Melvin Stewart passed away June 17th, 2021 after a hard-fought battle with Covid pneumonia. Mel was born in 1940 to Stewart G. and Ethel Stewart, joining his brother Butch in Chicago, IL.
It was a dream for Mel’s parents to raise their family, which now included little sister Margie, on a farm. When Mel was in first grade that dream came true, when the family moved to Dundee, IL and started a dairy farm. The innocence of farm living, the great friends and fun cars of the 40’s and 50’s, and a close-knit family were the building blocks of the wonderful family man that he became.
The family moved west in 1963 when a land deal brought them to Montana. Melvin and his brother Butch opened a service station in Hamilton, MT where he met his life partner Ruby and in 1966 the couple wed. After the service station closed in 1965, the family opened Stewart Rambler in Missoula, MT. The entire family, including Mel’s sister Margie, went into business together. It wasn’t long before Ruby and Mel expanded their family with Heidi coming first, and Paul two years later.
In 1973 Stewart Rambler was sold and after a short time with the new owners, Mel changed career paths and took a job with the State of Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Mel started in the job service until moving into a career as an auditor, traveling the entire state of Montana. Mel finished his career as the Bureau Chief for the Department of Labor and Industry. After retirement, Mel and Ruby moved to Rathdrum, ID where they have spent the last 13 years.
Mel had a true servant’s heart and spent many years volunteering. As a young dad, he coached baseball, taught Sunday school and led youth group. You could always find him in the yard throwing a ball and having fun with his kids. In later years, Mel fell in love with the Royal Rangers program through church and spent many wonderful years guiding and teaching young men to be Godly men. His passion was helping others and he never said no when asked a favor. Mel’s faith in Christ was the pinnacle of all he was.
Mel was a dedicated family man, and nothing brought him more joy than seeing his family grow. When grandkids joined his little herd, his joy was complete. He had just learned that he was going to be a great-grandpa before his death. Mel made a point to remember every accomplishment, attend as many events as he could, and be present in the life of his family. Birthdays will not be the same without his unique singing voice or his one of a kind handmade cards. He always had a project to do and eagerly helped anytime one of ‘his kids’ needed something.
Mel was greeted in heaven by his father Stewart, his mother Ethel, his sister Margie Blietz, and his sister-in-law Kathy Stewart.
He is survived and so missed by his wife of 55 years, Ruby, his daughter Heidi (Mike) Gilmond of Kalispell, MT, son Paul (Simone) Stewart of Post Falls, ID; his grandchildren Shelbi (Tanner) Wilkin of Rockford, IL, Chase Gilmond of Coeur d’Alene, ID, Ashton Gilmond of Kalispell, MT, and Sophia Stewart of Post Falls, ID. He is also survived by his older brother Butch Stewart of Polson, MT and many adoring nieces, nephews, and friends. A memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Lifeway Chapel 501 W. 15th Ave. Post Falls, ID.