Don Stewart, WSB-TV broadcaster and Peach announcer, has passed (1931-2016)

Don Stewart was in Atlanta media over five different decades.. PHOTO: Contributed

Don Stewart was in Atlanta media over five different decades.. PHOTO: Contributed

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Don Stewart, a broadcaster on WSB-TV and host on Peach 94.9, has passed at age 84.

He died on over the weekend but why is not clear. His daughter Sheri Mann Stewart said it was likely from complications regarding diabetes.

A Michigan native, he moved to Atlanta after graduating Michigan State University. He was a newscaster at WSB-TV from 1956 to 1966. His marriage with Connie Ward Stewart was televised on the news in 1958.

He later became an announcer at beautiful music station WPCH-FM from 1979 to 1991, part of it during mornings. He also did some acting work, including in Long John Silver’s commercials. “He was a night owl,” she said. “It fit his lifestyle.”

Stewart had an impressive memory, Sheri Mann said. For years, he held seminars teaching people how to improve their memories. He offered his techniques to major politicians and business people, she said.

On his Facebook page, David Patterson wrote:

He invited me to come along with him after work one night to a presentation he was making in a local auditorium. He and I stood at the back of the room where the participants entered. He introduced himself to each person as they came in. The people of course chose their seats at random. During the presentation, Don said “Let me show you how effective these memory techniques can be.” He then asked the first two rows of people to stand. He told them to sit down as he called their name. He pointed to each person along the row and called them by their full name. It was stunning then, and it is stunning now to remember that scene in my mind.

Steve Goss, who worked with him at Peach and considered him a mentor, said he was an incredibly social guy. “He loved to emcee events,” he said. “He was a very funny guy, very clever at putting together puns and one liners. He was a born entertainer.”

He became a band leader and continued up to recent weeks to perform regularly at the piano bar at McKinnon’s and other Atlanta piano bars, entertaining his loyal fans and friends. “He had a beautiful crooner type of voice,” his daughter Sheri Mann said. “He had a huge repertoire of songs.”

Daria Willson, a friend of his, called him the “bravest” person she knew. He had been legally blind for 10 years and lost a leg due to amputation. Yet she said he would go out every week and perform, no matter what. She said he met many famous people but seldom provided details.

“He didn’t have to brag,” Willson said. “He was too busy living life.”

He was also an active member of Mensa. Willson said for 10 years, she would call Stewart  late at night every week or so and they’d play a word association game. “Keep our brains sharp,” she said. She said he was of sound mind – if not body – until his death.

Nancy Gerber on Facebook wrote:

Just learned this morning that our dear friend and passionate lover of music Don Stewart has left us. He was a fine gent and a huge supporter of music & performers here in Atlanta. He was a fixture at our monthly Singers Jam for many years. He had an amazing repository of musical knowledge and experience in his head. I used to tease him that he probably knew every song ever written. I learned so much from him. He will be missed by so many. May his memory be a blessing.

He is survived by his ex wife Connie, his beloved grandsons Tendal and Royce Mann, daughter Sheri Mann Stewart and son-in-law Barry Stewart Mann, all of Atlanta, as well as brother Bob Stewart of Salt Lake City.

Donations in Don’s memory may be made to:

http://www.musiciansoncall.org,

http://www.atlantamusicproject.org,

mealsonwheelsatlanta.org/

http://journalists.org/programs/mj-bear-fellowship/mj-bear-fellow-hall-of-fame/

 


View Comments 0