Jean Wootton Stewart
On March 28, 2019, Jean Stewart passed away in her home in Goodyear, AZ, at age 93. Jean was born October 7th, 1925, in Phoenix, to Burnice McDonald and Edgar A. Wootton. She attended Liberty Elementary, Buckeye High, Glendale Community College, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. Predeceased were her brothers Arden, Alfred, William, and Thomas Wootton, and her sisters Bonnie Ketcham and Charlotte Tamillo, and her husband Arthur J. Stewart. She is survived by sister Beverly Francis and brother Ted Wootton, sons Arthur Stewart, Ray Stewart and James Stewart, daughters Mary Boyd and Bonnie Lewis, and ex-husband Tom Ruth. She had ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Jean and her first husband, Arthur Stewart, moved to Northern Indiana where most of her children were born, returning to Goodyear to finish her schooling. She taught at the San Carlos Apache Reservation and at Dateland, AZ, before joining the Peace Corps (Philippines). She then retired to Goodyear, where she was an active volunteer, serving on the Board and as President for Buckeye Valley Literacy, which later expanded to the West Valley Literacy Association. Jean also co-founded Southwest Volunteer Services, attended and held offices in Estrella Toastmasters Club, was a committee member of the Maricopa County United Way, the Southwest Community Network, the Southwest Chamber of Commerce’s START program, and Leadership West. She also was a formative member and first President of Three Rivers Historical Society and was honored as a Grand Marshall of the 1999 Billy Moore Parade in Goodyear.
Jean studied art at Buckeye High School and Arizona State University, taught art in retirement, and created many art murals as a service for local civic groups, specializing in portraits. She married Tom Ruth and they traveled to many parts of the USA before moving to Prescott. She eventually returned to Goodyear, where she wrote her autobiography, “Jean’s Tapestry” in 2014. In 2015, she was honored by being selected as Southwest Community Network’s tenth annual “Humanitarian of the Year.” In 2019, Jean finished her final book, “Peace Corps @ 62.” Memorial services will be held at Thompson Funeral Chapel, 926 S. Litchfield Rd., Goodyear, on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Southwest Valley Literacy Association (swvalleyliteracy.org).