MGen John Arthur Stewart CD, MASc, DEng, P Eng (Ret'd),
We regret to advise of the death of Major-General John Arthur Stewart CD, MASc, DEng, P Eng (Ret'd) in Kingston General Hospital just shy of his 84th birthday on 22 August 2015. Major General Stewart served as the Canadian Military Engineer Colonel Commandant from 1994 to 1997.
Major-General Stewart was born in Montreal, QC. He enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1949 at age 17, having already earned his Pilot License. He attended Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, followed by Royal Military College, Kingston, ON and Queen's University, Kingston where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1954.
Over his 37 years of service he lived, travelled and worked across the breadth of Canada, spent five years in Germany and Belgium, and circumnavigated the globe. Following his military flying training, General Stewart flew as an instructor at CFB Moose Jaw, SK. After this assignment he transferred to the Construction Engineering Branch of the RCAF and was posted to 2 Construction Maintenance Unit in Calgary, AB. In 1959 he returned to the Royal Military College to serve three years as a lecturer and, at the same time, he completed his Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering at Queen's University.
Between 1962 and 1973 Major-General Stewart served in a variety of engineering and staff positions including in the Canadian Air Division in Germany and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, in Mons,Belgium. He attended the Canadian Army Staff College in 1966-67 and, later, the National Defence College in 1973-74. Promoted to Colonel in 1973, he became the Director of Construction Engineering Control at National Defence Headquarters in 1974 and later was assigned to Air Command Headquarters as Deputy Chief of Staff Military Engineering. On promotion to Brigadier-General in 1978 he was named the Director General Quartering at National Defence Headquarters. In 1980 he was appointed Commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada and led the college through its introduction of female officer cadet students. In 1982 Major-General Stewart was appointed Chief of Construction and Properties. He retired from the Canadian Forces in 1986 as the Senior Serving Canadian Military Engineer.
After his retirement General Stewart became President of Guider Corporation. He also became very active with the Air Cadet Program - giving back to an organization that had launched him on his flying career. He also devoted considerable energy to the RMC Club of Canada and was eventually elected President. In recognition of his service, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from RMC in 1992, was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Military Engineers (1994 to 1997), and had a trophy at RMC named after him that is awarded annually to the top graduating Military Engineering Student from RMC.
A memorial service commemorating Major-General Stewart's life will be held at Currie Hall, Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario on 12 September 2015 at 1:00 pm. A reception at the RMC Senior Staff Mess will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Air Cadet League of Canada would be appreciated.