Rodney Allen Stewart was born to James and Dorothy Stewart on March 2, 1945. He grew up in the small community of Little Smoky.
In 1970, he met Phoebe along with her three children, Josetta, JoAnn and Allan, and they were married on Nov. 27, 1971. In 1972, they welcomed their daughter, Darla, and in 1974, they welcomed their son, Brian. They shared 47 years of happiness together.
His life was farming. He and Phoebe farmed in the Banana Belt area for many years and then moved closer to town in 2005. Everyone thought he would retire from farming then, but it didn’t take long and he had more cows, ponies, and chickens. He was farming again. He always loved to have chickens around and they usually ran free range around the yard.
Over his lifetime, Rodney worked in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories building roads. He owned his own cat and spent time hauling gravel and logs. In the last 12 years he worked for Big Lakes County, most recently operating the grader by plowing snow and grading roads. He always took extra time to clean driveways and chat with residents along the way.
Rodney was known for his love of visiting with everyone he met. You could not meet him on the street without him striking up a conversation with you. He lived by the saying, “A person is only a stranger until you say hello.”
Rodney always had all the best town gossip and was a patron to the IGA café. If you were ever looking for Rodney there were three main places to check: the IGA, the county or the Agriplex. We will forever be looking to spot that blue truck of his around town.
Rodney was most known for his love of auction sales. There wasn’t a sale within a 100-km radius that he missed. He loved to buy all sorts of “treasures” from these auctions and had a special talent of sneaking them past Phoebe into their farmyard. Whether it was animals, pets, tools or farm machinery, he loved to collect it all. His grandchildren fondly remember he always had a new puppy or kitten that he somehow attained from his time spent at the auction and they loved to snoop through all his new found trinkets.
Many of his nights were spent helping the ropers run steers through at the Agriplex during the winter or just watching while riders were in the arena. He loved to attend rodeos and events held there. He always had time to chat with anyone found in the canteen. He was an outgoing man who enjoyed going to local jamborees and dances.
One thing that was certain, Rodney loved his children and then his grandchildren just as much. He never turned them down when they needed his help. He spent his free time taking his grandchildren fishing and teaching them lessons in life. As they grew up they helped him with farming and he was always there to indulge his granddaughters with their love of horses. The grandkids looked forward every year to making hay in the summer with him and they always had a blast.
Rodney was a kind-hearted man. He was a fixture within our community. He will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. He always had a warm smile or joke to share. He especially loved teasing Phoebe as she was his life. His family will forever feel his absence but can take comfort in all the wonderful memories left behind and the lessons he taught them.
He leaves to mourn: his wife, Phoebe; daughters Josetta [Lorne], Joann [Gary], Darla [Stephen], sons Allan, Brian [Maureen]; grandchildren Stacy [Courtenay], Amy [Jeff], Jenna [Ryan], Riley [Lauren], Stephanie [Tyler], Karla [Lyndon], Cody, Cole, Blake, Kolby, Nikki, Todd, Casey, Aaron, and Kelly; and great-grandchildren Sarah, Chloe, Paydon, and Brody.
Rodney passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on April 12, 2018.
A Celebration of Life was held April 24, 2018 in High Prairie.