Velma "Jeanne" Stewart was born August 7, 1945 in Visalia, CA to Lawrence and Elizabeth Blackwell and passed away at home March 11, 2017 in Bakersfield, CA with her husband at her side. Jeanne spent most of her younger years in Lamont, CA and was a 1963 graduate of Arvin High School. She met her husband of 52 years, Jack Stewart, at Yosemite Bible Camp in 1959, and the childhood sweethearts were married at the church of Christ in Lamont on August 1, 1964. Early in their marriage, they were blessed to take Linda Baxter into their home as a foster child and raised her as their daughter, through her they have 2 granddaughters, 4 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Jeanne worked at farm labor through her teens. She and Jack paid for their wedding by picking cotton. She also worked in retail sales as a young wife. Jeanne was baptized into Christ in her teens and a faithful member of the church of Christ through the rest of her life. She became a "preacher's wife" in 1966 when Jack began preaching at the church of Christ in Lamont. They moved to Bakersfield in 1982 and began working with the East Bakersfield church of Christ. She labored faithfully by his side with a deep love for Christ and His church teaching children's Bible classes, leading the teen girls at home and in YBC as their cabin leader then as the "Snack Bar Lady" for many years. Jeanne took many young people into her home and her heart generously sharing her love and blessings freely with them. She was a very giving person and a "shop-a-holic" where her greatest joy came from buying things for others. She also helped the elderly ladies of the church taking them to Ladies Days and trips to the coast in her van. She loved her family deeply and found great joy in having them all at her house on the Holidays and special occasions. She was known for her cornbread dressing with turkey. Jeanne was a longtime member of TOPS, Inc. lately at CA2248, Bakersfield. Her love, smile, laughter, and joyful spirit blessed many of us. She was a loving faithful, supportive wife to Jack, a loving daughter, sister, mother, and grandmother to her family, and above all else, a Godly woman whom we will all miss until we join her with the faithful children of God. A special thank you to Donna Dullum for providing loving care for Jeanne in the last few weeks of her life. She was predeceased by her parents, twin sister Thelma, and sister Mary White. She is survived by her husband, Jack; daughter, Linda Baxter: granddaughters, Chris South and Michelle (Chris) McGehee; great-grandchildren, Phylicia (Anthony) Snelson, Jeff Seddon, Calvin and Kennedy McGehee; and great-great-grandchildren Lily Seddon and Graham Snelson; Brothers James (Gloria) Blackwell and Johnny Blackwell; many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family; and a host of brothers and sisters in the family of God. A viewing will be held Wednesday, March 15th from 4-8 pm, at Greenlawn Mortuary on River Boulevard with a Memorial service Thursday, the 16th, at 11:00 am, at the meeting place of the church of Christ of East Bakersfield, 3500 Bernard St, Bakersfield, CA. with a catered luncheon following. Interment will follow Friday at 10:00 am at the South Kern Cemetery District on Vineland Rd. in Arvin, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bible Study Time radio program through the East Bakersfield church of Christ.
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