Mathew Ray Stewart Sr.January 10th, 2021
Mathew Ray Stewart Sr., 81, of Jefferson City, passed away Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at Primrose Retirement Community. He was born January 19, 1939, in Cove City, North Carolina, the son of the late Doc Stewart Sr. and Leona Elizabeth (Herring) Stewart. He was a 1958 graduate of Farm Life High School, received his Bachelor of Science and Education, Physical Education degree in 1972 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and received his Masters of Science in Education, Secondary School Counseling from the University of Central Arkansas in 1973. Ray was united in marriage on March 19, 1966, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C., to Judith Kay Erckman, who survives. He served his country in the United States Air Force from 1961-1969. Ray began his career by working part-time for the Early Childhood Education Center in Little Rock, Ark. from 1970-1973. Ray spent the majority of his career in education at the Arkansas School for the Blind (ASB) in Little Rock, Ark. from 1973-1998. There he was the physical education teacher and later became the Home Life Director. He was most known for his role as Coach. Ray coached the school's track and field, beep baseball, and wrestling teams. He was more than an educator and coach to hundreds of youth over the years at ASB, the community, and church sports programs. Coach Ray Stewart was loved by all, and he loved all he met. After he retired from education, he drove part-time for Arrow Coach Lines in Little Rock as a motor coach driver from 1999-2011. He loved touring the country with his beloved wife Judith as the tour director. Together, they enjoyed the adventures with all those who traveled with them. He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock for over 45 years and attended Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson. He was a member of the Tree House Condominiums Board in Branson and was a member of the Kiwanis. Ray enjoyed watching his children play sports and eventually watch his children coach sports. In his later years, he loved attending his grandchildren's events. Ray enjoyed genealogy, Facebook, and especially enjoyed life with his wife, Judith, whom he loved dearly. Survivors include his wife, Judith Stewart, Jefferson City; three children, Clayton (Kayla) Stewart, Russellville; Mathew (Angie) Stewart, Fayetteville, Ark.; Teresa (Cecil) Harrell, Kingston, N.C.; 11 grandchildren, Jonathan (Kellie) Harrell, Marco Romero, Julio Romero, Meredith Stewart, Seth Flud, Kayson Flud, Brekken Stewart, Mason Stewart, Josie Stewart, Hallee Stewart, Corianna Stewart; great-grandchildren, twins Brayson and Braxton Romero; two siblings, Harry "Pete" Stewart, Haughton, La.; Dixie (Bobby) Stewart, Cove City, N.C.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Wanda Alphin; three sisters, Annie Grimsley, Shirley Thomas, Geraldine Muth; and three brothers, Doc Stewart Jr., Linwood Stewart, and Bob Stewart. Private family graveside service, officiated by Pastor Don Rooks, and military honors will be held Monday at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield. An open fellowship time will be held Saturday, January 16, at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark. from noon to 2:00 p.m. Memorials are suggested to the Arkansas School for the Blind, Little Rock, Ark. to be used in the form of a scholarship. Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home in Jefferson City is in charge of the arrangements. Those wishing to send condolences to the family may do so at the www.dulletrimble.com website.