Harbor Light News

Gig Stewart

Gig Stewart, 91, died February 5, 2022 at his home on Crooked Lake. He was born August 1, 1930 in Ashville, North Carolina, the son of George F. and Elizabeth Stewart (Porter).

Gig graduated from the College of Music of Cincinnati with a certificate in bass and a Masters of Science in Music in 1953. He joined the Army in 1954 where he played in the Army band. He also obtained his degree in Library Science from Central Michigan University in 1961. He earned his captain’s license from the US Coast Guard in 1966. He was the captain of many sailing vessels and chartered sailboats on the Great Lakes.

Gig married his lifelong friend, Nancy Hastings Corl in June 1957. At that time he worked as a science teacher for the Alanson school before moving to Petoskey School District where he taught and managed/designed the school libraries until 1975. At that time Gig moved his family on to their 40’ sailboat “Black Dog” where they sailed for a year before moving back to the Petoskey area. Gig worked for the Young Americans over the next two years traveling the United States and performing musicals. In 1978 he began working for North Central Michigan College as a librarian designing and building the new library. In 1986 he retired from teaching and again took his family on a sailing adventure for a year from Ventura, California through the Panama Canal to Annapolis, Maryland. In 1987 Gig settled on the shores of Crooked Lake and built the home they have lived in ever since.

Gig was involved in the Northern Michigan community as a musician and theater director all the years he lived in Petoskey. He directed the Presbyterian Church choir for more than 40 years. He was a member of the Epsilon Jazz Band since its inception in the early 1960s playing all over the north. He played for the Traverse City Symphony from 1957 to 2004. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. During the 1960’s summer months Gig managed and skippered a charter boat service with a 50’ sailboat (Cygnus).

Gig is predeceased by his parents George F, and Elizabeth Stewart. He is survived by his wife Nancy Stewart and their 4 children Beth Stewart (Anita), Patricia Stewart (Luann), Michael Stewart (Deborah) and Andrew Stewart (Tracy). He has four grandchildren ( Jeff, Mike, Lindsey Nielson and Glory Hislop ( Joey) with one great-grandchild on the way (Estella).

Anyone wishing to donate in his name can do so to McLaren Hiland Hospice House or Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.

A celebration of life will be held in the summer of 2022 at his home on Crooked Lake.