H. Patrick Stewart III died of a heart attack April 28, 2015, at his Roosevelt Island home, three days after his 82nd birthday.
His life will be celebrated at a memorial service on Saturday, May 16, at 2:00 p.m. at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd.
Stewart was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, on April 25, 1933, and grew up in Detroit and Kansas City, summering at Nahant, Massachusetts.
His maternal grandfather, Peter F. Minnock, headed General Motors for more than 20 years. His paternal grandfather, Henry P. Stewart, was Police Commissioner of Kansas City.
His father, H. Patrick Stewart Jr., along with 20 of his Yale classmates, left for England to fight in World War I before the United States entered the war. He flew for the nascent Royal Air Force, and went on to become the youngest member ever of the British military to reach the rank of major, a record only broken 25 years later, during World War II, by his son, and Patrick’s brother, Peter F. Minnock-Stewart, as a member of Military Intelligence in the British Indian Army in Burma.
Inspired by his dreams of military glory, young Patrick prepared for a career as a professional soldier first at Rockhurst Preparatory School and Kemper Military School, then went on to Virginia Military Institute and Hampden-Sydney College. He joined the U.S. Army in 1955 as a 2nd Lieutenant and rose to the rank of Captain in Special Forces. He served in Lebanon and Germany.
Disappointed with the peacetime military, Stewart left the Army in 1960 and became an advertising executive, first with Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne and then with Young and Rubicam in New York and Los Angeles, then a senior marketing executive at Nabisco, Inc.
Stewart left marketing in 1979 to become a limited partner at Intellectics SMB, the management consulting firm founded by his brother, Peter, serving clients as diverse as DuPont, General Electric, WJ Grace, United Airlines, AT&T, and the US Department of the Interior.
Representing Intellectics SMB, he served on President Reagan’s Grace Commission Study of Cost Control in Federal Government.
Stewart was active for many years as an Arbitrator and Tribunal Member of the American Arbitration Association, and an Associate Member of the American Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Stewart moved to Roosevelt Island in 1982, married Karen in 1989, and by the 90’s had become an impassioned community activist. He was appointed to Community Board 8 by Ruth Messinger in 1995, and served until 2013. He was for many years the Chair of its Roosevelt Island Committee, and in 2006 became Co-Chair of the Second Avenue Subway Task Force.
Stewart served as President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association from 1996 to 2000. He was appointed by Governor George Pataki as a Director of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and served from 1999 through 2009. He chaired the RIOC Board’s Governance Oversight Committee.
Stewart once said in a CB8 Speaks television interview, “Community organizing takes persistence and resolve. Movement is an emotional thing of marches and demonstrations, but organization is different, especially to aim for something bigger. Many movement people are not good organizers. It takes a special cold, rational type of anger.”
It also took patience and the help of his exquisite, old-fashioned courtesy. Always a thoughtful listener, he was a dedicated champion of the residents of Roosevelt Island. He will be sorely missed by the community he served.
Stewart is survived by his wife, the former Karen Jellison Sanford; his daughter, Canby French Stewart of Phoenix, Arizona; his stepson, Adam Sanford of New York City; his niece, Brooke Stewart Disbrow (Mrs. Jack Disbrow) of Wilton, Connecticut; her daughter, Eirinn Stewart Disbrow of Los Angeles; his nephew, Peter F. M. Stewart Jr of Ridgefield, Connecticut; and his surrogate granddaughter, Zoe Schreiber of Cleveland, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Wounded Warrior Project, Inc.