Sunday, November 13, 2011

Obituary of M.E. "Hap" Stewart

Hap and Vinnie Stewart, taken when they were in their forties or fifties.

Obituary printed in Cleveland American, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Nov. 1, 1995

Marion Everett “Hap” Stewart, 89, passed away in his sleep on Saturday, October 28, 1995 at his home in Mesa, Arizona where he had lived for the past 13 years. Funeral services will be held in Mesa, Arizona on Wednesday, Nov. 1 with graveside services held in Snowflake, Arizona where he will be buried next to his wife, Vinnie Gardner Stewart.

Most people will remember “Hap” for his love of team roping in which he was very active until he quit roping at the age of 80. He was most well known for riding “Paint”, a flashy red and white pinto horse, for several years. He won countless rodeos and large jackpot team ropings. He was particularly proud of the five times he won the large team roping in Prescott, Arizona for people 65 years and older in the 15 years he attended.

Stewart was born in Wyoming on December 4, 1905, to James Walter and Willie Mae Stewart. He lived as a child in several locations from Wyoming to western Oklahoma. He left Mountain View, Oklahoma when he was 15 and worked at construction jobs, as a rough stock rider for Montana Belles Wild West Show and as a cowboy for the Hash Knife Ranch in northern Arizona. While there he met his wife of 65 years, Vinnie Gardner of Snowflake, Arizona.

After marriage he quit cowboying and worked as a farmer, as a mechanic, and as a blacksmith. He started a construction company and built stock ponds on the Navajo Reservation from 1940 to 1945. He then started logging timber near Winslow, Arizona from 1945 to 1950. In 1950 he had saved enough money to return to his real passion, ranching, and bought a ranch near Dewey, Oklahoma.

In 1956 he saw a need for a rock quarry in the Bartlesville, Oklahoma area and started a rock crushing business, M.E. Stewart and Sons Rock Products. The company grew and prospered under his leadership and in 1967 the company expanded into the Pawnee, Oklahoma area.

The ranch near Dewey was sold to the Mullendores in 1965 and Stewart moved to a large home on Hog Shooter Creek east of Bartlesville where he lived until 1970. He then moved to his home on Highway 64 west of Cleveland, Oklahoma where he lived until 1982 when he moved to Mesa.

He is survived by two sons, Marion Everett Stewart, Jr. of Mesa and James Franklin “Lin” Stewart of Jennings. He had 11 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

This obituary is being printed as submitted at the family's request and is paid for by the family.

(Amy's note: This obituary was written by Larry Stewart, grandson.)

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