Donald Roger Steward, 84, Plainfield, passed away Wednesday, March 13, at Life’s Journey Hospice in Avon. He was born August 18, 1934, in Lafayette, Indiana to the late Roger Malcolm Steward and Helen Virginia (Forbes) Steward. He was a 1952 graduate of Lafayette Jefferson High School. He received a BS in Industrial Education from Purdue University in 1965 and a Master of Science from Purdue in 1969. He married Shirley Ann Berry on November 17, 1957 at Lafayette.
Don worked at National Homes Corp. in Lafayette after high school and during his Purdue undergraduate days. He had a 32-year career as a teacher with North Putnam School Corporation, beginning at Roachdale High School in 1965 and continuing with North Putnam Junior-Senior High School. He retired from North Putnam High School in 1997, where he taught Industrial Education classes, which later became Industrial Technology classes, and served for 21 years as athletic trainer for the football and basketball teams.
Volunteering was a longtime pursuit with Don. He was a volunteer fireman with Roachdale – Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department for 30 years and served several years as assistant chief. He also became an EMT for the department. This led to his involvement with the establishment of PMH Ambulance Service in 1976 and served several years as its president. After moving to Heritage Lake in 1996, he served with the Floyd Township Fire District Board, serving as its president when the new fire station was planned and built. He also served on the Operation Life Board from 2003 to 2012.
Don was a longtime member of the Roachdale Lions Club, could often be heard yelling “Hot Fish!” during its annual fish fries, and planned and set off the fireworks at Roachdale’s Fourth of July celebration for many years. He also served on the Roachdale Town Board for four years. Don was also a founding member of the Purdue Alumni Club of Putnam County.
A 50-year member of Roachdale Christian Church, Don was present when the church envisioned expanding its programs with an addition to the building, and oversaw the building process with its completion in 1993.
While living at Heritage Lake, Don served on the Heritage Lake Property Owners’ Association board and enjoyed doing lake patrol.
Don is survived by his wife Shirley, sons Bradley Steward (Lee Ann) and Barry Steward (Dee Ann), of Indianapolis, grandchildren Marissa Steward, Andrew Steward and Erica Steward, all of Indianapolis, and sister Janet Cooper (Dennis) of Georgetown, Texas.
Visitation will be at Roachdale Christian Church, 1 North Walnut Street, Roachdale, IN 46172 on Sunday, March 17 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. The funeral will be held at the church on Monday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m. with pastor Phil Barnes. Burial will follow at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens, 1718 West 350 North West Lafayette, IN 47906 at 4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Roachdale Christian Church, Roachdale Volunteer Fire Department, Floyd Township Volunteer Fire Department, or North Putnam Alumni Scholarship Fund.