Deceased February 21, 2011
John T. “Jock” Stewart was a close friend for the past 55 years, one who provided throughout that time countless moments of unconventional creativity, a trait that distinguished him in his four years at Amherst and beyond. He was usually up to something. His sudden passing due to a heart attack on Feb. 21, 2011, in Boston robbed his so many family and friends of his unerring capacity for genuine companionship, insight and humor.
After Amherst and Colgate grad school, Jock dedicated his life to family and teaching, both of which would become enduring monuments to his human talents. He taught briefly at Williston Academy, moved on to find his niche at Shady Hill and Nauset Regional before becoming a founding faculty member of Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans, Mass. There he was the eighth grade history teacher for the past 17 years. If one measures one’s own education and worth by the amount one puts into personal and professional practice, Jock had few equals. The best education rests on the capacities of teachers like him who invest themselves entirely in reaching students and making them want to learn. His memorial gathering on the Cape drew more than a thousand who came to celebrate his very full and rich contributions to all who knew him.
Jock leaves his wife, Sandy, of 41 years; children Rebecca, Joshua, Ethan and Sarah; and four grandchildren. Ethan wrote of his dad’s teaching: “His currency (was) an all-too-rare blend of respect, imagination and unyielding devotion to the pursuit of knowledge both personal and book bound.” It is spare praise indeed to say we lost a truly great classmate in Jock Stewart, friend to us all.
Richard M. Caley ’66