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    HomeUnited StatesU.S Coast GuardMary Stewart, World War II SPAR Beloved by Coasties, Dead at 101

    Mary Stewart, World War II SPAR Beloved by Coasties, Dead at 101

    Mary Stewart, World War II SPAR Beloved by Coasties, Dead at 101

    Chief Yeoman Mary Raissa Stewart, a trailblazing World War II SPAR beloved by the U.S. Coast Guard, has died at the age of 101, roughly a century before she planned to go.

    “Mary Stewart lived a life,” said her longtime friend and neighbor on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Peggi Morris, 84. “When she turned 95, she told me, ‘I'm on a five-year .' I said, ‘A five-year plan?' She said, ‘Well, I'm five years from 100 and I need to checking things off that I need to do.

    “She wanted to be 200!”

    On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy feted the SPAR veteran they called “Aunt Mary” with a gala 101st birthday party. On Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, a little more than six months later, she died, following a bout with the -19 virus.

    “Mary was an eccentric trailblazer whose inner fire was fueled by breaking boundaries,” the U.S. Coast Guard proclaimed in a Tuesday announcement about Stewart's death. “Enlisting into the USCG in 1943, Mary quickly rose to the rank of chief yeoman, and directly contributed to the Allies' victory in the Second World War. Fly high, Chief!”

    Stewart joined the war effort shortly after she received her bachelor's degree from American International College. Her first duty station in the US Coast Guard Women's Reserve — called the SPARs — was in Florida, where she taught business courses to secretaries.

    She later…

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