Robert Stuart

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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2020 6:21 pm

Robert Allan Stuart passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2019 with his wife at his side, in his home in Brea, Calif.

He was born May 28, 1932, at home in Grand Forks, N.D. He was the second son of Freda Engel and Gordon Stuart, entering the world minutes after his twin brother, Ronald Stuart. A third son, Thomas Stuart, followed four years later. Prior to this, Gordon and his first wife, Alma, provided the first wave of Stuarts—brothers James Gordon (Bud), sister Margaret (O’Donnell), and brothers Art, Jack, and Bill. All were a source of comfort and pride for Bob, throughout his life.

After the early passing of his father Gordon, when the twins were six years old, his mother Freda moved his family to Hillsboro, N.D. where he attended school, graduating from Hillsboro High School. Robert went on to graduate from Mayville Teachers’ College, majoring in Mathematics, and playing baseball (pitching) for his beloved Mayville Red Caps. He met his beautiful wife, Mary Brown, at Mayville, marrying her in Crystal, N.D., July 14, 1956.

He continued his education receiving a National Science Foundation grant to attend the University of Minnesota, and shortly thereafter, received his Master’s in Mathematics Education from the University of Illinois. His first teaching position was at Hettinger High School in the south western corner of North Dakota where he also coached the boys’ basketball team. After seven years, he accepted a position at Lowell High School and moved his family to La Habra, Calif. He retired from Fullerton Union High School in 1987 after teaching Mathematics for 32 years.

Bob was a man of many talents and hobbies. He did nothing half-heartedly, becoming an expert in many areas, and a man of numbers. In order to get in better shape, he took up running in his mid 40s, and eventually completed 43 marathons. His gardening skills were evident and a tribute to his upbringing. He loved to fish, especially fly fishing, thoroughly enjoying his time as member and president of the Downey fly-fishing club. He studied personal computers and programming, buying and building his own computers, and shared the knowledge and innovation with his students. He visited family and friends in North Dakota every summer, camping across country with wife and kids, making a total of 37 trips. Baseball was his most obvious passion, and he passed it on to as many offspring as he could. He was well known as a great coach and batting practice pitcher to the local little leaguers, and he lived to attend the kids/grandkids games and events. More than most, he was able to relate sports to life, along with encouraging hard work without excuses.

Bob is survived by his true love Mary Alice, his supportive wife of 63 years; and his four children, Sherryl Keegan (Jim), Bill, A.J. (Jacqueline) and Robert (Lori). He was extremely proud of his eight grand kids and the two great grandchildren, who brought him genuine joy at a perfect time in his life. Grandpa Bob’s traits shine through in all of them—Christianna, Katie, James, Ely, Nolan, Aaron, Ruby, Asher, and recent additions, Caleb and Emily.

A child of the depression, Bob was ever-conservative with his assets and his time, yet he was always generous to those in need and a supporter of the underdog. We are so thankful for the examples he gave us, and of a life well-lived. Dad will be greatly missed.

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