We Remember

STEWART, Richard (Dick)

STEWART, Richard (Dick) passed away May 12, 2020 at the age of 94.

Dick Stewart, long time Kelowna businessman, received an invitation to an extraordinary long-term meeting today, which he has accepted with his usual grace and candor. Vacating his office here with us, he will be joining many old friends and family, who we understand await his arrival with a toast and a glass of Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir.

Born at Kelowna General Hospital on April 8, 1926, Dick was one of four children raised by Richard (Dick) and Mary (Whitworth) Stewart.

He grew up in a household which welcomed many into their midst including several of his father’s brothers, who left Ireland and lived with the family on the corner of Richter and Harvey Avenue, introducing the children to Irish blarney and a bit of colourful Gaelic. In later years, the family adopted cousin Bob Springer’s wife, Di and baby daughter, who came to live with them while Bob was overseas in the war. These early seeds of generosity and support were values Dick upheld his entire life.

Early on, Dick was introduced to the value of teamwork and strategic planning as a member of The Harvey Avenue Gang – a group of downtown Kelowna boys who entertained themselves by building rafts, swimming and biking through their childhood years.

A music lover, he sang in the Boys Choir at St. Michael’s and All Angels Church, performed in “Oklahoma” and taught his children to sing as he played the piano.

Dick also loved to pen and recite rhymes. As a member of the Kelowna High School Student Council, he initiated the ‘Clean Up Campaign’, and convinced his classmates to adopt his slogan “Lift Your Litter, Keep the School Fitter”.

He was a dedicated scholar, graduating from KHS with the Major, Minor and Academic Awards. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Armed Forces, but the war soon ended and he was discharged. Ready for another adventure, he headed off to UBC in his father’s Hudson with brother Jim and dear friend, Dave Leckie, graduating with a double major in Agriculture and Commerce.

Dick returned home to work in his father’s business, Stewart Brothers Nursery, for the next ten years. At the time, the nursery was still using horses and plows to plant their tree Brothers stock. Although he fondly recalled helping to clear pine trees off the property with sticks of TNT, Dick had some more contemporary ideas he wanted to pursue.

The nursery often shipped trees through Chapman’s Trucking and there was a pretty, auburn haired girl who worked there. Nearly ten years her senior, Dick worked hard to convince Dave Chapman to introduce him to Rosemary Boswell. Eventually, he captured her heart and hand and they married in 1956, raising four children together.

That same year, he travelled with his father to Penticton to successfully negotiate a deal with Halpen Moffat on the old Alison Ranch property on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna. With a keen interest in grape growing, he began to plant experimental grape varieties at the site which eventually opened as Quails’ Gate Estate Winery in 1989.

Dick was proud of his heritage, his community, his family and his business. He considered the staff at Quails’ Gate his extended family and loved to wander through the vineyards, offices, restaurant and wine shop visiting with them and chatting with customers. He was never afraid of new ideas and believed in putting his ‘nose to the grindstone and his shoulder to the wheel’.

He also believed ‘if you know who you are, you will know where you are going.’ An avid traveler, he proudly walked on the Great Wall of China for his 88th birthday, yet no matter how far he went, he always loved to come home.

He loved to water and snow ski, enjoyed tennis and especially golf with many friends. We understand a tee time at The Cloud Nine Golf Course has been arranged by his grandson Andrew, who is awaiting his arrival with his clubs polished and ready.

Dick loved his hometown and felt a deep responsibility to community service, building quite a roster in his lifetime:

  • Councilor, City of Kelowna 1968-1972
  • BC Grape Growers Association, founding member and past president
  • BC Grape Marketing Board, founding member and first chair
  • 1977, one of the founders of the Central Okanagan Foundation and its president for nine years
  • Chair of the 1980 BC Summer Games in Kelowna
  • Bold Horizons Campaign 1992-93 for Okanagan University College
  • Fundraising Chair for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra
  • Campaign Manager, many times, for his old friend, Bill Bennett of the BC Social Credit Party
  • Board Member for West Kootenay Power, Royal Trust and Quails’ Gate
  • UBC Board of Governors

He leaves behind his team who will miss their captain’s leadership but will uphold his values and continue caring for the community he loved: his wife, Rosemary; children, Ben, Cynthia (Scott) Walker, Andrea (Dave) McFadden, Tony (Lisa), 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and numerous much-loved nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Dick and Mary Stewart, brothers Bill and Jim, sister Kathleen and grandson Andrew.

During the past two years, Dick and his family had the pleasure of making many new and dear friends at The Village at Mill Creek, our heartfelt thanks to all of you for welcoming him into your midst.

In lieu of flowers, donations gratefully appreciated to the Richard John Stewart Family Fund at the Central Okanagan Foundation, Landmark 1, 306-1726 Dolphin Avenue, Kelowna BC, V1Y 9R9.

Respecting the current social distancing guidelines, the family will have a private service. The service and tributes can be watched online, starting Friday, May 22nd at 2:00 PM, and if you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.


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Central Okanagan Foundation Link: www.centralokanaganfoundation.org/giving




  • Richard Toussaint says:

    Our condolences to all the family. Martine and I had the privilege of serving Dick and Rosemary at our restaurant, Bouchons, and thought they were the classiest people.

  • Gordon Hoyle says:

    So sorry for your loss. Dick was good friends with my parents Una & Bill Hoyle. They shared a lot of laughs together over many years. RIP Dick.

  • Jacquie Cherot says:

    To All Of Dick’s Family
    I’m thinking deeply how sad you must feel. We are so blessed to have our parents for so long but I also know the close caring you gave, makes the loss that much harder. My mom was fortunate to share her table at Mill Creek with such a stoic gentleman. I never once heard Dick complain or fail to show his appreciation, he will be very much missed. When we lose the best of men in this world, heaven gains..
    May & Jacquie Cherot

  • Connor Eden says:

    Sending my love and condolences to the Stewart family.
    -Connor Eden

  • Wilma Swail says:

    My sincere condolences to all the Stewart families. Ron thought very highly of Dick and enjoyed games of golf, cards and the laughs and good times at coffee gatherings.

  • Imelda Wright says:

    Our team of caregivers at Nurse Next Door would like express our deepest condolence to the family of Victor Stewart, He was a gentleman and a delight to care for. We will miss him. Rest in Peace.

    Nurse Next Door Team

  • Ryan Naka says:

    To the Stewart family:
    Our sincere condolences on the passing of your Dad. He leaves behind a great legacy.
    Love Ryan & Theresa Naka

  • Janice Henry says:

    Our family has had numerous connections to the Stewart andWalker family through the years. Thinking of you all today. The Henry family (Mike, Janice, Cameron and Kyle)

  • Dick Auclair says:

    I had the pleasure of dealing with Dick as a CIBC client for quite a few years, and I always enjoyed his visits. He was the true definition of “gentleman”. My condolences to the Family.

  • Tara Williams says:

    Sending warmth and love to all the family and friends touched by the heart of this good man. Your lifes work will niot be soon forgot. A treasure chest of stories and memories to be savoured by many . Cherrished

  • kelly salloum says:

    Dear Andrea and family, we are saddened by the loss of your father. Please extend our condolences to your family from all of us. May your fondest memories allow him to live in your hearts forever. Warmest regards, Kelly Salloum, Helen Salloum, and our families.

    • Cathy Clarke Cole says:

      Dear Stewart Family. I was really sorry to read your Dad’s obituary in the paper yesterday. He is such an amazing person and had a full life. It is an honour to have shared time with you all over the years. Love from Catherine Cole (Cynthia,Andrea: remember ballet days) Thinking of you all and best wishes as you face this sad time for the Stewart family.

  • John Barnay says:

    My condolences to the Stewart family. I had the great pleasure of working for Dick in 1965 at the time Pacific Vineyards in Oliver was being established. I think fondly of those years. He was a fine gentleman and a super person. He will be missed by all who new him.

  • Cheryl McNaughton says:

    To the Stewart family,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of Dick. Our family connection goes back a long way and I’m sure my dad will be one of those getting his clubs ready for Dick’s arrival. Dick had a wonderful life and leaves behind an amazing legacy. Sincerest condolences to all of you,
    Cheryl McNaughton and Alex Fong

  • Alan & Carol Dolman says:

    Since moving to Kelowna in 1992 our family has always been the richer for knowing the Stuart family. When I saw the picture on Castanet of Dick looking out over the vines in the Valley he helped create that was truly a picture of a life well lived. We extend our love and prayers to the family who has meant so much to the Okanagan Valley.

  • Linda and Pat Aldous says:

    It is with such deep sorrow that we hear of the passing of a wonderful man who we got to know as we entered he community of Kelowna back in 1988. Through community and common interest, we met Rosemary and Dick. Also, Ben, Cynthia, Andrea and Tony and their wonderful spouses and families
    Rest In Peace, dear Dick.

  • Mary Jo Schnepf, Stafford McKergow, Spencer Lapointe says:

    You are a beautiful family, with such depth and goodness – and for that, Dick was so very proud. I’m sure each of you will continue to honour his vision, his grace and his legacy. Here’s to you, Dick, and the twinkle in your eye, which we all so loved. Our love and prayers to each of you, Mary Jo, Stafford and Spencer

  • Chuck and Leann Owenson and Family says:

    Dear Rosemary, Cynthia, Andrea, Ben, Tony and Family – we are very saddened to hear about Dick’s passing. He was such a wonderful man with a great sense of humour and a wonderful man with a big heart. Our fond memories of his trip hear to Australia and the enjoyable time we had together then and over the years will always be in our memory. He will be missed!
    Leann, Chuck and Family

  • Mike and Sandee Murphy says:

    Our deepest sympathy to the Stewart family. He lived a full life, one to be proud of. Rest In Peace Uncle Dick.

  • Brian & Joanne Stewart says:

    Dear Auntie Rosemary, Ben, Cynthia, Andrea, Tony and family What a fabulous tribute to Uncle Dick , truly a remarkable man who accomplished so much and his family is his crowning achievement. Our love to all of you. Brian Joanne & family

  • Trish Scoular says:

    Sending you heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one. What an incredible legacy he has made to this world and the people of Kelowna.

  • Garth Walker says:

    Saying goodbye is never easy, but being able to do so with a grateful heart for a life well lived in our midst is such a blessing. We join you in your grief and celebrate your grateful hearts. May you know the presence of our loving God through these days. All our love from the Garth and Brenda Walker

  • Rick and Deb Clarke says:

    The Stewart Family awesome tribute to Uncle Dick may he Rest In Peace.

  • Wendy Fawcus says:

    Dear Rosemary and family,
    On behalf of my mother, Maree McQuaid and all her family, we are sending our love and thinking of all of you. We all remember Dick with much fondness.
    Wendy McQuaid Fawcus

  • Kelly (Willis) Johnson says:

    Dear Andrea and family, my deepest condolences to you all. Andrea, I remember your dad so well as a child, when I used to go over to your house. I remember seeing him busy at work in the vineyards. And, I remember him as being so genuinely kind. Years later, in the mid-90s, I ran into your dad for a short period, and he and I enjoyed some really nice talks. May your beautiful memories always offer you comfort, and may you always feel his presence deep within your heart. My love to you and your family.. Kelly (Willis) Johnson, Dallas, TX

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