VENICE, FL - William LeRoy Stewart, 81, husband of Debora M. (Clark) Stewart, died July 26, 2014, at a Bangor hospital after a brief illness. He was born Sept. 29, 1932, on a small farm in Linneus, ME, the son of Melvin and Respa (Byron) Stewart. After graduation from high school Bill joined the United States Air Force at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi and there began to teach electronics to the new recruits. In 1957 he went to work at IBM in the Boston area and lived in Easton, MA until 1990 before retiring to Venice, FL. During his career he saw the advancement of the computer from its infancy to worldwide use. He was there at Cape Canaveral during the initial space programs and interacted with the original astronauts. Later years Bill supported the main frames for all the major hospitals in the Boston area. During that same time he helped establish the use of barcoding with store registers with the Jordan Marsh and Filenes corporations. As the computer grew he grew with it starting in hardware and moving on developing software. He was involved in writing the initial software program for the first Massachusetts State Lottery. Later in his career Bill became a Tech Specialist for IBM and mentored new employees. In that time he would be asked to give lectures or as he called them "road and pony shows" to inner city kids, inviting them to consider a career in computers. Bill enjoyed instilling hope by telling them of his humble beginnings.
During his retirement years Bill volunteered his time maintaining the facilities of the First Baptist Church of Venice, FL and also with FEMA during recent major disasters working within the base camps helping to maintain the chainsaw equipment.
For all those who knew him, Bill was a colorful personality who enjoyed lending a helpful hand when needed and when possible providing a quick witty retort.
In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his first wife Carol A. (Hutchinson) Stewart and is survived by wife Debora; a son, William Hal Stewart of Chelsea, MA; a daughter and son-in-law Darlene M. and Daniel L. McNeel of Londonderry, NH; a granddaughter, Allison M. McNeel and a grandson Ryan S. McNeel, both of Londonderry, NH; a sister, Susan O. Stewart of New Limerick, ME; a stepson, Greg Beal and family of Gorham, ME; a stepson, Chris Beal and family of Concord, NH and several cousins.
Private services will be held at Dahlborg-MacNevin Funeral Home in Brockton, MA on August 1 followed by a public committal service at the South Easton Cemetery at 12 p.m. with Pastor Jamie Gardner officiating. Gifts in his memory may be made to the Shiretown Baptist Church, Houlton, ME. Arrangements are in the care of Dahlborg-MacNevin Funeral Home.