August 18, 1948 – February 14, 2020
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Tom Stewart in the early hours of February 14th at Toronto General Hospital. We are comforted by the fact that in his final days he was never without friends and family by his side Tom was predeceased by his partner David Kelley and his parents George and Jean Stewart (nee MacMillan). He was a dear brother to Margaret (Yves) and Allan. He will be sadly missed by his extensive family and numerous friends.
Tom grew up in Montreal, but spent most of his life in Toronto. He pursued a long and successful career in market research, most notably with Bell Canada from which he retired in 2010. Tom never stopped missing his beloved partner David. Tom and David were consummate advocates for the LGBT community. In their 20 years together, they were active in a telephone peer counselling service, a couples support group for gay men and a bridge club for gays and lesbians, just to name a few. Later, Tom co-founded an association for LGBT employees at Bell Canada.
It is hard to know where to begin to describe Tom’s big heart, inclusiveness and generosity. He had a way of making people feel special and of putting the needs of others ahead of his own. His kindness touched everyone he met. Tom was very family oriented, and at some point assumed the role of family patriarch. His efforts were instrumental in strengthening the bonds in the Stewart and MacMillan clans. Tom faced multiple health issues in the last few years, but with his indomitable spirit he managed to persevere. When able, he enjoyed nothing more than a family get together or a meal out with friends, where he would shine with his playful sense of humour and sharp wit. Tom had wonderful support from friends and family in his last few years. Everyone who helped Tom enjoy a better quality of life was reflecting back the love he gave.
A very special thank you to the staff at Toronto General Hospital and to his palliative care team for showing Tom the compassion he deserved. Thanks are also extended to the UHN and all the staff there who helped Tom on his journey over the years. Please join us in a celebration of life for a beautiful soul. The event will take place on March 7, 2020 at 2pm at Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home & Chapel, 467 Sherbourne St., Toronto, Ontario. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the David Kelley Program at Family Service Toronto.
Celebration of Life Service
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February 24, 2020
Tom, you will be deeply missed. It was such an honor to have known and worked with you. I will always be grateful for all the projects you awarded me and my company. Your kindness was always so obvious not only to me, but to each and every person you encountered as we traveled throughout Ontario and Quebec working on a variety of projects. We all echoed the same thing - " such a nice guy". But you were so much more than a nice guy. You were compassionate, smart, well-organized and ensured that we had fun while working many long hours. I know you are in a wonderful place now, looking down upon us and reminding us to always exhibit kindness to our fellow man. Rest in peace Tom.
February 23, 2020
Growing up I always admired and looked up to Tom. I couldn’t wait to be 17, I was only 10 at the time and admired Tom from afar. I loved his infectious laugh and his ability to tell stories. I always loved the ones he told about Frog Hollow. Even back then Tom was a leader , he always seemed to have a lot of friends and people around him laughing and enjoying life.
I’ll always remember receiving that first family tree booklet from Tom back in December 1982 when I was living in Chibougamau. Yes Tom Chibougamau is a long way from Lochabar, Scotland. Tom was also the glue that kept the family united and seeing each other. I remember a reunion in August 2005 Tom had gone to so much detail making sure that everyone had lots to do and there were games all over the property for us to enjoy.
Tom’s love and care for people and his ability to always know just what to do and say shine through. At our last reunion Justine‘s plane was delayed and she was not in the clan photo. Yet looking at the memory book that Tom sent I came to the end of the book and there was Justine what a wonderful surprise! Tom had added her picture, how special to be so thoughtful. Tom we will miss not having you at our next reunion, but we promise you we will be sure to get together with everyone, it’s what you always wanted. Family and your great love for all of us will be missed . Love you much. 😘😘😘
Joan MacMillan (Joanie)
February 20, 2020
So sorry to hear of the loss of this truly lovely man, so kind, thoughtful and fun. He & David were icons in the gay community of the 1980s when I first knew them. Rest in peace, sweet man, and sympathy and condolences to family and friends. We will never forget you!