William John Stewart

Date of Birth

October 8, 1941

Date of Death

October 22, 2018

Our dad William John Stewart passed onto eternal life on Monday, October 22, 2018 in Santa Barbara, CA after a long, dignified battle with Alzheimer’s.

Our dad was born on October 8, 1941 at Mare Island Naval Base, CA to Capt. Jack and Margaret Stewart. He and his younger brother John (who passed in 2017) grew up on naval bases in California, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Japan. The family eventually settled in San Diego where our dad attended Chula Vista High School.

Our dad graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1963 and was a Surface Warfare Officer for eighteen months before volunteering to serve in Vietnam. He served in Vietnam from 1965-1966 and served in the Naval Reserve from 1967 until retiring at the rank of Commander in 1989.

Following active duty our dad earned his J.D. from California Western University in 1970. He met our mom Sandy Hanna, and married in 1970. From 1971-1972 our dad served as Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa. In 1972 he became a Deputy City Attorney in San Diego. In 1973 our dad joined the firm of Archbald & Spray in Santa Barbara. Bill and Sandy (who passed in 2003) have us three children, Susan (44), MacKenzie (42), and Cameron (39).

In 2006 our dad went on a volunteer trip to New Orleans for clean-up and rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Katrina. There he met Joan Davis, who was also volunteering. In 2008 they married.

Our dad devoted himself to philanthropy and volunteer work including Special Olympics, Hillside House, and Transition House. He was instrumental in the creation of the Veterans’ Memorial Walk and Terrace of Remembrance at Elings Park, organized a memorial dedicated to SBHS alumni killed in wartime, and many other monuments throughout Santa Barbara.

We are proud and honored to share our dad with the community he loved. We will be celebrating his life on Friday, November 16th at the Santa Barbara Cemetery: 1:00 Service at the Chapel, 2:30 military honors in the Sunrise Urn Garden. A reception will follow at Santa Barbara FisHouse.


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