OBITUARY: James Ray ‘J.R.’ Stewart


James Ray “J.R.” Stewart, 81, retired Quality Control Engineer for Union Carbide and resident of Columbia, passed away Sunday, October 22, 2023, at Maury Regional Medical Center.

Born June 13, 1942, in Maury County, he was the son of the late James Austin Stewart and the late Lucy Virginia Counts Stewart.

On October 24, 1964, he married Linda Fay Counts Stewart who preceded him in death on May 11, 2015.

He served in the United States Navy. A family man, Mr. Stewart enjoyed spending time with his family and traveling to see his son while he was in the military. He was an avid bowler, coached baseball, softball, and bowling. Mr. Stewart was a fan of 50’s music and was of Baptist faith.

After retirement from the carbon plant, he worked as a Consultant for Union Carbide and Mercer.

Survivors include his daughter, Debbie Auville of Columbia; sons, Jimmy (Mary) Stewart of Medellin, Colombia; Chris Stewart of Columbia; grandchildren, Ben (Katie) Auville of Santa Fe; Eric Auville of Columbia; Jonathan (Kasey) Stewart of Jacksonville, Florida; Vanessa Stewart of Cumming, Georgia; Isabella Stewart of Medellin, Colombia; great-grandchildren, Jackson Auville of Santa Fe; Sawyer Auville of Santa Fe; Joslyn Auville of Cornersville; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 1:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home with Pastor Chris Ball officiating. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens with military honors provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post 19. The family will visit with friends on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

Active pallbearers will be Phillip Counts, Mike Ransom, and Ray Lewis.

The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD, 21741.

Condolences may be extended online at


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