STONEFORT — Dr. Kenneth D. Stewart, 80, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 11:36 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, in Parkway Manor.
He was born Sept. 4, 1932, in Moberly, Mo., to Ethel Mae (Wilson) and Kenneth Evans Stewart.
Kenneth graduated from Murphysboro High School in 1950 and SIU Carbondale in 1954. After a year’s graduate work, he joined the U.S. Army in 1955 and was sent to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He served one year as company clerk on Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. He was honorably discharged in 1958.
He married Jo Ann Heavener on Feb. 27, 1959, in Salem; she survives.
After working as office manager for Brown Shoe Co. in Caruthersville, Mo., he moved his family to California and was working as a chemist at Roma Winery when he decided to pursue his doctorate. He attended University of California, earning a doctorate in botany in 1968, and then accepted a position at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He retired from his position as a professor there in 1991 and relocated back to Illinois.
He is best known for his pioneering research on the evolution of algae. He published many scientific papers with his colleague, Dr. Karl Mattox. In 1976, they were jointly awarded the North American Darbaker Prize for their research in microscopical algae.
Dr. Stewart was most proud of being invited, jointly with Dr. Mattox, by the Royal Academy of Scientists in London in 1983 and to the XIV International Botanical Congress in Berlin in 1987 to present a paper during both events.
He was an avid bird watcher, a devoted gardener and a computer enthusiast.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three sons, Kenneth and Effie Stewart of Great Falls, Va., Anthony Stewart of Stonefort, and Samuel and Betsy Stewart of Charleston, S.C.; four grandchildren, Andrew and Jonathan of Great Falls, Va., and Lauren and Gabriel of Charleston, S.C.; and several nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
He will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Private services will be at a later date.
Blue Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.