By Sharon Rostovich
Director of Aviation at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport
Stew served as the Temple Airport Manager from 1979-1990. Prior to coming to Temple, Stew retired from the Army as a Full-Bird Colonel after 24 years of dedicated service. Stew told the story of his experience dodging bullets to board the plane to bring him back home and when he finally landed, he knelt down and kissed the ground. He said this experience taught him how to “dodge bullets” as the Airport Manager!
When he came to the airport, he told city leaders that the “airport was an embarrassment” and he planned to change that right away. Stew believed everything should be first class and always reminded us we are here to serve the people.
Stew knew how to turn negative into positive and refused to take no for an answer. He always found a way to make needed improvements to the airport even when funds were slim and was instrumental in securing the first federal grants for the airport that relieved the city of a large financial burden.
I contribute my success as airport manager to Stew as he taught me everything about running a first class operation. He was an amazing mentor and a wonderful friend. Stew retired from the Temple Airport after 10 years of invaluable service January 31, 1990.
“It was an honor to know him,” said Karon Wiedemann, retired TxDOT Aviation Grant Manager. “He always had a smile on his face and a mischievous glint in his eye that made you want to be around him and listen intently to all his stories about his courageous military travels and events.”