It broke my heart to find out last night that my grandad passed away in the early hours of the morning on October 9, in New Zealand. I’m pretty sure in the future I will never forget the moment I heard of my grandfathers death – I was sitting in a frozen yoghurt store with 2 of my friends, just having been to a Hanson concert, when my mum called to break the news. I broke into sobs and probably caused a scene, but I didn’t really notice what was going on around me.
My grandad was an amazing man. He was a businessman, he was a family man. He had four children, twelve grandchildren and a wife who loved him very much. He always made me laugh, and I have so many great memories of him.
When I was younger I used to go and stay at my Grandparents big house in Wanganui right next to Virginia Lake, and every day we would walk to Virginia Lake to feed the ducks. Grandad liked to walk around the lake, and we would walk with him. I remember being at my grandparents house with Dad, and Dad and Grandad used to get into heated conversations, usually about business, in their loud voices. Grandad knew so much about so much (I think that’s where Dad got it from).
Grandad owned many businesses, and is well-known in Wanganui as a businessman. I have so many memories of the Midtown Motor Inn, where even after “retiring” my grandparents would be every day, washing, drying and folding the sheets in the laundry. When I think of my grandparents I always think of the huge smile on Grandad’s face when someone would drop us off to visit at the motel, and I would pop into the laundry. I think of pulling those big, hot, freshly cleaned sheets out of the huge industrial dryers, and helping Grandma and Grandad fold them.
Although Alzheimers took Grandad, as we knew him, from us before today, I will always remember him as a happy, loving, jovial man who liked grapefruit for breakfast, always used a linen napkin, and let us put peanut butter on our apples.
I love you Grandad, and will always miss you. Thank you for being the head of the amazing Stewart family. You are free now.
Earle Brian Stewart
3 April 1930 – 9 October 2011
May he Rest in Peace.