Russell David Stewart died unexpectedly and tragically on February 14, 2021, in Slater, Ballard County, Kentucky. At 55 years of age, he was taken way too soon from his loving family, his many friends, his church, and his community.
Russell was born on February 19, 1965, in Paducah, Kentucky. For most all of his full and rich life, he lived in Ballard County, on the family farm in Slater. Russell graduated from Ballard Memorial High School in 1983 and from Murray State University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Business. At his death he was a Vice President in the Lending Office at First Kentucky Bank, Mayfield, Kentucky.
Nothing mattered more to Russell than his family, which is well-known and highly regarded in the area. His mother and his sister lived nearby to Russell, just down the country road named after his family. Characteristically, Russell was on his way to help a family member in need when a patch of icy road took him from those he knew and loved.
Even more special to him than his extended family were those who lived in the nest on Stewart Road woven by Russell and the love-of-his life Keri Ann. They first met in December 1984, when they ended up together at a midnight bowling party. That night Russell nearly bowled a perfect game, while Keri Ann scored a 28, setting a life-pattern in which opposites attracted and complemented each other. Within weeks, they were head-over-heels. They married in 1990, and in due course, their children Erin, William, and Weston brought new joys (and a few challenges!) to the Stewart home. For the 30 years that the Stewart family was granted together, there was never a finer husband, father, or man.
Russell was also a pillar of strength and commitment to his Lord. For more than 30 years, he served as an Elder at Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Gage, Kentucky, dedicated to the ministry of Jesus’ church. The old hymn poses the question—“Will there be any stars in my crown?”—and Russell Stewart’s life answered that with a resounding “Yes!”
A big part of Russell’s life was filled with the joy he took in making and sharing music. From his early years, he took to the piano and throughout his life he made that instrument sing out in joy. For decades, he was the church pianist at Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian, always ready and willing to accompany the Junior Choir, a Christmas program, or whatever else needed a good-natured and highly accomplished pianist.
Beyond the musical bounds of his church, Russell was known for his work in southern gospel quartet music. For 38 years he provided the accompaniment and a fine harmony part for the highly renowned Gage Boys Quartet. Supremely talented, he also worked hard at his gift; he could always be relied upon to support another member of the quartet in case a musical line or a lyric was lost.
Russell Stewart is survived by his loving wife, Keri Ann Cockrell Stewart; his adoring children Erin Maggie Davis (and her husband Tanner Davis of Paducah, Kentucky), William David Stewart (and his partner Sydney Leigh—Russell’s “bonus daughter”—of Slater, Kentucky), and Weston Elliott Stewart (Slater, Kentucky); his mother, Gwen Stewart of Slater, Kentucky; his sister, Melissa Stewart (Slater, Kentucky); and his niece Miranda Coffman (and her husband Dylan Coffman) and his great niece Aubree Coffman and great nephews of Slater, Kentucky. He was preceded in death by his father, David E. Stewart of Slater, Kentucky; and his grandparents Gertrude and Orbrey Russell (Gage, Kentucky) and Maggie and Ollie Stewart of Slater, Kentucky.
Arrangements are being handled by Morrow Funeral Chapel in La Center, Kentucky. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church, with the funeral to follow at 2:00 p.m. Rev. Drew Gray will officiate and interment will follow at Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 12304 Wickliffe Road, Kevil, KY 42053.
We appreciate your help in maintaining state mandated Covid regulations. This includes wearing a mask and maintaining the minimum of 6 feet distancing in the church at all times.
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Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church
12304 Wickliffe Road, Kevil KY 42053