Always a mountain man at heart, Marvin Ray Stewart, EdD or “Doc” entered this world December 6, 1933, the sixth of eight children born to William and Tilla Stewart, in Kenna, West Virginia and stepped into the adventure of heaven on December 25, 2020, in Turlock, California. Dad’s first memories were traveling on a dirt road to his grandparent’s farm in a horse drawn wagon in the Appalachian Mountains of WV. He grew up in a four-room house, with the convenience of an outhouse! He tried smoking corn silk behind the barn, hunted squirrel and deer for food, and endured being rapped across the knuckles with a ruler from at least one teacher for being left-handed!
Times were tough, but Dad was tougher! He was active in drama, student government, and athletics - making the all-state teams in football and baseball in high school. Due to the influence and support of one high school teacher, he enrolled in college, on scholarship, and completed a BS from Glenville State (1955), a master’s degree from WVU (1957), and a Doctorate from USC (1972) - a first for the Stewart family.
As a credentialed teacher, coach, and administrator, he took every opportunity to teach, innovate, and lead. After teaching and being an administrator in So CA and Hughson CA, the mountains of Trinity called his name. In 1987, as the Superintendent of Mountain Valley Schools, he spearheaded many projects such as the formation of the Park and Recreation District and the Mountain Actor’s Theater Group, and he secured a grant for the Senior Citizens Community Center. His active and deep commitment to the students of Hayfork was evident.
Our father was no wall flower, always joking and laughing, yet he carried an intense sense of justice and right and wrong. He loved America and our Constitution, and he stood steadfast in her protection.
A storyteller extraordinaire, his childhood was the pallet used to color our world with tales of past adventures and fun! Summers were spent in the mountains of So Cal, hiking with Dad, the forest ranger, and enjoying creation! He taught us economics, the sciences, and how to play poker…a game of “probability and calculation.” Dad loved to pull pranks on his children and grandchildren! Hate to tell those of you in Trinity County, but most of the “Big Foot” sightings in the 90’s was our father!
Marv Stewart is survived by his youngest brother, Keith Stewart of Sissonville WV, son Dirk Stewart of San Dimas CA, daughters, Dawn (Keith Piper) of Turlock, CA, and Lorna (Joe Trindade) of Hayfork, CA, grandchildren, Nate, Joshua, Rebecca, Christopher, and Olivia and ten great grandchildren, his best friend and former wife, Judith Bentley, grandchildren Rick, Joe, Tiffany, Annie, Cassie, and Desiree and their children.
Dad took advantage of the opportunity to continue to teach, even in death. He donated his body to the UCSF Willed Body Program to help teach med students, who will become doctors, in the hopes that a cure for Alzheimer’s will be discovered.
Celebration of Life events are planned for March at Enclave Church in Turlock (date to be determined given Covid) and on April 10th in Hayfork when the daffodils are in bloom.