William Gerald Stewart Jr., 79, of Paducah, died Monday, May 14, 2018, at Baptist Health Paducah.

Gerald was born in Paducah, Kentucky, on April 23, 1939, to William Gerald Stewart and Ethel Thompson Stewart. He was a graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School and attended Paducah Community College. He served 35 years on the Paducah Fire Department with eight of those as Fire Chief. He was a longtime member and former president of IAFF Local 168; former president of Kentucky Professional Fire Fighters; served as president of Kentucky Firefighter Association; was chairman of Paducah 911 Board; was a 40-year lobbyist for Kentucky Fire Service, where he was instrumental in implementing the passage of House Bill 525 which established incentive pay for fire and police; was chairman of Kentucky Fire Commission; and was board chairman for American Red Cross. Gerald was a 50-year member of Heartland Church and served as deacon. In his leisure time, he enjoyed spending time at his cabin and driving his pontoon boat on Kentucky Lake.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, June Bolte Stewart; children, Michael (Sandra) Stewart of Fresno, California, Debra (Dennis) Bell of Paducah and Greg (Debbie) Stewart of Paducah; grandchildren, Heather Stewart, Matthew Bell, Dustin Bell, Tracy Bell, Allison Tennessen, Katie Stewart and Kelly Stewart; great-grandchildren, Leah Bell, Matthew Bell, Tamera Graham, Gianna Bell, Deacon Bell and Davin Bell.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Johnna S. Stooksbury; sister, Julia Mae Smithson; and his parents.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2018, at Heartland Church with Dr. Nathan Joyce and Pastor Don Young officiating.

Burial will follow at Maplelawn Park Cemetery. Visitation will begin at noon Friday, May 18, 2018, at the church.

Contributions may be made to Forward Project, c/o Heartland Church, 4777 Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, KY 42001.

You may leave a message of sympathy or light a memorial candle at www.milnerandorr.com.

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