E. Eugene Stewart
January 20, 1921 - October 30, 2014
A Life-Long Ministry
E. Eugene (Gene) Stewart passed away October 30, 2014, at Warm Beach Nursing Center, Stanwood, WA at age 93.
Born near Daisy (Stevens County), WA, on January 20, 1921 to Ralph and Myrtle (Smith) Stewart, Gene was the oldest of three children who were all raised on his grandfather's homestead. He married Minerva Todd on June 6, 1941. Gene earned his BA degree from Seattle Pacific College, his divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, and his MA from Southern Illinois University. He was ordained in the Free Methodist Church and served as pastor at Chewelah, Washington, Priest River, Idaho, Rainier Avenue in Seattle and as interim pastor at Burien Free Methodist in Burien, Washington. He taught Bible and theology at Central College (KS) and Greenville College (IL). Gene and Minerva also served as missionaries in Yeotmal, India.
Following Minerva's death, he renewed a friendship with Beth Beckelhymer, and they were married December 28, 1985. He accompanied Beth to South Africa to teach at the Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa for Beth's last missionary term. They retired to their home in Seattle and enjoyed traveling, visiting relatives, and worshiping at the Rainier Avenue Free Methodist Church until they moved to the Warm Beach Senior Community in 2001. He remained active in the retirement community he so loved. Highlights of his life-long ministry include serving as a soloist on a two-person evangelistic trip (under the Slavic Gospel Mission) around the world touching lives in 14 countries; loving and making friends with so many people in each of the churches he served; touching the lives of numerous students who took his classes; experiencing the blessings of cross-cultural missionary work; walking the streets for Nightwatch; and becoming friends with "everybody" in the Senior Community .
He also enjoyed the role of "patriarch" of his family. Those who survive him: his wife, Beth Beckelhymer Stewart (Cristwood Dementia Unit, Shoreline); daughter and son-in-law, Judi and Dan Fortune(Shoreline); granddaughters/sons-in-law, Cindy and Heath Spencer (Seattle) and Karin and Lyle Crane (Mesa, AZ); and his great-grandchildren, Stewart, Hailey, and Joel Spencer, and Susanna and Maria Crane. He also is survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Minerva Todd Stewart, his parents, his brother, Robert Stewart and his sister, Velma Bradley.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." II Timothy 4:7
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth." Job 19:25
St Francis' Prayer
O Divine Master, grant that I
may not so much seek to be
consoled...as to console;
to be understood...as to understand;
to be loved...as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning
that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are
born to eternal life.