Our family was not expecting for James’s life end so soon. We are all devastated by this huge loss, and he will be forever missed. He was born with a naturally sweet and kind soul, a playfully mischievous nature, and a heart of gold.
From an early age James showed his love and caring for not only his brother but any younger children he might meet. Because he was a big kid at heart, his nieces, nephews, cousins, stepbrothers & sisters adored him along with the children of his close friends. He was known for his friendliness and never hesitated to let people know that he loved them.
He was also a die-hard Steelers fan and never missed an opportunity to tell of the exploits of “Big Ben” and the team. He worked hard as a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and loved his job and the people he worked with.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Gina, sister Emily, paternal & maternal grandparents, Ann T. Stewart, James Briggs, Steve Hyta, Sharon Gayton, uncles Peter, Paul, & Chris Stewart, Mark Murphy.
James is survived by his father Jeff Stewart, brother George Stewart (Marie), aunts Suzanne Stewart (Peter), Julianna (Paul), Lisa Murphy numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Affectionately known as Bunky, a nickname known only to a small group of family & friends, as a child, he spent the first year of his life in Tucson and then Dallas, Texas. In Dallas, James played with Danny White’s (Cowboy’s quarterback at the time) children and wore a Dallas Cowboys jacket, as an adult he blocked it from his memory and cringed at the sight of a picture of himself in it. Why? He was a fan of the Pittsburg Steelers and “Big Ben” (Ben Roethlisberger). When the steelers were playing, James was watching.
He and his family moved to California for a brief time where they met their estranged grandfather and his family and then back to Arizona, settling in Catalina where he and his brother attended Coronado Elementary School. There they were recognized as above average and placed in the “gifted children” program. Catalina was small and only called a town because someone did. It had a Circle K, few shops and couple restaurants and out on Oracle highway, it was remote. James and his brother, George, found ways to entertain themselves, often out in the desert just as their father had, as a child. The two were inseparable, except when in separate corners. Many summers would be spent in California with their aunt Lisa & her husband Mark, grandfather Steve, Uncle Phil, and cousins. Time passed and they found themselves in Las Vegas where their father was working. Several months later their father’s former employer made an offer, he could not refuse, and it was back to Tucson. James attended Rogers Elementary, Vail Junior High, Rincon & Flowing Wells High Schools.
James was known for being incredibly enthusiastic about his work as a personal trainer. He attained several national accreditations and worked for a couple of decades at “24 Hour Fitness” in the Oceanside area. James became holistic in his training and delved into nutritional studies as well. There he met the love of his life, Adrienne, also a personal trainer. The two sons that they were blessed with, Max and Marcus, became the focus of James’ life. Again, his natural ability to relate to children blossomed forth and they brought him the most joy of all his life experiences.
Years later James would again claim Tucson as home. While working as a personal trainer James was exposed to many facets of physical fitness and exercise. One day he decided to get a bike and ride, something he had done since childhood. He dove into it and was soon training for races and educating himself about that field. He took to riding whenever he could and using his car only when he had to. He met several people with similar interests and found the encouragement and information that led him to competing in the “El Tour de Tucson,” an annual internationally attended race, he completed several times. As with most people, James’ life cannot be completely or adequately covered in an obituary, suffice to say his life positively impacted hundreds and hundreds of people.
A Memorial Service will take place at 1pm on Sunday the 13th of November at the San Pedro Chapel, 5230 E. Ft. Lowell Road, Tucson, AZ 85712. Fellowship and food to follow.
Please RSVP by Thursday at firstname.lastname@example.org. Flowers may be sent to the chapel Saturday or Sunday before 10am. To coordinate delivery have florist call 520-318-0219, Chapel coordinator.