Mr. John Stuart
July 28, 1923 – October 27, 2020
By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, -- and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or ever eagle flew – And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John Sim Stuart was born in Clifton, Texas, on July 28, 1923, to Oscar Lee and Donna Stuart. He graduated from Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, Texas in 1941. When World War II came, he joined the Army Air Corps and became a P-47 fighter pilot. In 1944 he met and married the love of his life, Mary Bowen, in South Dakota. They were married for 76 years this past September. After serving in the Pacific Theater, John was one of the lucky ones to return home. John and Mary moved to Lubbock, Texas, where he attended and graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in architectural engineering in 1950.
His eldest daughter, Jan, was born in 1950, followed by Jill in 1953, and Jay in 1954. John had his own architectural firm, Schmitt and Stuart in Lubbock, Texas and built commercial building all over West Texas.
Family was the most important thing to John and he decided to change careers. He was offered a teaching position in the Architecture Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and the family moved there in 1964.
John was a well-loved instructor known as “Texas John.” He taught architectural practice for many years and took his students through all the steps, from design to construction, including designing and building the Stuart family home. He retired from Cal Poly in 1987.
After retirement, John and Mary enjoyed many trips visiting family and friends, having new adventures, and enjoying every state in the United States and Canada.
In 1979, he had the honor of being asked to be a founding board member of First Bank of San Luis Obispo. Dad really loved being on the bank board and all the opportunities for new experiences and friendships that it provided. John retired from the bank board in 2003.
As the years went on, John and Mary continued to be a loving Papa and Mama to seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. The joyful memories of spending Christmas and summers at Mama and Papa’s house will be forever in our hearts. Papa left a lasting impression on family, friends, and people he just met!
John passed away peacefully on October 27, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Mary, three children, seven grandchildren, and 13 grandchildren.
The love of our family flows strong and deep leaving us memories to treasure and keep.