Lorne legend passes: Vale Don Stewart 1933-2022
ONE of Lorne’s most beloved figures has been remembered as “Lorne through and through”.
Don Stewart passed away peacefully, at a nursing home less than 500 metres from where he had lived his entire life, on January 5. He was 88.
Born in 1933, Don founded Lorne Real Estate in 1976, which has expanded and is now known as Great Ocean Road Real Estate.
Don was also a legend at the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club, being one of the club’s post-war founders, among the club’s first Bronze Medallion squad, and later teaming with double surf ski partner, the late Ian Hunt, with great success at state and national championships.
Don’s son Ian left school and worked with Don in real estate in Lorne until Don retired 15 years ago.
“He was someone whose guidance, mentoring and mateship of not only his family but everyone he knew, was exemplary right to the finish,” Ian said last week.
“He’s been Lorne through and through and through.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the surf club, fire brigade, football club, he’s been active in everything.
“He just had a demeanour, and not a bad word to say about anybody, and never no time to stop and ask about someone or how their family was getting on. Just the amount of good wishes and support that’s been coming towards us, it’s been humbling.”
Ian said his father’s final days at the Lorne Nursing Home were characteristic of a man who had been deeply connected to the town from start to finish.
“In the room beside him was another Lorne legend, by the name of Henry Love – Henry was the founding manager of the Lorne Fishing Co-Operative.
“And the two guys, 80 years earlier, were sitting together in the Lorne school.
“Henry’s still with us, Dad’s now gone, but you see both of them finish their final years side by side, just as they started their long journey, you realise you’re pretty damn lucky.”
The Lorne SLSC also paid tribute to Don with a post on their Facebook page.
“Don was a foundation member, instrumental in establishing the club who later became a life member in acknowledgement of his hard work and dedication.
“Our thoughts are prayers are with the family during this sad time.”
Don Stewart is survived by his three sons: Ian, Brett and Scott; and six grandchildren: Frazer, Grace, Zara, Jessica, Lilli, and Skye.
He was laid to rest at a private burial yesterday (Wednesday, January 12), which was followed by a service to commemorate his life at the Lorne Country Club.