March 28, 1965 - May 8, 2019
Janesville, WI -- Jim Stewart passed away on May 8, 2019 at UW Health University Hospital in Madison, due to complications from long-term heart problems. He was surrounded by loved ones, family, and friends. Jim leaves behind three children who were his greatest joy in life: Kate, Andrew and Danny.
Jim was very active in the theatre community in Janesville and Beloit. He directed and acted in shows with Janesville Little Theater, Stage One, and Beloit Civic Theatre, as well as live "old time radio" shows for Stage One and Janesville Radio Players at JPAC and at the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF). He also served on the Board of Stage One.
Jim was born in Philadelphia, PA on March 28, 1965, to James and Denise Stewart (both deceased) and had one sister, Beatrice Dewey, and one half-sister, Kelly Stewart. He moved to Woodridge, IL in his teens and graduated from Downers Grove North High School. Jim was a life-long student and attended Illinois State University, College of DuPage, Columbia College, University of Houston, Our Lady of the Lake University, Kingwood College, and Mount Mercy University.
In the early 1990's, Jim co-founded the Rolling Meadows Arts Centre in Rolling Meadows, IL, where he achieved critical success for his directing skills. In 1994, he moved back to Pennsylvania where he was Artistic Director for the Warminster Community Theater, and worked as a Production Assistant on the Terry Gilliam project, Twelve Monkeys, during its filming in Philadelphia. In 1996, Jim moved to Houston where he acted and directed at the University of Houston and in multiple area community theaters and served as the Production Assistant for the Houston Children's Theater Festival and the Houston Shakespeare Festival. In 2004, he moved to Cedar Rapids, IA where he was the Artistic Director for the Ushers Ferry Historic Village Theater Company, and he was very involved in the Acts of Worship drama team at New Covenant Bible Church.
Jim moved to Janesville, WI in 2015, where he was active in theater until his final days - directing two plays simultaneously in the month before his passing (Three Tall Women for Stage One and The Dixie Swim Club for Janesville Little Theatre).
Jim encouraged and taught many people during his years of involvement in the communities where he lived, and his legacy will live on through the many lives that he touched. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the Janesville area theater community. In lieu of flowers, Jim's family requests that donations be made in his honor to Stage One at www.stageonewi.org/donate-now or to Janesville Little Theater at www.janesvillelittletheatre.org. A Celebration of Jim's Life memorial service will be held at Janesville Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.