Gene R. Stewart, 86

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Gene Russell Stewart was born Dec. 29, 1934, to Lena Weaver Stewart and Russell Stewart. Gene spent his professional career in law enforcement, first serving as a patrolman for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and then in the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) where he medically retired at the age of 46. He had also previously spent several years working at Campbell University (then Campbell College) serving as the Dean of Men and various positions.

Gene had suffered a debilitating heart attack at the age of 46. He received his miracle heart transplant on Easter morning at sunrise on April 11, 2004, at Duke Heart Center. He devoted his time and advocated as a spokesperson for Transplant Speakers International.

Gene was a lifelong, active member of Buies Creek First Baptist Church where he spent many years serving as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. Gene was also an avid golfer and loved to boat and fish.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty Sue Hardee Stewart; and three sons, Brent Hardee Stewart (Susan) of Oxford, Mark Russell Stewart (Sandy) of Pinehurst, and Jon Lee Stewart (Angie) of Angier. He was PaPa to six grandchildren, Brandon (Candice), Adam (Laura Jean), Russell (Julia), Rachel Stewart Shell (Brandon), Luke and Lea Stewart. He also was a proud PaPa to five great-grandchildren, Colton, Harper, Maddox, Chase and Shepherd Stewart.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. at Buies Creek First Baptist Church with Dr. John Rogers officiating. The family will receive friends outside on the church grounds following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mission Fund at Buies Creek First Baptist Church at P.O. Box 160, Buies Creek, NC 27506 or online at http://www.bcfbc.org/give.

Arrangements by O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home & Crematory, Lillington. Online condolences at http://www.oppfh.com.

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