Cover photo for John Stewart's Obituary
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1951 John 2024

John Stewart

January 1, 1951 — January 14, 2024

John Douglass Stewart III left this Earth on January 14, 2024, at the age of 73, younger than the 100 years that he’d aspired to live, but not before making an impact on many others. 

Mr. Stewart was a teacher all his adult life and a lifelong learner who told his students to “never stop learning because you never know how far you might go.” During his 45+ year career, he taught many places and many people in classes from Pre-K to college level. Early in his career, he taught at the McCrossan Boys Ranch for at-risk youth in South Dakota, where he learned to fly a small two-engine plane, as well as deliver a calf while also taking courses at Black Hills State University. He also taught on a Lakota Sioux reservation in Montana, learning how to live on the land and becoming a respected member of the community.

Mr. Stewart received a B.A. from West Chester College in Education with a minor in Environmental Science and also became credentialed as a Reading Specialist. He briefly taught at The Vanguard School in Pennsylvania before moving to the Baltimore area. In addition to reading, he taught science in the Baltimore City Public School system, where he worked with colleagues to establish a gifted and talented program. He also organized an afterschool rocket club. In 2004, Mr. Stewart relocated to the Eastern Shore of Virginia where he began teaching his favorite class - 5th grade science at Kiptopeke Elementary. There, he started a STEM program and worked with the Rotary Club to plant a beautiful butterfly garden for all to enjoy. He was awarded as an Outstanding Conservation Educator in 2011. He retired in 2017 from the Northampton County Public School system. A great joy of his was dressing up each year at Christmas as Santa for local events, something he continued to do even after retiring.

Doug, as his friends and family called him, also enjoyed traveling with his wife both during the summers he had off as a teacher, then after retiring. He revisited Montana in 2022, taking in the changes made by man and the passing of time since he’d moved east, but refinding the small home he’d once built. He loved sports and in addition to coaching women’s basketball and volunteering as an umpire for Little League baseball, he was an avid Ravens and Eagles football fan. During televised Eagles games, he’d deck himself out in full Eagles attire from head to toe - underwear, socks, and all. 

He had a passion for cycling and rode his bike in several Seagull Century rides on the Shore. He loved the land, but also the water. He learned how to SCUBA dive and enjoyed snorkeling. Many Sundays, he would take his kayak out to commune with nature and God. He loved to garden and designed and planted a dozen garden beds big and small, as well as trees and shrubs in the yard he shared with his wife. Daylilies were among his favorites.

Doug also loved animals and always kept one in his classroom - usually a hamster - so that his students could learn about taking care of them. Dogs were a big part of Doug’s life and were very special to him; he never forgot his beloved black labrador, Pete, who he used to take fishing with him. His last little dog, Hannah, now sleeps on his pillow. 

While we joke that Doug could have won a gold medal for procrastination, he was unable to put off his final exit any longer. Now, he has joined God to help teach the angels. 

Doug is survived by his third wife of nearly 25 years, Laura Stewart, his stepdaughter Thea, his brother Robert Stewart and his wife Cathy, his sister MaryEllen Tuttle, his youngest sister Nancy Adams and her husband Dean, and multiple nieces and nephews. 

Friends, family, colleagues, and former students are invited to celebrate Mr. Stewart’s incredible life on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 2:00pm at the Franktown United Methodist Church Pastor Dick Daily officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to SPCA Eastern Shore Inc., P.O. Box 164, Onley, VA 23418.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore, Virginia.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Stewart, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Franktown United Methodist Church

7551 Bayside Road, Franktown, VA 23354

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