John Carson Stewart


John Carson Stewart

Small Image
John Carson Stewart

John Carson Stewart, 69, died March 18, 2020 in Jacksonville, Fla. after a hard-fought illness.

Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Mich., John was a graduate of University High and Albion College.

He began his executive career in 1976 as sales manager at the Stewart Sutherland Bag Company and was promoted in 1983 to president, a role in which he served until 2019 when his daughter succeeded him. In John’s 36 years as president, he grew the company to its current industry prominence.

His other interests focused on sports, both playing and watching, especially basketball, in which he was known to throw an elbow or two under the net. He also enjoyed coaching the Challenger Little League team of his son, Carson. Famous for their gatherings, John and Patty held an annual October bonfire for extended family in the tradition set by his beloved Aunt Gege, Uncle Wayne and daughters, Katherine and Carrie. John also had a special love for South Haven and Amelia Island, where he and Patty made many dear friends and spent their summers and winters.

John Stewart was a loved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend whose storytelling, quick-witted commentary, and business acumen will be greatly missed.

John was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Barbara, and his parents, Robert and Barbara Stewart.

John is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patricia, on whose love and advice he depended daily; his children, Kelly (Adam) Pye, Carson, Colleen (David) Parran, and Corey; his grandchildren, Henry Doan and Mason and Madeline Pye; his surviving siblings, Daniel of Kalamazoo, Susan Keen of Fennville, Mich., Andrew of Kalamazoo, Sarah Williams of Newport Beach, Calif., and Katherine Hasler of Libertyville, Ill.

A private interment will be held at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. The funeral mass and celebration of life ceremonies will be scheduled at a future time.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Autism Speaks.

Please visit John’s personal webpage at, where you may archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook.

Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes