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William F. Stewart, 77, died Friday, Dec. 19, 2003, at his home surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer.

A prayer vigil will be held at 7 p.m. today at the St. Jude Catholic Church with the funeral Mass at 1 p.m. Tuesday at St. Jude Catholic Church with the Rev.

Robert D. Grosch officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Cemetery.

William "Bill" was born on March 10, 1926, in Havre to Robert and Rosa (Tucker) Stewart. Bill was raised and educated in Havre and graduated from Havre High School. He also attended Northern Montana College and Eastern Washington College. He entered into the U.S. Navy on July 22, 1944, and served in World War II. He was honorably discharged on June 14, 1946, in Bremerton, Wash., as a carpenter's mate 3rd class.

Bill married Kathleen I. Thompson on Dec. 30, 1948, in Havre. They made their home in Havre, where Bill worked as a carpenter until they purchased the Key & Repair Shop, which he operated for many years.

Bill was a very family orientated man. He enjoyed many things, such as hunting with his sons, playing cards with family and friends, and teaching his grandchildren to play cards. Bill looked forward to adventures and loved to take the back roads. He liked the challenge of being a locksmith and was very qualified in his chosen profession. Bill was well know across the state of Montana for being very skilled at opening safes. Bill was a charter member of the Montana Locksmith Association and a member of the American Locksmiths Association and the VFW.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Donald Stewart and Robert Stewart; and sister, Marie Schachle.

Survivors include his wife, Kathleen I. Stewart of Havre; children, Mark (Madeline) Stewart of Kremlin, Jeff (Carla) Stewart of Helena, Paula (Chuck) Vaughn of Havre, Willy Stewart of Kremlin, Robert (Joni) Stewart of Cut Bank, Kelly (Phillip) Toldness of Havre, Rebecca Stewart of Seattle, Wash., Oscar Stewart (Ruby Mecklenburg) of Havre and Joe (Debbie) Stewart of Havre; brother, Bruce (Vera) Stewart of Kalispell; special brother-in-law, Pete (Annette) VanderVen of Havre; mother-in-law, Marie VanderVen of Havre; sister-in-law, Fern Vosen of Glasgow; 25 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials in William's honor may be made to The Gift of Life Housing, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59406-7008, or to the St. Jude Parish Center, 624 Fourth St., Havre, MT 59501.

Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.


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