Joel Burt Stewart passed away peacefully on February 2, 2021 at his home surrounded by his children. He was born on January 20, 1934 to Lester Fay Stewart and Elsa Burt in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Joel graduated from South High School. He was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He faithfully served a mission in Brazil. He had a deep love for his Savior Jesus Christ and a testimony of His gospel. He enjoyed serving in various callings in the church and singing in the ward choir. He set an incredible example of Christ-like unconditional love in all aspects of his life and made friends everywhere he went.
After his church mission, Joel joined the Utah Air National Guard and enrolled at the University of Utah where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and teaching. He was a member of the Utah Utes Marching Band. It was there he met the girl of his dreams, Ardith Sharon Allen. They were married and sealed on August 18, 1960 in the Salt Lake Temple. Joel and Ardith had four sons and six daughters.
Joel worked for the Granite School District in several different elementary schools as a fourth, fifth and sixth grade teacher for the majority of his career. He also taught music and worked as a librarian. He was loved and adored by his students and colleagues.
He enjoyed fishing, gardening, painting, astronomy, photography, baking, electronics, and documentaries. He particularly loved genealogy and spent countless hours compiling family histories and assisting others. He loved listening to classical music and was a very talented baseball player with an incredible arm worthy of the major leagues. Above all, Joel enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He lovingly built a 1970s swing set that his grandchildren still swing on, a homemade hand-polished lens telescope that was used for countless star-viewing parties with his children, a home built-first on the block-big screen tv that he built with his son, and many other fun projects and activities that have left us with cherished memories.
On August 2nd, 1985, Joel’s wife Ardith passed away just six years after the birth of their tenth child. Joel tenderly cared for Ardith during her illness and he was determined to finish what he and Ardith had started. He put aside many of his hobbies and personal ambitions and embraced the quote that “no success can compensate for failure in the home”. There were school lunches to be made, parent-teacher conferences to attend, science fair projects to assist with (often sprung the night before), family nights to be held, sleepless nights to be had, and school papers to be typed (and sometimes written). He was his children’s school alarm clock, tutor, taxi driver, cheerleader, curfew enforcer, counselor, and chef. His handmade scones, pasta and bread, hot chocolate, homemade root beer, Saturday morning waffles, and lovingly made dinners will be missed. His gentle reminders to his children that a love for the Savior is most important will live on. He never failed to give his children the things they needed to help them succeed and he made numerous sacrifices every day on their behalf. He was very proud of their many accomplishments. Joel’s children feel there is no award or worldly accolade they could list here that could ever measure up to the accomplished arduous task of raising 10 successful children as a single father. “Dad, Mom taught us the importance of learning how to love, and you showed us how it’s done”.
Joel and his younger brother Kent were lifelong best friends. They enjoyed spending time together playing baseball, doing genealogy, eating out, and numerous other activities which resulted in many humorous stories of the two brothers’ antics.
He is survived by his ten children and spouses: Allen (Michele), Rosalie (Dave) Kiholm, Janeen Lundberg, Sharon, Bonnie, Reed (Carla), Ryan (Cindy), Carla (Aaron) Angelovic; Lynnette (Denny) Mack; Nathan (Nikki); nineteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren; brother: Kent (Pat) Stewart; and brother in-law: Brent (Linda) Allen.
We would like to thank the caring staff at the Millcreek Senior Center, who were an integral part of our Dad’s life in his later years. We would also like to thank the many wonderful caregivers from Brightstar Care, Right at Home, and Valeo Hospice for the loving care they provided to our father in his home over the last nine months.
A private family funeral service will be held Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at 11:00am at the Valley View 1st Ward, 3820 South 2000 East, where family can gather one hour prior to the service. Due to Covid regulations attendance at the funeral is by invitation only, however everyone is invited to watch the services online. To watch the funeral services go to Joel’s obituary page at HolbrookMortuary.com and scroll to the bottom of his obituary. The funeral will remain available to watch for 90 days.
Interment will take place at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.