Raleigh L. Stewart, 86, of James Stewart Rd., Morganton, NC went to the loving arms of Jesus surrounded by his loving family at his home on Monday, December 24, 2007 after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Born in Gaston County, NC on April 5, 1921, he was a son of the late James Sylva Stewart and Lily Parvell Stewart. Raleigh was a World War II U.S. Army Corps of Engineers veteran and he spent the major part of his life in Burke County. A skilled carpenter and craftsman, he was known throughout North Carolina for his knowledge of building and commercial construction. Some notable area buildings to which he contributed his skills are Burkemont, Mt. Home, High Peak, Clinchfield, and Icard Baptist Churches, Morganton Federal Savings and Loan, and many others during the period of 1960 into the 1990’s. Raleigh dearly loved his garden and always looked forward to the yearly planting season. He graciously shared his garden bounty with many friends who will miss him greatly. His faithful lab, Sam, accompanied him on his daily trips to the garden. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Arthur L. Stewart, Sr. and Nally C. Stewart.Surviving are his son, Jimmy L. Stewart and his wife, Martha of Morganton; daughters, Doris S. Smith and her husband, Perry of Morganton, Margaret S. Coffin and her husband, David of Drexel, and Linda S. Miller and her friend, William Lippard of Morganton; grandchildren, Melisa S. Wellman and her husband, Jeff, Natasha Stewart, Jeremy Stewart and his wife, Kristi, Jessica Stewart, Angela B. Smith and her husband, Kenneth, Laura B. Johnson and her husband, Thad, and Justin R. Coffin and his wife, Anna; seven great grandchildren; brothers, Henry Stewart, Bill Stewart, and Wayne Stewart all of Morganton.The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 27, 2007 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Larry Cline, Rev. Jerry Gamble, and Rev. Lloyd Harris officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors by Valdese American Legion Post 234. The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. Memorial gifts may be made to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 2396 Enola Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.

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