Van L. Stewart Jr.

Published 10:56 am Thursday, October 13, 2011

March 7, 1921 – Oct. 10, 2011

NATCHEZ — Services for Van L. Stewart Jr. of Natchez, who died Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, at his home following a lengthy illness, will be at 11 a.m. today at Trinity Episcopal Church with the Rev. Walton Jones officiating.

Burial will follow at the Natchez Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

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Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until service time today at the church.

Van was born March 7, 1921, in Vicksburg, the son of Van L. Stewart and Hilda Musgrove Stewart. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy on Dec. 8, 1941, and served for the duration of WWII. He was a graduate of St. Aloysius High School in Vicksburg and was a graduate of Millsaps College. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi.

He was a long-time educator and coach of many sports in the Natchez Public School System. He also taught in the Natchez branch of the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to moving to Natchez, he was head football coach at Durant High School and Holmes Junior College. He was honored by his selection to the Millsaps College Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. The Miss-Lou Chapter of the Natchez Footabll Foundation and College Hall of Fame honored Van for his contribution to amateur football. Van always enjoyed the gatherings of the Natchez High Class reunions and the Durant Football players gatherings. Golf was one of his favorite pastimes.

Van was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Nell Parker Stewart; two sons, Jay and wife, Debbie, Van “Butch” and wife, Kristie; one daughter, Hunter Spiers; 11 grandchildren, Jamie and husband, Lee Hash, Alex, Dray and Alyssa Stewart, Allie, Emily and Sarah Grace Stewart, Caroline, Catherine and Elizabeth Schmitz; and one great-grandson, Will Hash.

The family expresses their thanks to Deaconess Hospice and its loyal caregivers, Mary Louise, Willie, Carrie and Myra. Thanks also to his special friend, Mark Newman.

Pallbearers will be W. R. Martin, John Correro, Chick Graning, Richard Parker Jr., Lain Hughes, Dray Stewart, Willie Buford and Will Warren.

Honorary pallbearers will be Robert Rosson, Dr. Mitt Roby, Dr. Bill Gore, Guy Stout, Sandy Saunders, Craig Barrows, Bruce McCann and Allen Brown.

In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to: Trinity Episcopal Church, 305 South Commerce St., Natchez, MS 39120 or Christ Episcopal Church of Church Hill, MS c/o Rev. Walton Jones, 305 South Commerce St., Natchez, MS 39120 or a charity of your choice.

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