans in ending their journey with dignity.

Out of respect to his desire to be with his fellow veterans, Chief Stewart was laid to rest at Dixon National Cemetery in Dixon, Calif. on Jan. 30, 2013. All veterans and active duty in the Cortez and surrounding areas will always remain in his family's thoughts and prayers.