Guelph W. Stuart, 89 Of Farmville Dies Sat., June 19

Published 10:44 am Tuesday, July 27, 2010

JULY 6 – Guelph Walter Stuart, 89, of Farmville, passed away on Saturday, June 19, 2010. He was born in 1921 in Ontario, Canada, and lived in New Jersey before retiring to Farmville.

Mr. Stuart grew up in Hoboken, NJ. He dropped out of high school during the Depression and worked on a fishing boat in Long Island Sound. Before joining the Army in World War II, he worked at the slide rule manufacturer Keuffel and Esser, constructing reticles for use in range finders and as a technician for Edwin Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation.

During World War II, Mr. Stuart served in the China-Burma-India Theater. He drove a “deuce and a half” across the famous Burma Road, and mapped southeastern Asia with the 21st photo reconnaissance squadron of the 14th Air Force. Before departing the United States, he used a three-day pass to marry Blanche Lois Richards in Georgia, with Army buddies serving as bridesmaids. Mrs. Stuart preceded Mr. Stuart in death in 1997.

After the war, Mr. Stuart completed high school and Jersey City State Teachers College, where he received a B.A.

He then worked many years as an elementary school teacher in Hoboken, NJ. As president of his local teachers union, he led a successful strike as a matter of principle. In court, the city attorney accused the teachers of striking because it was “chic.” Mr. Stuart explained that it should not be pronounced as “chick.” Mr. Stuart received a one-year probation sentence, but his probation officer never required him to report after assessing that he did not appear to be a career criminal.

He served as president of the Hoboken School Employees Credit Union, and still served as an advisor at the time of his death.

As a teacher, Mr. Stuart worked several second jobs, driving a Good Humor ice cream truck and working in a Pepsi Cola bottling plant. In the 1960's, he and his wife supported a foster family consisting of a widow and two young sons, living in a mountain village in Greece. The Stuarts' help allowed both boys to finish high school. One became a school teacher; the other, a police officer. Mr. and Mrs. Stuart visited the family throughout the years. Mr. Stuart's last trip to Greece was at Easter in 2005. The Stuarts were fond of animals and rescued several dogs, which were often named after First and Second Ladies.

His interests included traveling to Atlantic City to gamble and playing practical jokes on neighbors.

Mr. Stuart is survived by his son, Steven Walter Stuart and wife, Ellen Wilson; four children, David, Lillian, Audrey, and Yuri Stuart; sister-in-law, Catherine Stuart; and several nieces and nephews.

The family requests that donations be made to an animal humane society.

Shorter Funeral Home, Farmville, handled arrangements.