Thomas "Tom" Kerr Stewart
August 30, 1930 – January 9, 2019
Thomas Kerr (Tom) Stewart, 88, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at his home in Sugar Land, Texas. Born in Lufkin, Texas, to Catharine and Tommy Stewart on Aug. 30, 1930, the family moved to Houston in 1940. He graduated in 1947 from Milby High School, and attended the University of Houston, receiving his degree in Industrial Psychology as well as an Army ROTC commission. As this was during the Korean War, Tom was called to active duty at Aberdeen Proving Ground, then served 16 months in Korea, a tour that included serving as commanding officer of an ammunition supply company. As Tom often said, “That’s where I grew up.”
Upon his discharge from Korea as a second lieutenant, he began a 37-year career with Shell Oil Company, and returned to UH to earn an MBA.
Tom married the love of his life, Patricia Virginia Thomas, on Aug. 30, 1956, in Broadway Baptist Church in Houston. The union marked the beginning of a loving, long-lasting and tightly-knit family. Tom and Pat were married for 60 years when Pat went to heaven first in 2017. Tom is survived by sons Thomas Andrew “Andy” (wife Jean, daughter Caitlin), Stephen Reid “Steve” (wife Patty), and daughter Marilyn Kay “Lyn” — all residents of Sugar Land; and by sister Kayren Hudiburgh (husband Lester Zeidman) of San Francisco. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Joseph Ward Stewart, of Arlington, Texas.
His Shell public relations career began as Shellegram Editor at the Deer Park complex, with later assignments as National Media Manager in New York City and Southeast Regional Public Relations Manager in New Orleans. The Stewarts were in Louisiana long enough to have all three children graduate from LSU — a family of “FIGHTIN’ TIGERS.” Tom’s final corporate move was in 1979, back to corporate headquarters in Houston where he retired in 1991 as Head of Corporate Communications.
Tom is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and the PRSA College of Fellows. He is a past president of the Houston Chapter, former member of PRSA’s National Board of Ethics and served several terms as a chapter delegate to the PRSA National Assembly. In 2001, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Chapter. Stewart is a Life Member and ardent supporter of the University of Houston. For several years, he was an adjunct professor at UH, teaching Public Relations Campaigns and also serving on various Alumni committees.
In his retirement years, he combined communications consulting, teaching and volunteer activities at Sugar Creek Baptist Church as an Usher, Deacon and Deacon Chairman. One of his favorite assignments was helping teach (or be taught) by a lovable group of 3-year olds in the preschool department at Sugar Creek.
In summary, sprinkle in a lot of bowling, golfing, traveling, and enjoying the company of family and friends. Tom said, “God has been very good to me, much more than I deserved. I’ve had a wonderful life: full, rich and rewarding. So family, praise the Lord ... weep no more … and move on.”
A visitation for the family will be held at The Settegast-Kopf Co. @ Sugar Creek,15015 Southwest Freeway, in Sugar Land, on Friday, Jan. 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. Burial will take place at Morton Cemetery, 401 N. 2nd Street, in Richmond, Texas, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. in the auditorium at Sugar Creek Baptist Church,13223 Southwest Freeway.
For those wishing to honor Tom, please send donations to Sugar Creek Baptist Church, the Reach Beyond Campaign (building campaign) at 13333 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478.
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Settegast-Kopf Company @ Sugar Creek
15015 Southwest Fwy
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sugar Creek Baptist Church
13223 Southwest Fwy
Thomas "Tom" Kerr Stewart
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Anita Wilburn Darras
January 16, 2019
Tom Stewart was always a gracious gentleman. It was an honor to have known him.
January 11, 2019
So many fond memories of volunteering with preschool children in Sunday School with Tom. The children loved him and they brought him such joy.
I also remember the many times Tom proudly wore his military uniform for patriotic celebrations. I told him I was very impressed it still fit and he said it did if he didn't breathe. Such a sweet and caring man.