Dr. William Kirby Stewart staff sergeant US Air Force Kirby is a native Floridian being born and raised in Bradenton. After graduation from Manatee High School in 48 he attended University of Tampa on a baseball scholarship until 1950 and entered the USAF in 51 he qualified as a radio EMC operator in B-29 bombers and was assigned to Okinawa Air Force Base Japan, while there he flew 33 combat missions over Korea. April of 53 he was assigned to B-36 is at Carswell Air Force base. The last 20 months of his Air Force career Kirby played baseball for the Carswell base team, he mustered out in 54 and returned to Bradenton. Kirby re-entered the world of formal education in a Bachelor of physical education in 57, Master of Public Health in 59 and doctor of Education in 71 all from the University of Florida. During his educational Marathon he worked for the Boys Club of Manatee County from 57 to 59 as athletic director and head coach at Palmetto High School. He moved to Gainesville Florida where he became the athletic and research director at PK Yonge laboratory school from 66 to 74 he was baseball football track and field and cross country coach he then moved to the Alachua County School System where he was athletic director and research director from 74 to 87 atop his list of many accomplishments was his marriage to Connie, Aug 8, 1960, they have two children Chip and Jennifer Stewart, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Kirby was active in veterans organizations including American Legion Korean War veterans decrepit Birdman and the Marine Corps League he was chairman of the American Heart Association from 89 until 90 secretary in the early stages of the duck pond neighborhood association and president of the Gator City Kiwanis Club 78 and 79. He was president of the Florida Special Olympics from 78 to 81, the board of directors from 76 until 90 while managing all of this he remains steadfastly committed to his family he attended recitals, performances, competitions, concerts, meets and church confirmations. Children graduating, grandchildren graduating, the list goes on. Kirby and Connie were both actively involved in the First United Methodist Church of Gainesville. In his spare time he enjoyed golfing fishing coin collecting and traveling to North Carolina. He was preceded in death by his mother Vera Stewart his father James S Stewart and his beloved brother Jimmy Stewart. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Connie Stewart, son, William Kirby Stewart Jr “Chip” and his wife Bambi Lynn, daughter, Jennifer Stewart Murphy and husband Kevin, grandchildren, William Kirby Stewart III, Weldon Blake Stewart, Ryan James Murphy, Mary Kathyrn Stewart, Constance Ann Stewart, Hannah Caroline Murphy and great-grandson Pierce Stewart. He was special to many, Cathy Laskey, Sue Ball, Cheryl Pridgen, Heather Proctor. In lieu of flowers kindly donate to Haven Hospice of Gainesville or the Special Olympics of Florida. A visitation will be held Friday, December 8th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Forest Meadows Funeral Home Chapel in Gainesville. Service will be held at Forest Meadows Funeral Home Chapel on December 9th at 10 a.m. Interment will take place with full military honors immediately following the services at Forest Meadows Memorial Park East. An informal picnic and barbecue celebration will follow, please bring your memories and stories to share. Covered-dish is optional, please contact Chip or Jennifer for more information on the picnic at 904-437-9134 or 352-516-7479. Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Gainesville, FL.