Stuart J. Stewart, known professionally as S. Jay Stewart, 82, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home in Naples, FL with his wife of 60 years and children by his side on February 6, 2021 after a brief illness unrelated to the pandemic.
Jay was born in 1938 to Virgil H. and Lena R. Stewart in Pineville, WV. In 1961, he married Judith Ann (nee Daniels) in Charleston, WV and together they raised three children. Jay earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Cincinnati in 1961, followed by an M.B.A. from West Virginia University in 1966. During his distinguished career, Jay and his family crisscrossed the country, living in several states including West Virginia, Ohio, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. During retirement, Jay and Judy relocated from Chicago to Naples where they lived at Le Rivage and later Moorings Park.
Jay’s extraordinary career began in 1961 at Monsanto Company, where he held various engineering, manufacturing and marketing positions. In 1973, Jay left Monsanto to join Ventron, a division of Thiokol Corporation, ultimately serving as its President. In 1979, he was promoted to President of Dynachem Corporation, another subsidiary of Thiokol. In 1982, Jay was named Group Vice President, Chemicals of Thiokol. He continued in this role when Morton-Norwich Products, Inc. (known for Morton Salt) acquired Thiokol in 1983, thereby creating Morton Thiokol, Inc. In 1986, Jay was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Morton Thiokol. He continued in this position after the company was renamed Morton International, Inc. and in 1994, he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of this Fortune 500 Company. In 1997, Jay was a founder in the formation of Autoliv, Inc., when Morton International’s Automotive Safety Products Division merged with the Swedish company Autoliv AB. In 1999, Rohm and Haas Company acquired Morton International, at which time Jay became Vice Chairman of Rohm and Haas until he retired that same year.
Jay served on the Board of Directors of several companies including: KapStone Paper & Packaging Corporation; Autoliv, Inc.; HSBC North American Holdings, Inc.; Household International, Inc.; Burns International Services Corporation; Box USA, Inc.; Rohm and Haas Company; Morton International, Inc. and Morton Thiokol, Inc.
In Chicago, Jay was a Life Trustee of Rush University Medical Center and a Trustee of the Museum of Science and Industry. Jay was a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Cincinnati Foundation and the university honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of engineering.
A kind and generous man, Jay will be lovingly remembered by his wife Judy; his children Julie (Jeffrey) Wallen of San Antonio, TX, Jennifer (Brian) O’Hara of Palos Park, IL and Steven (Lynn) Stewart of Belvedere, CA; his grandchildren Alexander, Carter and Sophia Wallen, Patrick and Eamon O’Hara and Lindsay Stewart; his two sisters JoAnn Stoops of Pittsburgh, PA and Nancy Belcher of Athens, WV; and numerous other family members and friends. Jay was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil and Lena, and his brother, James.
Jay’s family will hold a private Celebration of Life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to support Rush University Medical Center at Rush Office of Philanthropy, 28057 Network Place, Chicago, IL 60673-1280 or visit http://rush.convio.net/JStewart. Donations may also be made to the Museum of Science and Industry, Attn: Christie Hoyt, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637-2093.
The family would like to thank Avow Hospice Services and the Moorings Park Home Health Agency for their compassionate care and assistance.
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