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Downie E. Stuart, 92 passed away peacefully on Wed. Mar 23, 2016 at Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank. She was predeceased by her parents Zora (Kuzmanovich) Elich and Samuel Elich, her husband of 52 years, Joseph P. Stuart, brothers John Elich, Sam Elich, and Stanley Elich, sister Mildred Todorczuk and nephew Stanley Elich.

Surviving are her children, Jeffry Stuart (Lorraine) of Key Largo Fl., Ann Babeuf (Toby) of Rumson, NJ, and Gregory Stuart (Coleen) of Naples, ME, grandchildren Emily and Chris Babeuf, step-grandchildren Robert and Matthew Foley and many nieces and nephews. Downie was raised in Eldersville Pa., graduated Burgettstown High School, Duffs Business School, Pittsburgh and attended Columbia University Teachers College when Dwight D. Eisenhower was university president. When the United States entered World War II, she joined the war effort beginning in 1944 as a Navy Yeoman, continued in the Naval Reserve after the war and was honorably discharged in 1953. During that time, she met Photographers Mate, Joseph P. Stuart (Joe) in Pensacola, FL and they were married after dating for four years. They moved to New York City learning to fly private airplanes at Teterboro, even before owning a car. Their son Jeff was born during hurricane Barbara a few years later. Joe's job with Fairchild required them to leave New York and travel by car across the continental US. They eventually visited 49 of the 50 United States, traveling north of the Artic Circle in Alaska before the Al-Can highway was completed and Hawaii to celebrate 50 years of marriage. They visited and photographed multiple National Parks with Downie as Joe's able photographer's assistant and Jeff in tow. Fairchild brought the family to Japan where they lived for 2 years. Luck would be with Downie when she went to a military hospital to deliver Ann, narrowly missing a riot enroute. When Joe's Air Force contract ended and he returned to the US, she flew home to the states via a connection in Fairbanks, AK with 4 year-old Jeff and toddler Ann. Joe, Jeff and Ann finally settled in Red Bank, NJ in 1958. Greg surprised everyone a few years later, arriving during a snowstorm in 1962.

Prior to joining the Navy, Downie worked for an accounting firm in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Plate Glass, B&O railroad and the Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad. While attending classes at Columbia University, she worked at IBM, New York City. Later, she was one of the original employees of Bamberger's when the store opened in Eatontown, NJ, was a private secretary for Elizabeth Thomas, Holmdel, NJ, and secretary to the Chief of Staff at the VA Hospital, Washington, DC. Her proudest job was that of wife, mother and grandmother.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Downie Stuart's memory to the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society, 201 State TD, Colts Neck, NJ 07722.

Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740