The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 3, 2013

Velma L. Stewart

GALENA, Kan. — Velma Louise Harreld Stewart, age 91, passed away on Sunday, March 31, 2013, at her Galena home with family at her side.

She was born Dec. 5, 1921, in Galena, daughter of the late Glen Harreld and Gladys Irene Crookshank Harreld.

Velma attended Joplin High School and Joplin Business College. Before working for the Kansas State Telephone Company as a switch board operator, she worked in her family's business, Harreld Photography Studio, as a colorist where she hand tinted black and white photographs before the advent of color photography. Many Galena residents still have beautiful photographs that depict her artistic talent. Of all her accomplishments, that of wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother were truly her greatest. She was known by all in her community for her sweet nature and wonderful sense of humor.

She married Royal P. Stewart on July 5, 1938, in Joplin, and celebrated their 68th anniversary before his death in August of 2006.

She was also preceded in death by a daughter, Sondra Kay Bowman; and two grandchildren, James Brett Bowman and Patrick Eugene Stewart.

She is survived by her children, Glynn "Skip" Stewart and wife, Elisa, of Galena, and daughter, Carolyn Billingsley and husband, Fred, of Joplin; son-in-law, Jim Bowman; grandchildren who knew her affectionately by "Nannie" are Terri Beers Cobb and husband, Troy of Boise, Idaho, Chad Bowman and wife, Leslie, of Riverton, Kan., Jodi Bowman, of Galena, Lana Banks and husband, David, of Carthage, Mo., Karie Cox, of Springfield, Mo., Angela Arnce and husband, Chaz, of Wyandotte, Okla.,  Fred Billingsley Jr. and wife, Tina, of Springfield, and Amy Sears, of Columbus, Kan.; 21 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary. A private family memorial will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at

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