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Canadian Legend Bert Stewart Passes

It’s with great sadness me share the passing of Bert Stewart. From his first 4-H club project more than 60 years ago, Bert Stewart has dedicated his life to 4-H, youth and leadership. World renowned as Canada’s pioneer in preparing and exhibiting dairy cattle, Bert’s vision, initiative and commitment to leadership and the national 4-H organization has inspired generations of youth across Canada.

Reaction to the passing of this legend has poured in on social media:

  • Tom and I have had the great support of Bert for many years! Always happy to see us and share in our successes and always such a great voice of reason and opinion. This deeply saddens us but very thankful to have had called him friend. – Kelli Cull Budjon Farms
  • What a great loss. A true friend Always with the will to share his many experiences and knowledge. The breed has very close ties with this great person. – Claudio Aragon, Semex Brazil
  • Great show man he set standards for judging showmanship his work with 4H will long be remembered I’ve known Bert for 50+yrs a great competitor just a good guy. – Bob Brown
  • An amazing person who lived his life to mentor 4-H members. I know he helped me immensely during my show years. I won’t forget him and my sympathies go out to his family. – Karyn Daynard
  • Bert taught me how to show when I was 16…my first 4h calf Rock Ella Remake Goldie won a few places that year. Lorne Ella, I remember being at Ontario spring discovery in old Brampton fairgrounds and hed holler at me for getting her nose too high. Many years in barns in Halton county my heart raced giving reasons to him as my 4h leader. He was harsh with his criticism…but I learned a lot. He coached me for many years to follow.  :) rest in peace. Bill Edelstein will be happy to see you too. – Kerry Fraser 
  • I have spent the night thinking of Bert after seeing this. One thing keeps coming to mind, his desire to help others better themselves and the industry as a whole. From the first time one would meet Bert he was willing to help you become better at what you do. He had time for everyone and his conversations were about 4H kid or friends, very humble about his own life. Truly a competitor, yet a man who wanted you to do your best if he was on another team. The world needs more like Bert, so sad we lost a great one today. And yes Gary, I will miss those showbox mornings! – Richard Caverly

Peacefully, at the Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus, Ontario at the age of 85, surrounded by family, Bertram G.H. Stewart, beloved husband of the late of Hazel Stewart(2011) of Elora, formerly of Hornby, Ontario and loving father of their four children, Paul, Lynne (Jim Moore), Donna (Tom Dolson), and Kelly French & Jason French. Proud grandfather of Kristen (Scott Greenhill) & Adam (Erin) Dolson; Brian (Kim), Brent (Laura) & David (Alex) Moore, and Connor & Blaire French. He was blessed with great-grandchildren, Caden Greenhill, Evelyn Moore, Porter Moore and Andrew Dolson. Bertram was the seventh child of Ernie and Jennie Stewart of Bolton. Mourning his loss are his brothers Henry (Jean), Murray (Marnie), and his sister Dorothy (Lorne Paisley-deceased) He was predeceased by his brothers Andrew (Adele), R.J. (Betty-June), Hillard (Marguerite) and his sister Isobel(Elmer Russell). He was a loved brother-in-law to Hazel’s brothers and sisters: Mary (Bob Grant-deceased), Ruth (Russell Graham-both deceased), Laura (Ed Armstrong-both deceased), Gwen (David Armstong-both deceased), John Speirs (Helen) – both deceased and Ken Speirs – deceased (Lonna). He was also a great “Uncle Bert” to his many Stewart and Speirs nieces and nephews and their families.

Bertram has many accomplishments. He was inducted in the Agricultural Hall of Fame for Canada and into the Milton Walk of Fame as well. He has been credited with promoting Canada’s world leading dairy genetics winning both the Klussendorf Trophy in the United States and was made an Honourary Lifetime Governor of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. He judged the Royal Winter Fair five times and judged the World Dairy Expo seven times. Bertram travelled as he consulted and judged in the Dairy Industry and other events in 17 other countries around the world. He even led 16 Royal Winter Fair grand champions.

Youth and 4-H were very important to Bertram so he not only lead for over 60 years but became the President of the Canadian 4-H Council. He also coached the Ontario 4-H Dairy Judging Team for 30 years held at the World Dairy Expo. Bertram also actively coached softball, winning seven Ontario Championships. Curling was a favourite winter pastime for Bert winning numerous awards and he became President for the Milton Curling Club. The family would like to express their gratitude to the Fergus hospital staff for their unfailing kindness and exceptional care of Bertram during these last difficult weeks. We will never forget the love and concern shown to our family as well as our wonderful Dad. Also a sincere and special thank you to the many friends and relatives that went above the call – your generosity was overwhelming.

Visitation to be held at Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home, 280 St. David Street South, Fergus on Friday, February 23rd , 2018 from 1:00 – 4:00pm & 7:00 – 9:00pm & at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 325 St. George St. West, Fergus on Saturday, February 24th, 2018 from 10:00 to 10:45am. A Memorial Service will take place at the church beginning at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Bertram & Hazel Stewart 4-H Dairy Education Award and Bursary c/o Ontario 4-H.

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