William Terry Stewart, age 77, of North Venice, FL passed away on Tuesday, Jan 5, 2021. He was born in Lebanon, Tennessee on July 18, 1943.
As a child, he was known for being a hard worker, very independent and a skilled and competitive athlete in any sport he played. Upon graduating from Gallatin High School in 1963 he went straight into the workforce.
He started in insurance, then moved to the food industry employed by Swift Foods where he worked his way from sales to upper management. In 1973, he changed industries trying his hand in real estate. He, and two friends, opened Brentwood Properties in Brentwood, TN. He would not only help others buy and sell their homes, but he also built several homes for his own family. In 1976, he returned to the food industry working with Rath Packing Company and was then VP of Sales for Bar S Foods. During this time, he and his family moved multiple times throughout Florida and North Carolina with his job eventually settling down in Winter Haven, FL. In 1984, he started his own company, Stewart Food Marketing. His company excelled in the food brokerage business. He was named Broker of the Year for Jones Dairy Farm, Ruiz Food Products, Chef’s Choice, and as their broker rep he was National Top Salesman for Smithfield Food Group. He called on Publix for 40 years where he had an impeccable reputation and created relationships which grew into lifelong friendships with his counterparts there. He was thrilled to have both of his sons work for him at Stewart Food Marketing at different times and felt very proud to have given them their base of skills and knowledge that he felt led to the successful careers they both currently have.
Terry met his late wife Patricia Ann Hunter Stewart in 1965 and fell madly in love. In less than three weeks they were married. He loved Pat and they were known for being a very close couple. They loved to entertain, which they did as a couple wining and dining his business associates as well as socially. They had met many couple friends in Tennessee and in Winter Haven that they created many fond memories with as they raised their children together. Pat and Terry were married for 42 years. He was a devoted husband always spoiling and doting on her especially during the difficult last years of her life.
Terry took an active role in any organization in which he participated. In Winter Haven, FL where he resided from 1978-2004 he was a member of the Elks Lodge, was an usher and devoted member of the Calvary Baptist Church, was an officer for many years and in 2002 presided as Commodore of Lake Region Golf and Country Club and he was a member of the board and/or president of the homeowners association everywhere he lived. Including his recent role as President of the Cappello HOA at the Venetian Golf Club.
Golf!!! Terry was an avid golfer. He loved golf! He had a 4 handicap. In 1986, his golf team won the National Championship in the 4th annual Oldsmobile Scramble. It was the World’s largest golf tournament drawing a record of 91,000 entrants that year. In 1987, he won the Little Mac Golf Tournament in New Smyrna Beach, FL. He hit a Hole-In-One at Lemon Bay Golf Club in Englewood, FL on hole number 2 on May 15, 2009. These are only a few of his golf victories which are too many to list. But those that played with him mostly remember that Terry loved talking about playing golf with Joe Namath at Seminole Country Club on several occasions!
Other hobbies he loved were going to the gym daily, riding his bike, going on Golfing and Casino vacations, playing Texas Hold ‘em with the guys, and cheering for the Florida Gators Football team!!! And Terry made the best BBQ you have ever tasted as well as the best Margaritas and mixed drinks! He was Mr. Hospitality with a huge personality!
In 2004, Terry and Pat moved to the West Coast of FL to be closer to their family. He brought his bigger than life personality with him. Pat passed away in 2007. Although devastated, Terry was able to move on to create another chapter in his life. His met new friends with whom to play golf and travel. And these last years have been filled with many exciting adventures and stories that aren’t for print. He loved living close to two of his granddaughters and was known to brag about them and his children often! He was so proud of his family!!!
He is survived by his two sons Brad Stewart of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Chris Stewart of Sarasota, FL; his brother Gary Stewart of Hendersonville, Tennessee and three granddaughters Savannah and Lilly Mae Stewart, and Quinn Stewart.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at Farley Funeral Home in Venice, FL from 1-1:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Riverview High School, 2452 Proctor Road, Sarasota, FL 34231 designated to the Cheer leading Team in support of his granddaughter Lilly Mae whom he loved so much.