James's Story

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James Patrick Steward left the heavy weight of this earth on St. Patrick's Day, Friday, March 17, 2017. He was at home with his beloved wife, Cindy at his side.
Jim was born in Ashtabula, along with his twin brother John, on Aug. 26, 1947. He was the son of LaVern W. "Buz" and Dorothy A. (Sidley) Steward. He graduated from Ashtabula High School in 1965. Jim was a lifetime member of Harris Memorial Presbyterian Church and then Trinity Presbyterian Church.
Photography was always one of Jim's passions. Using family and friends as models, he won many awards and now we have these beautiful pieces of art to remember him by. He was employed by Rockwell International Plastics Division until his retirement in 1977. After retirement Jim began volunteering for the Ashtabula Red Cross. This turned into a 30 year commitment where he was on call 24-7 as a liaison between the military person and their families. Jim won many Red Cross awards but was most proud of being the Red Cross Volunteer of the Year in 1997. He was acknowledged at an awards banquet with all of the Red Cross officers, including Bob and Elizabeth Dole, and was extra thrilled to meet Muhammad Ali. Because of his service to the Red Cross, Jim was chosen in 1996 to carry the Olympic Torch in his designated segment of Ashtabula.
Jim had a unique way of talking with people, even strangers and making them feel like there was no one else in the world he would rather be talking with. He loved watching old movies and more recently being on his computer, building his vast music catalog.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his twin brother, John; and sister, Julie Ann Steward.
Survivors include his dear wife, Cindy (Harper) Steward; sisters, Jane (Bill Palma) Steward of Ashtabula, and Jacqueline (David Brias) Steward of Portland, Maine; a brother, Joel (Jennifer) Steward of Columbus; his god-son, Norman Atkinson; nieces, Sharon (Scott) Blank of Kingsville, Maddy Steward of Kent, and Halley Steward of Cincinnati; great-nieces and nephews, Demetrius, Brandon, Christian, Carol, Bryson and Carter Blank, all of Kingsville; a cousin, Nicholas Higley of Seattle, Wash.; and sister-in-law and caregiver, Lois Harper Kelly.
Cindy would also like to thank Jim's beloved caregivers, Shirley Ferguson and Kim Jaskela, and volunteers with Hospice of the Western Reserve and Ashtabula Regional Home Health Services.
Services will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be directed to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 1166 Lake Ave., Ashtabula, Ohio 44004, or the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc., 7530 Lucerne Dr., Suite 210, Cleveland, Ohio 44130.
The Ashtabula Home of FLEMING & BILLMAN FUNERAL DIRECTORS AND CREMATORY, 526 W. Prospect Rd., Ashtabula, is honored to serve the James Steward family. Visit fleming-billman.com to view obituary, express condolences or light a candle.
Published on March 21, 2017
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