Clifford L. Stewart
Clifford L. Stewart, 99, passed on March 23, 2016 in Healdsburg, Ca. Born in Clarence, Missouri on June 30, 1916, Cliff was the oldest of 6 boys.
He enlisted in the Navy in January 1942. In 1943, he was assigned to the SS City of Omaha on the North Atlantic run from Murmansk, Russia and spent a year in Russia as part of the “Forgotten Convoy”. Stranded in Russia, the men formed a baseball league with a team from each of the four ships. They manufactured their own equipment, including a bat turned from local trees and balls made from shoe leather. These unique items were donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown in September 2015.
Arriving back in the states, he entered US Naval Midshipman School at Notre Dame and graduated in May 1944. Cliff served on the USS LCS 52 which participated in the amphibious landings of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. It also participated in the occupation of Japan on the Honshu Coast. Going aboard as communication officer, he moved to commanding officer and placed her out of commission in 1946.
March 1949, he commenced a tour of duty as Operations Officer aboard the USS Stickell (DD88). To this day he was still in communication with the men he served with.
From 1951-1953 he was an instructor at CIC Team Training Center, San Diego. While in La Jolla, CA he met and married, Dorothy Anita Philips, the love of his life and spent over 62 years together. Dorothy passed away May 30, 2013.
He spent most of his officer career at Sea, 7 commands both sea and ashore including: Escort Squadron Eleven, USS Carpenter (DD825), USS Foss (DE 59), and USS W Thomason (DD760). Cliff was selected for Captain in July 1965. He was assigned as Commander to the Destroyer Division TWO HUNDRED THIRTEEN.
In 1966, he was assigned as Commander to the Task Force 115 (Market Time) in Vietnam where he was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal. The Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class and the Navy Unit Commendation Medal. He was also awarded the Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Palm on the Army Level by the Vietnam government for his action in the capture of a Viet Cong Trailer loaded with weapons and ammunition.
March 1967, he was involved in the Pentagon assignment to the Office of Chief of Naval Operation (OPNAV) and awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
June 1971, Capt. Stewart was assigned duty as Administrative officer, Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. He assumed command of the shipyard and the challenging task of its closing. On June 28, 1974 the shipyard was closed.
In 1974, on his birthday, he retired, after 32 ½ years of distinguished service. Cliff received numerous medals and ribbons throughout his career.
In 1970, purchased property in Healdsburg, starting a small sheep and orchard operation. Before retiring from the Navy, he joined Sonoma County Farm Bureau and Dry Creek Farm Bureau. Because of the importance to agriculture and our area, Cliff became involved in committees and work to advance the progress of Warm Springs Dam. He became fully involved as Farm Bureau’s representative to the Sonoma County Alliance becoming president of the Alliance and was able to help push for agriculture needs. In 1997, he became an honorary member. Cliff was appointed and served 8 years as a member of the Regional Water Quality Control Board to the governor. He was also appointed and spent 13 years on the Sonoma County Planning Commission making sure everyone knew agricultures interest in the agenda. In 1991, Sonoma County Farm Bureau presented him with their Hall of Fame Award. He was active in the Republican Party, advocated for the Constitution, and donated to many charities. Cliff proudly served his family, community and country.
Survived by his son Philip and daughter Anita; granddaughter Alleyna; brother Robert and family; and sister-in-law Marjorie Hudacek and the Hudacek Clan.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 11:00 a.m. at Santa Rosa Memorial Park; 1900 Franklin Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.