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: Doug Stuart dies at age 85  ( 394 )
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« : April 06, 2023, 03:03:15 PM »

Fairfax, VT - Douglas E. Stuart, age 85, passed away on Sunday April 2, 2023, surrounded by his family at the Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans after a brief illness.

He was born in the house his father built, in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 6th, 1938 to the late Robert and Ruth Stuart. The house was part of their small family farm worked with his grandfather and grandmother, Hugh and Charlotte. His childhood was filled with caring for chickens, pigs, and helping tend to over 30 beehives. He attended both middle school and high school in the area competing in cross country running while being an “average” student. One of his favorite stories for his children and grandchildren: school was about 2 miles from home and the daily walk or bike ride was uphill, both ways, and his parents never drove him to school!!

After graduating high school, he attended Purdue University studying engineering and was a proud member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. It was at Purdue where he met his future wife, Ruth. They married shortly after graduation in 1960. His first adult job was working at Hein-Werner designing hydraulic jacks and lifts. It was during those 5 years he earned the first of several U.S. patents, with a coworker for an air jack design. In the summer of 1968, he took a job in Vermont at Simmonds Precision in Vergennes, with the draw of winter skiing as a primary factor. The move turned out to be one of his best decisions as he loved working at Simmonds for over 25 years. While at Simmonds, he and his immediate colleagues earned three additional patents tied to aircraft fuel measurement. He also traveled the world for work registering just shy of 1 million flying miles to countries like Japan, Norway, Germany, Brazil, and Great Britain.

Before retiring in 1993, family time included skiing every winter at the Middlebury Snow Bowl, summers in South Hero on Lake Champlain, water skiing, and carting his three children to all their activities. Retirement enabled him to pursue several lifelong passions including skiing (Sugarbush and Smuggs), boating, riding his motorcycle, traveling in the RV, and developing a deep knowledge of the Civil War. He and Ruth saw most of the country in the RV including Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and all major Civil War battlefields. Doug was an active and lifelong member of the Lions Club and helped maintain enough of the VAST Trail System that they named a bridge after him just last year. Recently, Doug reduced his RV travel schedule but decided it was a good time to pick up a Honda scooter. He really enjoyed the scooter in particular for achieving just shy of 100mpg, feeding his penchant for frugality. Active to the very end, he enjoyed several days of skiing this past winter with the last coming just 10 days before his death.

Doug is survived by his three children sons James (Mary Jo) of Marquette, MI, Michael (Missy) of Essex Junction, VT, and daughter Holly (Christopher) of Fairfax, VT; three grandchildren, Alden and Charlotte Stuart of S. Burlington, VT, and Quinn Mewhirter of Fairfax, VT, and his sister Mary of Wisconsin. He was predeceased by his loving wife Ruth in March 2020, and brother Richard of California.

The family would like to thank the staff at Northwestern Medical, in particular nurse Shannon, Dr. Kaplan, and “Dr Amy” for their compassion and guidance.

Honoring his request, a celebration of life is being planned for May. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Lions Club, mailed to the Georgia Lions Club c/o President Lyle Remick, 26 Decker Road, Georgia, VT, 05468.
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