View All Posts
Posted on December 20, 2016 at 5:27 PM by Katie Stamy
It was the Air Force that brought the Stewart family to Webster in 1969, but it was the small town, friendly community that led them to stay.
When Ann Stewart was 19 years old, she wandered around her hometown in Oklahoma looking for a job. She stumbled upon a recruiting office, and stood there for a bit before marching in and declaring, “I’d like to join the AirForce.” One month later she was in basic training.
When she eventually moved to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, she met Troy Stewart, who was stationed there for his first permanent AirForce assignment. After six months the pair got married and decided to start a family. Ann had spent three years in the Air Force, but when she found out she was pregnant, she was given an honorable discharge.
The couple moved to the Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio where Troy worked at the School of Aerospace Medicine. It was there that the opportunity arose for him to work on a six-month training assignment at NASA in Houston as a member of the Air Force. Six months turned into six years, and Webster became home for Troy, Ann, and their two sons, Troy Jr. and James.
Troy was assigned to relocate to Denver, Colorado, but the idea was quickly shot down by his family who told him, “We don’t want to go anywhere.”
In order for the family to stay in Webster, Troy became an Air Force recruiter in the Houston Area. In 1978, he retired from the service and from then until 1998, he worked for NASA and NASA contractors. He traveled all around the U.S. for his job, including Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Before any mission, he would spend 60 days in Florida preparing. He was the last person the astronauts would see before lift off.
Though he was busy traveling and working, he and the rest of the Stewart family still managed to stay active in the Webster community. Remarkably for a military family, the children stayed in the same school district from kindergarten until high school graduation.
The family belonged to the Webster Civic Club and helped organize the very first Halloween Haunted House and 4th of July Celebration.
Troy also stayed involved in the boards and commissions. Over the years, he has held a position on every board except for the Animal Control Board.
He is currently on the Planning and Zoning Board and has been the Election Judge for the past few years. Ann and Troy both joined the Webster Police Academy and are still in the Alumni Association.
Their six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, who all live in the area, now keep the couple busy. Whether they are babysitting, attending a choir or band concert, or a dance or sporting event, the grandparents enjoy spending time supporting the children.
Although things have changed and Webster has grown significantly, the Stewarts say the City has maintained its charming small town feel. “It feels like home,” Troy said, “we have no plans of leaving.”