Roger “Coach Stew” Steward, 66, of Independence, passed away on January 13, 2021 at his home. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Ruskin Boy’s Track Program in care of Longview Funeral Home, 12700 S. Raytown Rd, KCMO 64149.
Roger Glen Steward was born on January 29, 1954 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Glen Edward and Waneta Belle (Roberts) Steward. The family moved frequently throughout Iowa and Nebraska during Roger’s childhood. He graduated from East High School in Des Moines, received his associate degree from the University of Nebraska, Kearney, where he also played football, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State University. Roger completed his student teaching at Grandview High School and did extensive study in Atlanta before returning to Grandview to begin his teaching and coaching career. It was at Grandview that Roger discovered his love of coaching, and during his time there the football team enjoyed great success. He then moved to Iowa, where he wrote a book chronicling 100 years of Iowa State football. Roger then moved back to Missouri, teaching and coaching at William Jewell College, Lawson High School, and Richmond High School before moving on to Ruskin High School, from which he ultimately retired. While at Ruskin he led a highly successful track program, but Coach Stew was also known for the things he did off the field for his players – whether it was helping them find the right college or helping them find the right shoes, he cared deeply for all of his students and team members and enjoyed keeping in touch with many of them through the years.
Outside of work, Roger enjoyed researching sports statistics, working on his family tree, and keeping track of his players’ careers. He and Sue, the love of his life whom he always called “Babe,” enjoyed shopping for antiques and collectibles, especially vintage ties. One of his greatest joys was spending time with family, especially his grandchildren and great granddaughter. He loved watching his grandkids participate in various activities including musicals, sports, and dance. Roger and Sue spent their summers camping, canoeing, and fishing with grandkids and in the winter months they enjoyed staying warm while watching football and funny movies.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Sue, of 30 years; children: Steve Shawhan (Julie), Angie Shawhan (Craig Alexander), Lauran Kurtz (Sean), Lisa Roberson (Bob), and Lauren Steward (Neil Roth); grandchildren: James and Erin Shawhan, Andrew, Tailer, and Devin Smith, Nick and Jessica Alexander, Jordan and Michael Noice, Hunter, Jaggar, and Stevie Kurtz, Tayler, Noah, Ethan, and Aiden Roberson, Lennon, Lyric, and Layne Roth; a great granddaughter, Arbor Jaymes Smith; and a sister, Kathy Steward.
Coach Stew touched the lives of many and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.