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Charles Stewart


Charles Carl Stewart Jr. passed away in his sleep on April 8, 2011. He was 88. A consummate punster, his quick wit and disarming charm will sorely be missed.

Charles was born on May 23, 1922 to Charles Carl Sr. and Mabel Catherine Stewart. He grew up in rural Toledo, Ohio, discovering arrowheads in the newly plowed fields. He entered the armed services during World War II advancing to the rank of corporal in the US Army in the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion. He served in the major European conflicts including the landing at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. The experiences of that war influenced him throughout his life. After the War, he attended the Art Student’s League in New York. He came to Taos in 1948 and studied at the Taos Valley Art School under Louis Rebak. He devoted the remainder of his life to his art. He is considered one of the “Taos Moderns”. In 1985 he and wife Mary Lou moved to Todos Santos, Baja California, where they remained until last year when they returned to Taos. Known as the “founding father” of the Todos Santos artist’s community, Charles was awarded the Best Artist in Baja award in 2007.

Charles preferred medium was oils. A master of color, geometric design and symbology, his canvas would represent multiple layers of storytelling. He also produced drawings, watercolors, tiles, wood and stone and other media works throughout the years. As a master framer, many of the frames enclosing his works are pieces of art in themselves. One of his first ventures in Taos was “The Frame Shop”. He worked at The Workshop with Mark Romero (friend and mentor) for many years – countless homes in Taos have furniture or doors touched by the hands of Charles. He had to work with his hands…painting, sculpting, carving and building. He built what is now Casa Europa from a single room adobe and built The Stewart House from the ground up. He typified the great American “can do” spirit. Never say you can’t do something – agree to do it and then figure out how.

He had a great fondness for books and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Born under the sign of Gemini, he always claimed he could cross both his heads. Maybe that was his secret of success…two heads are better than one and he attempted to fill both brains. Charles was fond of claiming that if you just say something stupid, people will smile. It was amazing to watch him say something absolutely ridiculous and win over a total stranger.

Few people knew that he was named after his father, and fewer knew him as “junior”. He always signed his work as C. Stewart. He adored his mother, Mabel, and honored her spirit in many pieces painted in Todos Santos.

Charles is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Stewart, two sons, Cortney E. Stewart (Anne Brenner) and Carl A. Stewart, all of Taos, and one granddaughter, Zia Sophia, a free spirit.

On the day of his passing, his eldest son was half-way around the world in the Etosha game preserve in Namibia. At sunset, a lion began to roar outside the compound and continued for an hour…a king proclaiming the passing of this remarkable man.

No service is scheduled at this time. Charles will be interred in a national cemetery. The family is asking that donations be made to the Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux St, Taos, NM 87571.

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Name Charles Stewart
Date of Birth
Date of Death April 8th, 2011
Home Town , AL, US 


Funeral Home
Rivera Family Funeral Home
Location 818 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur
Taos NM 87571
United States

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Adriana Elizabeth Marquez Salgado published condolence .

Dios lo tenga en su santa gloria descanse en paz le mando un beso sr. carlos stewart . y mis mas sinceras condolencias a mary lou simpre los recuerdo con amor ahora y siempre.

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Claudia And Ken published condolence .

Courtney: I'm know your wonderful father will be sorely missed. I only wish I had had a chance to meet him.

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