Wesley A. ‘Wes’ Stewart, 78, died peacefully on Saturday, May 24. It was both sudden and unexpected.
He was born in Nevada City, Nev. When he was 12, his family moved to Oakdale. His father Bill Stewart and mother Lillie owned Stewarts family market in Oakdale. He worked for his father through school and later became an associate/owner/butcher.
The Stewart family joined Oak Valley Church when they arrived, and were all lifetime members. He served as a deacon and church board member. The family’s dedication and willingness to serve the Lord contributed to the building and growth of the church.
He graduated from Oakdale High School and his love for the Lord was evident when he received his Masters Degree in Theology.
Mr. Stewart also had an interest in politics. He served on the Oakdale City Council from 1964-1969 and was Mayor from 1970-1972. He was also City Clerk and Vice Mayor, serving a total of 16 years in city government.
He completed 20 years of military service in January 1996, retiring as a SSG E6 (Staff Sergeant). His assignments were with the 170th Automatic Weapons Battalion, 40th Inf. Division; Co C 1 – 184th Inf. (M) Oakdale, Calif.; HQ 184th Inf. (M) Modesto, Calif.; and Det 5 Starc, Sacramento, Calif. He was in the Oakdale unit during the Korean War. He also attended numerous Military Service Schools. He was a Mess Sgt./Cook, Personnel Clerk, Retention NCO and Career Counselor.
He received many awards during his military service. The most significant award was his Outstanding Recruiting and Retention NCO award for the State of California. His latest award was Oakdale’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented on Jan. 17, 2014, where more than 200 people attended the Chamber of Commerce’s 68th Annual Awards Dinner at the Gene Bianchi Community Center.
He was a Chaplain for the Oakdale Police Department. He started the CAPS program with the Oakdale Police Department. He had a special place in his heart for the seniors, who he visited throughout the city as a CAPS Senior Outreach Representative. He and his wife Margie also started a program through their church – the Young at Hearts Program, a wonderful gathering with music, fellowship and luncheon. He and his wife are both loved by many and they have touched so many lives. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his loving wife, Margie; son, Tim, both of Oakdale; stepsons, Bill Clawson of Eureka, Jack Clawson of Modesto; grandson, SP4 Brian (Allison) Clawson, stationed at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii; and one great-grandson.
Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 6 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel, 830 F St., Oakdale. A service will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 7 at Oak Valley Church, 175 S. Bryan Ave., Oakdale. A graveside service will follow at Oaklawn Memorial Park, 421 N. Sierra Ave., Oakdale.