Neal C. Stewart, 92, passed away Thursday, February 27, 2014, at Hospice Brazos Valley Inpatient Facility. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 5th., at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church with Rev. Edwin Kagoo officiating.
Neal was born on October 18, 1921 in Sweetwater, Oklahoma, the son of Charles and Hattie (Jennings) Stewart. The 2nd youngest of 8 children, he was an exceptional student and graduated from high school at the age of 15. He was a hard worker and remained on the family farm until his enlistment in the Navy during WWII, serving in the Pacific Theater.
After the war, he entered the University of Oklahoma where he earned an electrical engineering degree in 1949. Shortly after, he went to work for the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) in Norfolk, Virginia, which was the beginning of a life-long career with the U.S. space program.
Following his time in Virginia, he moved to California where he met Shirley, his wife of 55 years. In 1966, the family moved to Houston, where Neal continued his career as part of the Apollo space program; working as a member of Mission Control, highlighted by the Apollo 11 and 13 missions. After the Apollo series ended, he transitioned into the Space Shuttle program, where he remained up to his retirement in 1988. Although it was difficult to leave their many friends in the Houston area, in 1996 Neal and Shirley moved to College Station in order to be closer to family.
Neal is survived by his loving wife Shirley Stewart; sons and daughter-in-law, Steven and Mary Caroline Stewart of Charleston, S.C., David and Carol Stewart of Austin, Kenny Stewart and Kevin Stewart of College Station, and Robert Stewart of Denver, CO.; grandchildren, Cassandra Stewart, Michael Stewart, Kristin Stewart, Brooke Stewart, Hannah Stewart, Ben Stewart and Joe Stewart; great-grandchildren, Camden, Hudson and Rowan Stewart.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Hospice Brazos Valley, Dr. Mario Lammoglia and Dr. Rohini Ragupathi, for the care they gave to Neal.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 West 26th Street, Bryan, Texas 77803.