ALBANY, NY- Alan Fraser Stewart, 77, of Wilmington, VT and formerly of Pelham, MA, died of complications after a fall on Thursday, July 26, at the Albany Medical Center.
Mr. Stewart was born on September 19, 1940, in Windermere, England, the eldest son of Violet and William Stewart. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at the University of Nottingham, he emigrated to the United States in 1965, first to Philadelphia before settling in Pelham in 1969, and there earned his MBA from Western New England College. While in Philadelphia he met and later married Gudrun Lichtner.
Mr. Stewart worked in executive positions for several firms in the paper coating industry in quality control, manufacturing, and in sales and business development. He founded his own company, Digital Imaging International, and became the senior director of business development for Sihl AG, in Zurich, Switzerland.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Stewart leaves behind a son Alex and his wife Michelle, and their son Axel, in Tempe, AZ, son Christopher and his wife Katrin, in Zurich, and son Erik and his wife Valerie, and their sons Brian and Sean, in Palo Alto, CA; brother Robert, in India, and brother John and sister Jennifer, both in England.
Mr. Stewart was a trustee of the Common School in Amherst, MA, and served as its first development director. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart moved to Wilmington, VT, in 2000, where he played a central role in re-establishing mooring rights for the Windham Sailing Club on the Harriman Reservoir, and was a member of the Whitingham-Halifax Lions Club.
Mr. Stewart witnessed firsthand the acute problem of hunger in his community. This moved him to increase his involvement in the Lions, substantially expanding support for those in need as well as the size and reach of the club.
Mr. and Mrs. Stewart enjoyed hiking together in the southwestern United States and in the Alps, especially in the Dolomites, and they relished taking local hikes with their neighbors and friends.
Mr. Stewart’s love of music is legendary. He once managed a rock and roll band, enjoyed listening to The Talking Heads turned up loud, sang regularly with the Brattleboro Concert Choir and the Pioneer Valley Chorus, and he also loved singing at home with friends.
He and his wife enjoyed many varieties of classical music as well, especially at the Marlboro Music Festival and on their annual pilgrimage to listen to opera in Berlin.
Mr. Stewart worked for political change his whole adult life, in the hope of bringing greater social justice to his community. More generally, he brought an engaging and infectious passion to his work, family, friendships, and avocations. He was well known for his laugh, sharp wit, and his warmth.
Funeral arrangements are private. In lieu of flowers donations to honor Mr. Stewart may be made to the Whitingham-Halifax Lions Club, PO Box 367, Jacksonville, VT 05342 or to the Brattleboro Music Center, 72 Blanche Moyse Way, Brattleboro, VT 05304.