James “Jay” Stewart passed away suddenly on April 19th, 2021 at the age of 66. He experienced a heart attack while enjoying time in the backyard of his new home in New Hampshire. Jay is survived by his loving wife Liz and cherished children Catherine and Patrick. He also leaves behind his brother Joe and his wife Julie, cousin Susan Searles, aunt Anita Rhodes, and many in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Jay was born on December 26th, 1954 in Paterson, NJ, as the first son of Margaret Gallagher Stewart and Joseph Stewart. He graduated from Xavier High School in Manhattan. Jay received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Seton Hall University and went on to receive his J.D., cum laude, from New York University School of Law. He quickly became a partner in Lowenstein Sandler and a leader in environmental law. A memorandum by Lowenstein Sandler can be found here.
Jay’s intelligence and generosity of spirit touched many lives at home and around the world through his volunteer endeavors. He dedicated 25 years to the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) serving recently as US national coordinator and director of the international board of trustees. He was a certified Iyengar yoga instructor at Studio Yoga in Madison, NJ. Jay’s love of music was shown in his talent for playing several instruments and the joy he brought to others by sharing it. He blended his lifelong passion for learning new languages with interests in history, culture, and traveling. Reading took him anywhere else he wanted to go. Jay’s love of nature and the great outdoors inspired him to spend his retirement in New Hampshire skiing, kayaking, snowshoeing, bird watching, and hiking in the woods.
Everyone who met Jay will fondly remember his kindness and warmth. He brought a dedication and sense of fun to his life and to those around him. He loved fiercely, was an especially proud father and adoring husband. His bright smile, sense of humor, and infectious laugh will be treasured for years to come. We know Jay would have cut through the sadness of this moment with some sort of corny joke here, but we’re still working up to his level. Though our hearts are broken, we will go forward with the the spirit of Jay’s enthusiasm and zest for life.
A Celebration of Jay’s life will include a wake on Sunday, May 2, 2021 from 1-5 pm at the Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main St. Chatham, NJ. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, May 3rd at 11AM at St. Patrick’s Church, Chatham. All Covid protocols will be followed. The Mass will also be live streamed for those who are not able to attend in person. It will also be recorded to watch afterwards. The link will be updated to this webpage when available.
The family encourages you to share a written personal story or memory of Jay. There will be a place to do so at the wake or it can be mailed or emailed to members of the family.
In lieu of flowers, Jay’s family respectfully invites you to make a donation to Bonnevaux Centre for Peace, the retreat centre of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). The construction and renovation of the centre, which is still underway, was a project very close to Jay’s heart as he believed strongly in its vision of bringing peace to this community and the world.
A memoriam of Jay has been published by WCCM. The link for donations can be found here. (https://wccm-usa.org/in-memoriam-Jay-Stewart-donations/).
More details about Bonnevaux are available at www.bonnevauxwccm.org/.