Joan Marie Stewart

Resident of Alameda

Joan M. Stewart of Alameda, passed away peacefully Monday afternoon, May 4, 2015, at Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland from complications related to cancer treatment. She left this world surrounded by her husband, Rod, and daughters, Deb and Sue.

Born Johanna Marie on Nov. 26, 1939, in Misericordia Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Joseph and Anna Werner (nee Klym), Joan was the second of two children. Following her parents’ deaths, Johanna was adopted by a cousin and raised primarily in Duluth, Minn. In 1962, Joan met her future husband while working in public relations for U.S. Steel where Rod was on a job assignment with RCA. On Dec. 4, 1962, Joan and Rod were married in Duluth, and they soon moved to St. Joseph, Mich. for Rod’s job with RCA. Rod later took a position in the area with Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Mich. 

During their more than 35 years in the St. Joseph area, Rod and Joan raised two daughters: Sue and Deb. Rod and Joan were active members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, each serving terms on the Vestry. Joan also taught Sunday school and served as editor of the church newsletter for several years. Joan was elected as the first-ever woman City Commissioner in St. Joseph, serving from 1981 to 1986. Joan was a successful area Realtor, becoming marketing partner with Dave Fister and later co-owner of Fister Better Homes & Gardens. She was awarded the President’s Cup by the S.W. Michigan Association of Realtors in recognition of her outstanding ethics.

After Rod’s retirement from Whirlpool, Rod, Joan and Deb moved to California in 1999. In 2007, Rod and Joan moved to San Diego to be near Sue who was assigned there with the Navy. 

In 2013, Rod and Joan moved with Sue to the East Bay. During her time in California, Joan was a Realtor; a member of the Order of Saint Luke; on several neighborhood watch committees; wrote the newsletter for Rod and Joan’s condo association in San Diego; continuously helped the homeless; and enjoyed going to San Diego Padre games and San Diego Symphony concerts. Joan was known for her caring heart; sense of humor; love of music and dancing; and outstanding Christmas cookies. She was a great spouse, mother, and friend, and will be missed by all.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Anna Werner; her brother Fred (Werner) Petersen; her adoptive parents Arne and Scheila Leskinen; her adoptive brother Fred Leskinen; her maternal grandparents, Fred and Mary Klym; her father-in-law Claude Stewart; her mother-in-law Eleanor Stewart; and her brother-in-law Andy Stewart.

She is survived by her husband Rod Stewart and daughter Sue Stewart of Alameda; her daughter Deb Stewart of Oak Park, Calif.; her adoptive brother Larry Leskinen of Ellsworth, Minn.; her adoptive sister Ann Bacon of Duluth; her brother-in law Bruce Stewart of Silver Lake, Calif.; her dog Jack and granddogs Daisey and Lucas; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 17, at 1:30 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave. in Alameda. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joan’s name to the Food Pantry program at Christ Episcopal Church.

Please visit to offer condolences or share a memory of Joan. For additional information, contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director, FDR-745. 

Alameda Funeral & Cremation Services 1415 Oak St., Alameda