Gretchen "Gay" Braun Stewart, of Houston, passed away peacefully in her home on the morning of the 7th of September, 2013. Gay was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on the 21st of June, 1927 to Richard Theodore Braun and Martha Lawless Braun. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 57 years, C. Jim Stewart II, her sister, Mary McSherry and her brother, Nick Braun.
Gay is survived by her sons, C. Jim Stewart III and wife, Marti, Richard Ross Stewart and wife, Danni, David Rial Stewart and wife, Cindy; her daughters, Gretchen Stewart Anderson and husband, David, Catherine Stewart Carrigan and husband, Steve. Gay was blessed with 14 devoted grandchildren who loved her dearly – C. Jim Stewart IV (Nathalie), Robert Ross Stewart (Kristie), Christopher Ross Stewart (Anne), Catherine Grant Stewart (Will), Lauren Stewart Woolsey (Breck), Kristin Stewart Frank (Brian), Kara Stewart Trail (Sam), David Michael Anderson (Elizabeth), Ashley Elizabeth Anderson, Nicholas Ross Anderson, Lauren Carrigan Allen (Adam), Leslie Stewart Carrigan, Amy Carrigan Robinson (Gentry), and Megan Emily Carrigan. Gay is also survived by 17 great-grandchildren who brought her much joy in her later years. Other survivors include numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Gay attended the University of Texas where she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. During her years at UT, she was one of the five finalists for UT Sweetheart in 1946 and was featured on the cover of Life Magazine the following year for an article on UT coeds. Gay's greatest accomplishment was meeting the love of her life, Jim Stewart, whom she married in 1947 and spent the next 57 remarkable and adventurous years together, thus leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren, to exemplify.
Travel was a passion for Gay and Jim especially with their children, ranging from cruises in the Baltic to wine tasting in the Napa Valley. Another of their favorite gathering places was their second home in Galveston where they entertained the masses! Gay was also abundantly blessed with many dear friends with whom she enjoyed traveling, dining and playing mahjong and bridge.
Gay was a communicant at St. Michael Catholic Church and a member of various civic organizations, including the Catholic Charity Guild, The Junior League of Houston, March of Dimes, Strake Jesuit Mothers Club, Houston Country Club Women's Association and served on the board of Up with People.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude and appreciation to Jesus Aparicio, her longtime companion, caregiver and friend, as well as her caregivers, Jean Sylvester, Charlene Washington, Lovie Scott, Marsha Sparks and Tonya Sam.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 10th of September in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
A Mass of Christian Burial is to be offered at ten o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, the 11th of September, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston, with the Rev. Msgr. Jack M. Dinkins celebrating and the Rev. Msgr. Frank H. Rossi, concelebrating. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family in a reception to be held in the adjacent church parish hall.
The rite of committal will be private at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery where she will be laid to rest alongside her husband.
Serving as pallbearers will be Gay's grandsons, C. Jim Stewart IV, Christopher Ross Stewart, Robert Ross Stewart, David Michael Anderson Jr. and Nicholas Ross Anderson.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in memory of Gay Stewart, may be directed to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, 2900 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX, 77006; Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030; or Yellowstone Academy, 3000 Trulley Street, Houston, TX, 77004.