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STEWART, Richard (Dick)

STEWART, Richard (Dick)

STEWART, Richard (Dick) passed away May 12, 2020 at the age of 94.
Dick Stewart, long time Kelowna businessman, received an invitation to an extraordinary long-term meeting today, which he has accepted with his usual grace and candor. Vacating his office here with us, he will be joining many old friends and family, who we understand await his arrival with a toast and a glass of Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir.
Born at Kelowna General Hospital on April 8, 1926, Dick was one of four children raised by Richard (Dick) and Mary (Whitworth) Stewart.
He grew up in a household which welcomed many into their midst including several of his father’s brothers, who left Ireland and lived with the family on the corner of Richter and Harvey Avenue, introducing the children to Irish blarney and a bit of colourful Gaelic. In later years, the family adopted cousin Bob Springer’s wife, Di and baby daughter, who came to live with them while Bob was overseas in the war. These early seeds of generosity and support were values Dick upheld his entire life.
Early on, Dick was introduced to the value of teamwork and strategic planning as a member of The Harvey Avenue Gang – a group of downtown Kelowna boys who entertained themselves by building rafts, swimming and biking through their childhood years.
A music lover, he sang in the Boys Choir at St. Michael’s and All Angels Church, performed in “Oklahoma” and taught his children to sing as he played the piano.
Dick also loved to pen and recite rhymes. As a member of the Kelowna High School Student Council, he initiated the ‘Clean Up Campaign’, and convinced his classmates to adopt his slogan “Lift Your Litter, Keep the School Fitter”.
He was a dedicated scholar, graduating from KHS with the Major, Minor and Academic Awards. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Armed Forces, but the war soon ended and he was discharged. Ready for another adventure, he headed off to UBC in his father’s Hudson with brother Jim and dear friend, Dave Leckie, graduating with a double major in Agriculture and Commerce.
Dick returned home to work in his father’s business, Stewart Brothers Nursery, for the next ten years. At the time, the nursery was still using horses and plows to plant their tree Brothers stock. Although he fondly recalled helping to clear pine trees off the property with sticks of TNT, Dick had some more contemporary ideas he wanted to pursue.
The nursery often shipped trees through Chapman’s Trucking and there was a pretty, auburn haired girl who worked there. Nearly ten years her senior, Dick worked hard to convince Dave Chapman to introduce him to Rosemary Boswell. Eventually, he captured her heart and hand and they married in 1956, raising four children together.
That same year, he travelled with his father to Penticton to successfully negotiate a deal with Halpen Moffat on the old Alison Ranch property on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna. With a keen interest in grape growing, he began to plant experimental grape varieties at the site which eventually opened as Quails’ Gate Estate Winery in 1989.
Dick was proud of his heritage, his community, his family and his business. He considered the staff at Quails’ Gate his extended family and loved to wander through the vineyards, offices, restaurant and wine shop visiting with them and chatting with customers. He was never afraid of new ideas and believed in putting his ‘nose to the grindstone and his shoulder to the wheel’.
He also believed ‘if you know who you are, you will know where you are going.’ An avid traveler, he proudly walked on the Great Wall of China for his 88th birthday, yet no matter how far he went, he always loved to come home.
He loved to water and snow ski, enjoyed tennis and especially golf with many friends. We understand a tee time at The Cloud Nine Golf Course has been arranged by his grandson Andrew, who is awaiting his arrival with his clubs polished and ready.
Dick loved his hometown and felt a deep responsibility to community service, building quite a roster in his lifetime:
• Councilor, City of Kelowna 1968-1972
• BC Grape Growers Association, founding member and past president
• BC Grape Marketing Board, founding member and first chair
• 1977, one of the founders of the Central Okanagan Foundation and its president for nine years
• Chair of the 1980 BC Summer Games in Kelowna
• Bold Horizons Campaign 1992-93 for Okanagan University College
• Fundraising Chair for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra
• Campaign Manager, many times, for his old friend, Bill Bennett of the BC Social Credit Party
• Board Member for West Kootenay Power, Royal Trust and Quails’ Gate
• UBC Board of Governors
He leaves behind his team who will miss their captain’s leadership but will uphold his values and continue caring for the community he loved: his wife, Rosemary; children, Ben, Cynthia (Scott) Walker, Andrea (Dave) McFadden, Tony (Lisa), 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and numerous much-loved nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Dick and Mary Stewart, brothers Bill and Jim, sister Kathleen and grandson Andrew.
During the past two years, Dick and his family had the pleasure of making many new and dear friends at The Village at Mill Creek, our heartfelt thanks to all of you for welcoming him into your midst.
In lieu of flowers, donations gratefully appreciated to the Richard John Stewart Family Fund at the Central Okanagan Foundation, Landmark 1, 306-1726 Dolphin Avenue, Kelowna BC, V1Y 9R9.
Respecting the current social distancing guidelines, the family will have a private service. The service and tributes can be watched online, starting Friday, May 22nd at 2:00 PM, and condolences can be sent by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com.


Link: www.springfieldfuneralhome.com/obituaries/stewart-richard-dick
Condolence Messages
  • Jun 04, 2020
    Condolences to you all, Ben, Cynthia, Andrea, Tony. I just read a reference to your father's passing in the Vancouver Sun this morning by Anthony Gismondi. Reading Dick's entertaining obituary (not sure if it was a group effort or only one of you are responsible) it reminded me of a time when I first moved to Kelowna and lived on Green Bay Road. My boys were aged 3 and 4 (now 47 and 48) and your father had grapes planted where Green Bay Road met Boucherie Road. One day I was driving along Green Bay Road on my way to work and for whatever reason found myself driving off the road into the vineyard. Nothing serious except I took out a few grape vines. One of the very nice guys working in the vineyard drove my car out for me onto Green Bay Road and suggested I stop at the house and let Dick know what had happened. I did and was so impressed at him laughing, asking me if I was ok and saying he'd take a look and let me know what the damage was. I was terribly embarrassed but he was a true gentleman about the incident. I later got a bill to replace the three vines I had taken out. This began my long acquaintance with the Stewart family. I'm sure he will be missed by you all.
    Fondly, Barbara Jeffery
  • May 27, 2020
    Mrs. Stewart (Rosemary), Ben, Cynthia, Andrea, Tony and families.
    Heart-felt condolences to all of you on Mr.Stewart's (Dick's).
    His vision and innovation pioneered the transformation of the Okanagan Valley into what is is today - a world-class wine-producing region.
    His legacy lives on with all of you and your individual and family accomplishments.
    I have many fond memories of you all from various Stewart family gatherings, and Dick always found the time to have a word, and show interest, in everyone he met.
    He will be very much missed by many.
    Sandra's and my thoughts are with you all.
    Brad Chapman
  • May 25, 2020
    How blessed we are to have had grandparents and parents who were friends, business partners, and also shared their vision for a better Kelowna. They've left our community with their remarkable and ongoing legacy. My condolences to you all. Sharron Simpson
  • May 22, 2020
    Dear Stewart Family, our deepest condolences to all of you.
    Your family was a big part of my life while growing up in Kelowna. Dick was a great visionary, a great family man and a great contributor. Our community has been left so much better because of him.
    Stephanie (Durban) and Ron Ford
  • May 21, 2020
    Dear Rosemary and Stewart Family, We are sending our deepest condolences and sympathies. So very sorry to here of Dicks passing, we always admired him and he was such a fine gentleman. Always enjoyed working with Dick and hearing his life accomplishments. Always would have a good laugh with him while working or at social gatherings. Respect the knowledge and hard work Dick accomplished throughout his life. A Quails Gate Wine Toast to you Dick , Gerry and Leah Toye.
  • May 21, 2020
    To all of the Stewart Family that were apart of my life for so many years,
    my very sincere condolences,
    with love, Caron Bear Capozzi
  • May 20, 2020
    As a youngster I remember Dick giving myself and the Mervyn boys rides to Black Mountain and teaching us how to use the forever twisting rope tow and the parallel turn. Years later I played tennis with Dick and our "nooners" group for more than 35 seasons intertwined with political ad community activities.
    Dick was a man of high character, humble and sincere, fun loving but always interested in other's lives and never talking about himself.
    Always a pleasure to be with. Wonderful memories to cherish,
    Sincere condolences to you Rosemary and to your great family.
    George and Kathy Ferguson
  • May 18, 2020
    I'm so sorry to hear of Dick's passing....my condolences to all of the family and especially Rosemary. Dick was always so nice to work with and always had time to talk about his love of the winery and his family. Many memories will keep him in your hearts forever....Corinne Dykeman
  • May 18, 2020
    Such wonderful words to describe an amazing gentleman in our community. What a legacy he has left behind - you all do him proud. Daphne
  • May 18, 2020
    Mrs. Stewart, Ben and all family members,
    My sincere condolences to all of you. Mr. Stewart was an honourable man. Our community is so much better because of him.
    Marion Bremner
  • May 18, 2020
    On behalf of the Board a of Directors and staff at the Central Okanagan Foundation, our deepest condolences to the Stewart Family.
    Dick clearly was a visionary; seeing what a community could and should be. We are grateful for the tireless efforts and dedication to the community and the Foundation - a legacy that lives on.
    David Knapp, Executive Director
    Central Okanagan Foundation
  • May 17, 2020
    Dick was a modest man who’s hard work, foresight and commitment has made the Okanagan a better place. Many fond memories of our family’s growing up. The four Stewart children and four Ensign children have an an enduring friendship because of it to this day. God bless!
    Rusty
  • May 17, 2020
    Condolences to all of the Steward family, Dick was a man with strength of character & integrity, he helped his community become a better place.
    Pete & Pat Steeves.
  • May 17, 2020
    Rosemary & family: Our heartfelt condolences to you all-- Dick was a wonderful friend to our families. We remember being picked up by the two of you for skiing and work parties at the Black Mountain hill in the 'fifties -- you were our newly-wed neighbours!
    Pat & Chris Finch
  • May 16, 2020
    Rosemary, Ben and family
    Our deepest condolences to you all in the passing of your husband and father.
    We have many memories of our happy and friendly tennis matches on the desert
    in years gone by.
    Dick will be truly missed.
    David and Barbara Logie
  • May 16, 2020

    Dick was a friend for some 75 years ,from fraternity brother at UBC in the 40's to Friday old boys lunches at the Bunkhouse , where he held court with wit and humor. He will be missed by many . Our thoughts are with Rosemary and family. Doug Fraser
  • May 16, 2020
    To Rosemary, Ben, Claudia, Andrea and Tony -
    Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to you all at this time.
    Rest in Peace - Dick Stewart
    John Pritchard
  • May 16, 2020
    Rosemary, Cynthia, Andrea, Ben and Tony
    My sincere condolences to you on the passing of your husband and dad! Another great one gone!
    Darlene Ramsay
  • May 15, 2020
    Rosemary and family,
    The rich tapestry of Dick's life was woven around his family and his community. He gave so willingly and leaves a deep footprint in our hearts. With blessings to you, Gail Plecash
  • May 15, 2020
    Sincerest condolences to your Mom and to you Tony and your family and your brother and sisters. Hold on to fond memories of your Dad and stay strong for everyone else.
    Mark Filipiak
  • May 15, 2020
    We are saddened by the news. Condolences to the family from us as residents in Sunnyside and as wine tour operators, Deb & Jim Harris
  • May 15, 2020
    I golfed with Dick in our Saturday group for 30 years and found him a gentleman and a pleasure to know. our condolences to Rosemary and family RIP Marie and Barrie Black
  • May 15, 2020
    Andrea and the rest of the Stewart family, we are so sorry to hear about your Dad. Our fondest memory of him was during the big fire when he talked his way past the lines and went to make sure all our properties were ok. Only Mr. Stewart could get away with that!
    Warren & Tracy
  • May 15, 2020
    Rosemary, Ben,Tony and all the rest of the family, my deepest sympathy to you at this loss. Many great memories around “nooners” hijinks and political battles...he was a great gentleman. Wishing you comfort and peace in memories of your times together.
    Mickey Patryluk
  • May 15, 2020
    To all the Stewart family I wish to send condolences to you all at this sad time. You will all be in our thoughts today. Sending Love and Light from all your Stewart cousins in Ireland. Xx
  • May 14, 2020
    To All The Stewart Family
    As you remember your loved one..the memories becomes treasures that you'll hold in your hearts forever.
    With our condolences
    Tino & Shellie Zuccato
  • May 14, 2020
    I arrived in Kelowna in 1968 when Dick was on the Council for the City of Kelowna. I dealt with him on many significant projects. I admired him greatly, and asked him repeatedly why he didn't stand for mayor. He replied that his plate was too full. He would have made a terrific mayor. He was a natural leader. This valley and Kelowna is because of the commitment to this community by a few men like Dick. He will always remain in my thoughts. Rosemary and family, my sincere condolences.
    Robert Turik
  • May 14, 2020
    Sorry to hear about the passing of your dad, Andrea. Love Dani (LaFleche) Wade
  • May 14, 2020
    To Cynthia and Scott, and the Stewart family, my sincerest condolences. Although I had not had the pleasure of meeting Dick, he sounds like a phenomenal person. The loss of a loved one is always hard and especially in these difficult times.
    Take care of yourselves,
    Louise Fenez
    (BCHBC)
  • May 14, 2020
    I new Dick from 1972, he was very gracious to my family and I. It’s a sad loss and my deepest condolences to the Stewart family.
    Sincerely, Avtar Jhaj
  • May 14, 2020
    Rosemary, Ben,Tony and family,
    Our condolences to you on the loss of Dick.
    He was a great man and a wonderfull neighbour to us over many years.
    Wally and Mary Anne Day
  • May 14, 2020
    Rosemary and family, so sorry for your loss. We have known the Stewart family for a long time and remember you when you worked at Chapman's!! Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Dean and Mary Miller
  • May 14, 2020
    Our sincere condolences to the Stewart family. Hugs to all of you.
    Dana Harris & Dean Bertram
  • May 14, 2020
    We send out sincere condolences to the Stewart family in the passing of their father Richard.
    Meena and Paul Cleland
  • May 14, 2020
    Dear Stewart Family,
    Wishing you peace & strength as you work through this great loss. My condolences.
    Sincerely,
    Darlene Bottomley
  • May 14, 2020
    Sending our sincere condolences to the Stewart family. We remember Dick as someone who always had time to say hello and have a chat, during our time at Quails Gate. May he rest in peace.
    Jane Hatch and Warwick Shaw
  • May 14, 2020
    Rosemary and Mr.Stewart were an amazing team.
    Together they built a successful family that continues to demonstrate love and loyalty.
    There is a special Quails Gate wine dedicated to Rosemary and Dick celebrating their success in the highly competitive wine industry.
    The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are blessed to have had Mr. Stewart as a Dad and Granddad.
    We remember him with fondness. He always had a gentle smile and a twinkle in his eyes.
    He will be missed.
    Sending hugs and love to you all.
    The Heffernan Family
  • May 14, 2020
    Condolences to the family in the loss of a truly great man who remains alive in the memories of so many.
    Wendy and David Rooke
  • May 14, 2020
    My condolences to you all. Hold the memories close.
    Carol Brown
  • May 14, 2020
    Condolences to the family.
    I would see Dick often at the Kelowna Golf Club where he and Bill B. played a lot of tennis. Dick was an important local business figure but always had time to stop and talk to acquaintances like myself. RIP Dick.
    Mike F
  • May 14, 2020
    Dick was a good guy. Lots of golf trips and Gin games with Dick .
    Ron G.
  • May 14, 2020
    Sending our condolences to everyone. He was such a wonderful man in every way.
    Big hugs, Marlie and Ken
  • May 14, 2020
    The memories of growing up and the dinner parties and events and the laughter. All still bring a smile to my face and heart. My condolences to you all. I know Miriam and Robin are part of that group ready to continue the laughter.
    Philippa Wynn-Williams
  • May 14, 2020
    Our condolences to the whole family . We can only imagine how many lives he had such a positive impact on . Such a wonderful man , fortunate were those who called him Dad or Grandpa . Sending love , Graham and Kelly Todd
  • May 14, 2020
    To the wonderful Stewart family, so sorry for your loss. A life well lived leaving a real impact on our beautiful valley. Cam and Patty McIntosh
  • May 14, 2020
    To the Stewart family. Dick was a true gentleman who did much for Kelowna and BC. I had the pleasure of being on his Board Of Directors for the BC Summer Games in 1980. He was great to work with and was responsible for the games being such a success. He will be missed by many.
    Stan Morgan ( Transportation Director)
  • May 14, 2020
    Mr.Stewart truly a statesman , visionary and a genuine real person . Our families have known each other decades and he served with my father (Val Rampone)on the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board of Directors he always wanted the best for the Central Okanagan. Dick and his family gave a lot of our relatives from Italy a start in Canada by giving them employment in the nursery and for that a big thanks is deserved .
    He will be missed and he made the Central Okanagan a better place to live
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you
    Domenic and Lina Rampone
  • May 14, 2020
    Sending my sincere condolences to the Stewart family.
    Lillian Sokil
  • May 14, 2020
    My sincerest condolences to all of the Stewart family. Dick was such a wonderful person, as I remember many found memories of his visits to my garage. Great memories from a great man.
    Daryl and Dee Utigard
  • May 14, 2020
    Tony and the Stewart family,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. He was a great man and loved by all. Keep your memories close as they will get you through. Much love,
    Colleen Wilhelm Richardson
  • May 14, 2020
    We knew Dick for only a short time. Long enough though to know what a wonderful man he was. The grief that fills your heart today will fade and once again will be filled with love and wonderful memories. Our condolences.
    May, Ann and family
  • May 14, 2020
    To the Stewart family..My condolences to all of you.
    lisa Ismond
  • May 14, 2020
    to all of the Stewart family my condolences Don Favell
  • May 13, 2020
    What a wonderful legacy of Love and respect for family and community. My sincere condolences to the Stewart Family.
    Maureen Brown
  • May 13, 2020
    Sending our sincere condolences.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you .
    Green Bay Property Owners Association
  • May 13, 2020
    Grief is the last act of love we have to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.
    It was a pleasure to be able to get to know Dick in the last few years of his life. He always had such a witty sense of humour and I learned a lot from him. Getting to know your family was truly a blessing.
    My condolences to you Rosemary and Family.
    Karlie (VMC RCA)
  • May 13, 2020
    Our condolences to Rosemary and the Stewart Family at this time. Dick helped lay so much of the foundation for the thriving city Kelowna is today. Simply put, he is an icon of the Central Okanagan. May we do well by his example. Tyson Russell
  • May 13, 2020
    My deepest condolences to the Stewart family. RIP Dick.
    Darren McClelland
  • May 13, 2020
    I'm so sorry, Rosemary.
    Marg. (Horn) Whitbread
  • May 13, 2020
    Rosemary, Ben, Tony and all family members.
    Condolences to all of you but now the suffering is over. I'm sure the greeters will toast his arrival and maybe even discuss the state of the union. I'm sure a special vintage will grace a label in the future.
    RIP Richard
    David Langton
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