Richard H. Stewart, Jr.

While the world may deem a ba'al kavod (an "owner of respect") as a person who receives a lot of respect, we learn from Pirkei Avos (Ethics of our Fathers) that a ba'al kavod is a person who gives a lot of respect. In other words, a leader strives to be respectful, not, necessarily, to be respected. It just so happens that people who are respectful are usually respected. But, as a leader, our primary goal is to be respectful. Being respected is secondary and consequential.

Richard H. Stewart, Jr. was an exceptional athlete who played soccer, hockey, baseball, and lacrosse through his childhood and high school years. For college, Richie attended St. Lawrence University where he played hockey for the ECAC Champion and NCAA Finalist St. Lawrence hockey team. On the playing field, besides being an exceptional athlete, Richie was a unique individual in his ability to show respect to and befriend most every person he encountered. Richie was friends with and friendly to his teammates, his coach, the referees, the fans, and most everyone else who had the good fortune of meeting him.

This same personality trait was evident when he would step off the playing field. Richie showed respect to literally most everyone he met. But, there was no one he showed more respect towards than his parents. From high school until his untimely death, he called his mother and father first thing every morning and last thing every night. The level of respect he showed to everyone, especially his parents, was unique. For this reason and more, Richie was an exceptional leader, family member, and friend.

After college, Richie worked for Cantor-Fitzgerald within the World Trade Center in NYC. When Richie arrived to work on the morning of September 11th, 2001, he called his parents like he did every morning. He spoke to his mother about the football game they watched the night before. The conversation was light and full of laughs like so many conversations they had previously with each other. Richie hung up the phone and started his work when he experienced a loud explosion. He knew something was very wrong. Though Richie could have done innumerable things at this moment, he chose to call his mother and tell her that something was very wrong and that he loved her. True to his personality, Richie's last act on this earth was an act of kovid av v'em (respect for his mother and father) that few people could match. Richard H. Stewart Jr. was a ba'al kavod like few people. Sadly, we lost Richie on that morning of September 11, 2001.

Richie is survived by his mother, Mrs. Joan Stewart, his sister, Susan, his brother-in-law, Martin, and innumerable family members and friends who love and miss him dearly.