June 25, 1933 - June 6, 2019
Abbie Lee Riggs Stewart passed away in her sleep at about 11:30 p.m. on June 6, 2019. She was 85 years old. Abbie was born in Independence, Kansas on June 25, 1933, the fourth child of Ben and Rachel Riggs. Abbie moved with her family to Eugene, Oregon, when she was 14 years old, and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when she was 19. She fulfilled a full-time mission to Brazil. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from BYU after she returned home from her mission. Abbie married Gary M. Stewart on November 25, 1959.
At an early age, Abbie showed grace and refinement. From her grandmother she learned the art of sewing, allowing her to be stylish even when finances were tight. She had a knack for setting a lovely table, and her Sunday roast with potatoes and carrots had no equal. No gift she received ever went without a kind, handwritten thank you card. She could can anything, but everyone’s favorites were wild blackberry jam and her sweet pickles. She loved her house plants and flower garden. There wasn’t a plant that wouldn’t thrive under her watch.
Abbie was a natural-born teacher. She loved learning and sharing her knowledge. She was often found surrounded by church books and scriptures as she prepared Gospel Doctrine, seminary and Relief Society lessons. Her knowledge of the gospel and scriptures was deep.
Abbie married the love of her life. She was quick to share how she and Gary met and instantly knew they were made for each other. They worked well together raising a family while Gary finished medical school and began practicing medicine. Family was everything to Abbie. She loved her children and always tried to do what was best for them. She would spend many hours talking to them, sharing her experiences with them and teaching them about life.
Abbie and Gary loved traveling together, shopping for tartans in England, cruising the Mediterranean, driving to British Columbia or to Carmel. They loved serving in the Church together. Abbie was a great asset to Gary as his church callings required ministering at home and further afield. Gary would often ask Abbie to bear her testimony, knowing her conviction and strength would help others.
Abbie was preceded in death by her husband, Gary M. Stewart. She is survived by her children Taig Stewart (Jau Hwa), Caprice Laga (Barry), and Shannon Stewart; by her grandchildren Bren Stewart, Ken Stewart, Conrad Laga, Hillary Kirkham, Ian Laga, McKenzie Heaton and Paige Heaton; and by her great grandchild Niko Laga; and siblings John Riggs and Matilda (Tillie) Hunter.