Photo courtesy Whitewater Banner

WHITEWATER — Jim Stewart, who served in the state assembly and later founded the community online news site Whitewater Banner, has died at the age of 85.

Stewart died Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 surrounded by his family, according to an obituary published Monday by the Banner.

A public visitation will be held between 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 3, 2021 at Nitardy Funeral Home, located at 550 N Newcomb St, Whitewater, WI 53190. 

Funeral services and mass will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at St Patrick Catholic Church, 1225 W. Main St., Whitewater, WI 53190 with a brief visitation starting at 10:00 a.m., followed by mass at 11:00 a.m. Full Military Honors will take place immediately following the service.

In 1982, while working at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Stewart was elected to represent the Wisconsin State Assembly 32nd District. During his time in the Assembly, he helped pass the Wisconsin Marital Property Act of 1984, which helped to usher in the nation’s first major overhaul of women’s property rights at that time. 

He also served on the Whitewater school board and the Whitewater Common Council.

In 2006, Stewart launched the Whitewater Banner online news site to fill what he felt was a void in local news coverage.

In 2018, Stewart stepped down as owner and editor of the Banner, and the Whitewater Banner was gifted to the Whitewater Community Foundation to ensure that the Banner would remain a part of the Whitewater community forever. 

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak launched Walworth County Community News in 2021. He is the former editor of The Week and Walworth County Sunday.