It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beautiful mother, Emma Norene Stewart (nee Wallwin), at Amica Little Lake Retirement Home on January 6th, 2023 in her 97th year. Devoted wife of Ronald A. Stewart; mother of Donna Joan Craig, Dr. Robert Stewart, Julie Ann Roper, and Shane Burrows Stewart. Deeply loved mother-in-law of John Roper and Patricia Stewart, and loving “Nanny” to Robbie Craig; Alexandra Bettencourt; David and Lexie Roper; Sarah Fletcher; Carling, Barclay and Knoxton Stewart; Hannah and Olivia Craig, and Dallas and Denver Bettencourt.
Emma - affectionately known as “Em” - was born in Barrie, Ontario to Ida and John Wallwin on May 8th, 1926. She was raised on her family’s working farm, which is still in use today. She was one of seven children including Joan Wallwin, and is pre-deceased by brothers Jack and Ross Wallwin, and sisters Kay Hall, Ruth Poole and Phyllis Handy. All of whom she cherished and stayed close to.
Em attended a one-room elementary school house northwest of Barrie and Barrie Central Institute for high school. Having always had a calling to care for others, Em graduated from Royal Victoria Hospital as a Registered Nurse in 1949. She was awarded the “Highest Standard in Bedside Nursing.” She would later overcome tuberculosis contracted from a patient.
Em married her soul mate and high school sweetheart Ronald Stewart in 1950 and they sailed the Great Lakes for their honeymoon. Save volunteering and blood doner clinics, Emma would retire her nursing cap to raise four spirited children - spread some twenty years apart from eldest to youngest! A gentle matriarch, she was the consummate caregiver, homemaker, teacher, and guidance councillor.
Artistic by nature, Em created prolific folk art, painting, weaving, and sewing projects. She nurtured stunning gardens, clipped and filed an abundance of recipes to delight family and friends. She was also an avid bridge player and ‘Mrs. Fix-It’ of the home! Her other accomplishments include: President of women’s Toastmasters, the Royal Order of Lady Jesterettes, Griffin Theatre Guild, and devoted parishioner at Trinity Anglican Church. Emma golfed and curled in Barrie in her earlier years and overcame her fear of water - learning to swim in her forties!
Em was a steadfast partner, hostess, and community supporter to husband Ron in business (Stewart Wholesale Co. Ltd.) and later in politics when he became Member of Parliament for Simcoe South. The Stewarts spent many years involved with Sheba and Rameses Shrine clubs, and supported countless charities. Together they also travelled to some 100 countries.
Though refined and reserved, Em sported a sharp sense of humour and was a joy to all who knew her. She will be unbearably missed by her family who simply adored her.
The Stewart family would like to express our warm and heartfelt thanks to the compassionate care received from Amica Little Lake and all of the personal support workers from Bayshore community care. We would also like to express endless gratitude to Deliaila Kishi for her many years of caregiving for both Ron and Em Stewart.
Visitation will he held at the Steckley-Gooderham Funeral Home at 30 Worsley St. on Tuesday January 10th from 7-9PM and funeral services will be held at Trinity Anglican Church at 24 Collier St. on Wednesday, January 11th at 2 pm.