Dr. John Stewart — Jack — has passed away

Jack Stewart passed away today.

Jack was infinitely helpful with the writing of the biography of his father, George R. Stewart.   He shared his memories in great detail, and (like his sister Jill Stewart Evenson), brought life into the book.)

Jack once said that it was hard to be the son of George R. Stewart.  He felt overpowered by his father’s ability to research and write works that helped define the twentieth century by popularizing the ecological view of human affairs decades before anyone else did so.

Yet Jack was as accomplished in the same general field, if in a more focused way:  Jack was THE USGS “Man” for Nevada.  He produced the USGS map of Nevada, and wrote the book that accompanied it.    Jack also helped his father with the research and photography for Fire, US 40 and Sheep Rock; so he is also an unsung hero in the work of George R. Stewart.

The incident which most shows how George R. Stewart felt about Jack is in the great classic, Earth Abides.   At the moving conclusion of the novelThe Hammer of Ish2 copy (which was dedicated to Jill), Ish, the human hero passes his hammer – symbol of power and leadership – to his descendant Jack.

There was a real hammer.  Jack inherited it.  So, in the real world as well as George R. Stewart’s world-changing book, Jack became the keeper of the Hammer of Ish.

One of my goals in writing the GRS biography was to produce a book that Jack  would feel did justice to his father, and the family.  He did get to see and read the book, enjoyed it, and bought copies to share with friends.  That is perhaps my greatest satisfaction from the entire project.

If you are so inclined, and find a moment to do so, please send some positive thoughts toward Jack, and his family.

Don Scott

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