Jimmie Stewart, a Buffalo singing legend and prolific songwriter, died unexpectedly last Monday while headed to Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was 63.
Mr. Stewart published more than 50 songs and performed in Buffalo-area venues, including the Tralf, as "Mr. Silk."
A Buffalo native, Mr. Stewart wrote his first song, "On the Dusty Trail," at age 8. His most recent work, "In the Spirit," was penned in February.
Mr. Stewart lived most of his life in Buffalo but worked as a composer for a while in Los Angeles. An Army veteran of the Vietnam War, he rose to the rank of second lieutenant.
Many of Mr. Stewart's songs are under the licensing aegis of BMI. The Spinners, among other artists, performed his work. His credits also include "Tailor Made," recorded by Bobbi Humphrey, and "Still Loving You," recorded by Stephanie Mills.
Family recalled that fans loved to hear him perform "The Creator Has a Master Plan," "The Lord's Prayer" and "Most of All."
Mr. Stewart sang locally with Rick James, Billy Nunn, Dawoud Sabu Adeyola, Marlowe Wright, Murphy Bland and Levi Ruffin, among others, including the Andantes. He also performed in the Colored Musicians Club.
Mr. Stewart attended East High School, where he managed the football and baseball teams, and excelled in the chess club. He also studied music at a variety of colleges.
He was considered an avid reader, especially newspapers, and a crossword enthusiast. Mr. Stewart indulged this passion during daily travels on Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority buses.
"He was always in search of knowledge. He had his routine and would go different places on the bus, sometimes Niagara Falls, or Orchard Park," said his sister, Joyce A. Stewart. "There wasn't a route he didn't go on. The bus drivers all knew him." Besides his sister, survivors include six children, Kevin,
Nicole, Janita, Jamil, Joi and Cory; and a brother, retired Lt. Col. Herbert Stewart.
His funeral will be at noon Tuesday in Emmanuel Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church, 300 Adams St.