Joan Stewart – A Tribute



Joan Stewart, one of our elders, died on the 5th of February.

Joan was born in Glasgow in November 1936 and was baptised in Greenbank Church on the 6th  April 1937 whilst  living  in  her  grandparents’  new  house   in  Hillview Drive.   Her  mother had  travelled   from  the Argentine  with Joan’s elder sisters, Peggy and Lillian, to ensure  Joan was born in Scotland.

Joan’s father, who worked as a quantity surveyor on the Argentine  railways, came home  on leave when she was a few months old and took the family back to live in a home  he had designed and built himself outside Buenos  Aires. Joan  spent  a happy  childhood growing  up  in the  Argentine  in what  was  very much  an outdoor life. She played  hockey and  badminton, went  swimming  and  camping and  enjoyed tap  dancing classes for many years.

Most of Joan’s schooling  took  place  in the  Argentine  although, when  she  came  back  to  stay  with  her grandparents during  the  school holidays, she was dismayed to discover that  it wasn’t the  school holidays in Scotland and she was sent to Eastwood Academy to continue her education.

Joan  and  her  family came  back  home  to  Scotland  in 1956  when  her  father  retired.  Joan’s first job  in Scotland   was  in  an  office  beside   her  sister,  Peggy,  who  was  working  for  Peacocks  in  the  Icelandic Consulate.  Joan moved  on to working with the Venezuelan Consulate  and in 1961 became the secretary  to the director  of Tharsis Sulphur and Copper  Company.    In all of these  jobs Joan was able to use her fluent Spanish skills, as was the case when she worked as a secretary  for Iberia Airlines. This helped with her love of travel as she was granted a free flight anywhere in the world every three  years.  Joan also worked  as an interpreter in the Director’s Box at Ibrox when  Rangers were playing Spanish teams  and as translator with the publisher Collins on their Spanish to English dictionary.

When Joan retired  at the age of 59 she pursued her hobbies of playing badminton, skiing, collecting  owls and  playing  Sudoku.  With her sister, Peggy,  she  also carried  out  voluntary  work for the  WRVS meals  on wheels service.  Her retirement also allowed her more time to share the duties  of looking after her mother, who lived with Peggy and herself.

Peggy  and  Joan  were  very close  to  their  sister  Lillian and  her  family and  after  Lillian’s untimely  death Peggy  and  Joan  became surrogate mothers to her children,  Stewart  and  Eileen, and  grannies to Eileen’s twins, Stewart and Blair. Joan and Peggy were always together and when Peggy died six years ago it was a source  of great  sadness for Joan and  she herself suffered  from a serious  illness. Thankfully she recovered well from  it and  was able  to  visit the  Argentine  three  more  times,  visit the  Holyland, and  much  to  her family’s consternation, buy a car and start driving again.

Joan’s faith  was important to  her  and  she  was ordained as an  elder  in Greenbank in 1998.   She was a faithful district elder right up to her death.   Joan was a loyal supporter of the  church  and  volunteered for many  duties.   She was a member of the  Guild, the  Walking Group  and  the  Film Club.  She was also the World Mission Council representative on the Kirk Session.

Joan  Stewart  was  a quietly  spoken,  kind, generous and  modest woman  who  couldn’t see  badness in anyone.    She  had  a strong  sense  of humour and  a twinkle  in her  eye.   We all have  our  own  special memories of Joan as she touched and enriched so many lives. Today we give thanks to God for the life and service of Joan Stewart  and we commend Stewart, Eileen and the wider family to the love and care of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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