On Thursday, August 12, Judge William C. Stuart passed away from complications
of a stroke. He was 90 years old. William Corwin Stuart was born in Knoxville, Iowa, and his family relocated to Chariton, Iowa, when he was still a small child. He received his undergraduate degree from the University
of Iowa in 1940 and his law degree from the University’s College of Law in 1942.
He served in World War II as a pilot for the U.S. Naval
Air Corps from 1943 to 1945. In 1946 he joined the family law firm in Chariton—a firm founded by his great-grandfather in 1860. During his years of private practice, he also served as City Attorney for Chariton from 1947 to 1949. From 1953 to 1961 he served as an Iowa state senator. He served as a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court from 1962 until 1971. He also served as a member of the Iowa Crime Commission from 1968 to 1971.
In November 1971 Stuart was appointed U.S. District
Judge for the Southern District of Iowa, where he later served as Chief Judge from 1977 to 1985. He took senior status in April 1986. A resolution by the Eighth Circuit in 1986 recognized Judge Stuart for his “vigor of mind and body, spiritual strength, a deep reservoir of human warmth and understanding,
and an abundance of common sense.”
On September 24, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa will hold a special ceremonial session in memory of Judge Stuart. It will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Courtroom at the U.S. Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa.