It with deep sadness that the family of James (Jim) Edward Stewart, Lt. Col. USAF, Ret. announces his death on July 30, 2022 from complications due to Agent Orange exposure during his service in Vietnam. The youngest son of the late Charles R. Stewart and Hazel (Robinson), Jim was born on June 12, 1945 and was raised in Watertown, MA. He attended Watertown High School and went on to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he was a member of the Air Force ROTC. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force and was deployed to Vietnam in 1968. He served as an AC-47 Gunship Pilot with the 4th Special Operations Squadron in Pleiku, and he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valor during combat as his crew provided cover for ground troops during nighttime missions.
Upon returning from Vietnam, Jim was based in Labrador with the USAF Strategic Air Command. He then served in the Air National Guard at Pease Air Force Base as a pilot in the 157th Air Refueling Wing, and later, as Director of Disaster Preparedness. He retired after 27 years of military service.
In 1972, he married his beloved wife Patricia (Flaherty) and they resided in Rochester, NH, where they raised their daughters Heather and Elizabeth. Sadly, after their marriage of twenty years, Patricia passed away in 1992.
Jim joined the faculty of Merrimack College in 1978 as Assistant Professor of Management and Organizational Behavior. He was later promoted to Associate Professor and subsequently served in many roles, including Department Chairman, Associate Dean and Acting Dean.
While at Merrimack College, Jim established the Bishop Fulton Sheen student chapter of the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM), through which he led Merrimack to four first-place wins in the annual Student Case Competition. Jim served SAM as Vice President of the Board and as Director of the Student Case Competition for 24 years.
Jim retired from Merrimack College in 2015 after thirty-seven years of service.
Also in 2015, Jim married Jane Larkin with whom he had worked for many years at Merrimack College. In their retirement Jim and Jane enjoyed visits with their daughters Heather in Colorado, Elizabeth in Pennsylvania, and Avery Kolenski, in Massachusetts. They traveled to annual reunions with Jim’s brethren in the USAF 4th Special Operations Squadron, with whom he had flown the “Spooky” AC-47 Gunship in Vietnam. Jim and Jane moved from North Andover, Massachusetts to Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida in 2018.
Jim was pre-deceased by his siblings Charles, Robert and Walter Stewart, Betty Clark and Evelyn Keating; his brothers-in-law Fred Keating, George Clark and Robert and Richard Larkin; and by his sisters-in-law Gloria (Crescitelli) and Phyllis (Nelson).
He leaves many beloved nieces and nephews, several with whom he grew up. He leaves his sisters-in-law Judith (Flaherty) Sherman, Elizabeth Larkin Mantelli, Susan Pierce, Lisa Leon, Jill Daniels and Deborah Leon; and brothers-in law Teddy Larkin, William MacGregor, and Stephen Swierk. He also leaves Kevin Donahue, who was like a son to Jim.
Jim Stewart touched the lives of all who knew his infectious and playful wit, his generous heart and his infinite wisdom. He served our country with pride and valor. He will be missed by many.
There will be a private interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rochester, NH. Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life for Jim on Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 2:00 PM at the North Andover VFW, 32 Park St, North Andover, MA. Donations in his memory may be made to Spooky AC47 Gunship, Franklin Skinner, 32306 E. 660 Road, Chouteau, OK 74337; Disabled American Veterans(DAV) Mail to: DAV Chapter 16 / Auxiliary Unit 16, PO Box 916643, Longwood, FL 32792; or to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer research at Komen.org.