His family and friends feel loss, but the Lord is celebrating the addition of Bob’s Stewart’s glorious bass voice to that heavenly Barbershop Chorus.
Born August 23, 1923 on a farm near the town of Grygla, Minnesota, Robert Lee Stewart was blessed with a passion for singing that he put to work in choruses, quartets and church choirs throughout his life, often as part of the family quartet known as “The Singing Stewarts,” which entertained large audiences throughout Montana and at many National Kiwanis conventions.
Bob attended French’s Business College in Bemidji, Minnesota, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation, he began his first career as an FBI Agent stationed in Washington, D.C., taking four years off to serve in the United States Army in the Pacific during WWII. In April 1944, Bob married the love of his life, Blossom Goodno. This year they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.
In 1958, he left the FBI to accept an excellent business opportunity with Glacier General Assurance Co., in Missoula, Montana, where he became principal partner in Intermountain Claims, which handled workers’ compensation claims for many of the largest self-insured businesses in Montana. Over more than three decades Bob earned the respect of insured-employers, claimants and claimant’s attorneys alike and was universally described as “tough, honest and fair.”
Following his retirement, Bob and Blossom moved first to Billings, to be near their daughter, Julie, then on to Tennessee, with their son, Rick, and finally, back to Billings. An active Kiwanian, Bob served as Governor of Montana Kiwanis. A born leader and devoted member of First Presbyterian Church in Missoula and Mayflower Congregational UCC in Billings, Bob never hesitated to step into leadership roles in his church and numerous community organizations.
Bob is survived by his devoted wife, Blossom, a son, Richard Jon (Molly) of Nashville, a daughter, Julie Ellen (Randy) Bishop of Billings, four Grandchildren: Travis and Hallie Bishop, of Billings and T.J. and Anna Grace Stewart, of Nashville and his sisters, Frances Anderson of Denver, Co, and Shirley Albertson of Vallejo, Ca. Bob is pre-deceased by his parents, John and Eleanor Stewart, his sister Janice Wolf and brother John (Jack) Stewart.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., June 17, 2015, at Mayflower Church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be dedicated to the Music Program at Mayflower Congregational UCC, 2940 Poly Drive, Billings, MT 59102.