Wayne Everett Steward, 78, of Paradise, Texas passed peacefully on Thursday, December 3, 2015 in Plano, Texas, where he was recuperating after a stroke. Funeral services will be at 2:00 PM Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport, Texas. Marc Moore will officiate. Burial is pending at DFW National Cemetery. Visitation is at 1:00 PM Tuesday immediately before the service.
Wayne was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri in 1937 to Everett Leo and Muriel Ruth Chronister Steward. He grew up on a dairy farm and later attended Southeast Missouri State University. Wayne served as a Navy pilot. He completed his flight training in Pensacola where he was a T-28 flight instructor. He flew the A4E for the remainder of his active duty, which included 131 combat missions in Vietnam. He served aboard the U.S.S. Oriskany and was a member of the Ghost Riders Attack Squadron 164. Wayne received the Air Medal and a Commendation with Valor for his service in Vietnam and achieved the rank of Lieutenant.
After leaving the service, Wayne joined American Airlines in 1966. He spent his first three years based in LA, before transferring to DFW. Wayne purchased a ranch in Paradise, Texas in 1975 and spent the remainder of his life there. He retired from American Airlines in 1997 after 31 years as a Captain.
Wayne is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jo Beth Steward of Paradise; his daughter Sarah Steward and husband Duane Bever of Dallas, Texas; his sister Carolyn Lance of Poplar Bluff, Missouri; his brother Ed Steward and wife Nina of Poplar Bluff; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be made in Wayne’s memory to the Grace Fellowship Church Children’s Ministry, 118 Honeysuckle, Paradise, TX 76074 or to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, PO Box 1890, Amarillo, TX 79174-0001.