David Stewart
David Stewart
David Stewart
David Stewart
David Stewart

Obituary of David Elliott Stewart

David Elliott Stewart, of Olympia, Washington, passed away December 16, 2023. Dave, as he liked to be called, was born in Seattle on December 4,1953, to Carlton Heath Stewart and Marie Catherine (Laude) Stewart. Dave graduated from Highline High School in 1972, then, attending Pacific Lutheran University, graduated in 1976. He later received an M.A. in psychology from Chapman University in 1985.


Dave was a warrior for people with mental illness and their families, and he worked cooperatively with community mental health center staff, paramedics, hospital staff, law enforcement, jail staff, the Washington State Legislature, and other County Designated Mental Health Professionals (CDMHP’s) throughout the State of Washington. Dave’s career spanned working for Good Samaritan Hospital and Pierce County, doing on-call 24-hour shifts with crisis intervention in the ‘70s to Administrator of Pierce County Human Services, retiring in December 2010.  He was recognized for “dedication, leadership, loyalty, integrity, and friendship” by Pierce County. Dave was also recognized by the Pierce County Office of the Sheriff for his work in the Pierce County Detention and Corrections Center to ensure that individuals requiring treatment are adequately treated. At the same time, Dave was instrumental in establishing a community crisis triage center to help direct some individuals to care in the community or hospitals instead of confinement in jail.


Having grown up as an almost only child, Dave considered himself fortunate to have a large family. A sister from a different mother, Colleen (Stoller) Stoltz (Gene Stoltz), both now deceased, gave Dave two nephews, about the same time Dave was born – Mitchell Stoltz (Nancy), and Mark Stoltz, and two nieces - Marcia Taebel (Tim), and Marianne Stoltz, all of Indiana, and grand nephews and nieces – Katherine, Phillip, Mitchell, Marissa, Kerry, Kelly, Kimberly, and Dylan, and numerous great grandnieces and grandnephews.  Dave’s family enlarged in another direction when he married Jean Clark Smith in 1981, including a daughter Trina (Stewart) Cannon and then son-in-law Alex J. Cannon and Dave’s granddaughters, Lyla Cannon and Jane Cannon. Dave’s extended family includes sisters-in-law, Ann Oenning (Gerry), Kathleen Gehrt (now deceased) (John), Patricia Clark (Stanley Krohmer), and Christina Clark (Vincent Mazeika); and brothers-in-law, John Clark (Shirley), Daniel Clark (Kathryn), and Michael Clark (Staci Alalem); nieces and nephews, Tom Ficca (Ilene), Mark Ficca (Lisa), Julie Nicol (Cameron), Jennifer Gehrt (Lynn Johnson), Colleen Moffitt (Scott Alderman), Danielle Morrill (Kevin), Megan Clark (Charles Christolini), Ryan Clark, and Jack Clark.


Dave was a grateful recovering alcoholic who maintained sobriety from 1990 until the end of his life. He was committed to helping others with addiction and let them know there is hope. He wanted addiction and mental illness to be de-stigmatized. 


Dave and Jean celebrated 42 years of marriage this year, wishing for more. In retirement, Dave was a self-employed expert witness in matters of mental health, and he found plenty of time for hobbies. He and friend Rudy Barreda started a monthly music group for audiophiles. Dave was a member of the Olympia Woodworkers Guild, and enjoyed making custom pens, and other projects. Dave also cared for indoor and outdoor fishes, a pair of cockatiels, and a cat. Dave will especially be missed by his two Newfoundlands, Mugsley and Dozer, and those who loved him.


A celebration of his life is planned for early March 2024; date to be announced later.


In lieu of flowers, Dave would appreciate donations to organizations that provide services to people with mental health needs, addiction, disabilities, or who are homeless. 


Please leave condolences or share memories and photos on the Tribute Wall to the left.




To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David Stewart, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for David
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Funeral Alternatives of Washington - Tumwater
Share Your Memory of