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Stewart “Stew” C. Elliott Jr. was a kind, calming, selfless, unassuming husband, father, uncle, brother-in-law, business leader and friend. He left this world suddenly on June 13, 2022, at the young age of 64, taking a piece of our hearts with him.
The first son of Stewart C. Elliott Sr. and Mary Elliott (nee Muller), Stew was born March 1, 1958, in Brookfield, WI. The qualities that made Stew a truly great man took root early, as he’s remembered as an easy-going, calm and always-happy kid, who made many lifelong friendships, including the long-tenured group fondly known as the Mushmen, originating at Waukesha South High School nearly 50 years ago.
After graduation, Stew chose the University of Michigan, earning a degree in economics. His first real job, other than working at his Dad’s stores as a young boy, which was his first taste of the rewarding career he’d land on, was at Amrock, a cabinet hardware company in Omaha, NE. Mr. Elliott thought it critical that his son go into the working world apart from the family business, so Stew could get valuable experience, find his leadership style and ensure his next career choice was confidently his own. Good call, Dad.
Stew headed back to the Milwaukee area in the late ‘80s to assume a leadership role with Elliott Ace Hardware. Stew always put his people first, making big business decisions without foregoing the family-business feeling that was core to Ace. The people who Stew worked with over the years, many of whom are friends, not just colleagues, describe Stew as caring, reasoned, involved and hard-working. The longevity of his employees is testament to him being such a treasured and respected leader. In 2013, his business success culminated in him being named to Ace Hardware Board of Directors, one of his greatest professional joys.
While Stew accomplished more in his short time here than most, his greatest accomplishment was his family. After working together for years and forging a close friendship, Stew married the love of his life, Lisa Elliott (nee Ollie). She was his equal, his opposite and his handy-as-he-was soulmate. Together, they built a beautiful life, centered around mutual respect, shared values, a common love for tackling nearly any big project and, mostly, helping others. That solid foundation prompted them to travel across the world and find their forever family. Jade, and then Lyndon, completed their circle and as a loyal, fun foursome, they enjoyed many adventures — traveling, sports, renovating their lake house oasis and welcoming their four-legged friend, Ace. A patient, funny, invested hands-on father, Stew embraced the title of Dad and worked hard to give his family a happy life. He thought his girls — all three of them — hung the moon. At the heart of everything the Elliott family did, there was love. Love for each other, love for their community, love for extended family and friends. And Stew’s measured, steady, calming approach, and a smile and laugh that lit up the room, was always their compass.
Stew enjoyed life’s simple pleasures. From a good round of golf to a nice steak dinner or working on his gardens to grilling up a feast to enjoy with friends, he made life better, brighter and more enjoyable. Everything he touched was left more lovely for having his hands on it and there truly wasn’t a more helpful hardware man around. It’s this legacy, one of love, true character and goodness, that will live on.
His number-one collaborator, Lisa, and his cherished girls, Jade and Lyndon, will miss him with their whole hearts. Stew is further survived by his dear sister Kate Gruen (Dale) and brother Matt Elliott (Kelly), Aunt Eileen Fischer (Helmut), brothers-in-law who were more like brothers, Luke Ollie and Matt Ollie, sister-in-law Michelle Ollie, loving nieces and nephews, colleagues and countless valued friends.
Stew is preceded in death by two of his greatest role models, his parents, Stewart Sr. and Mary Elliott.
Join us to remember and honor this incredible man — and celebrate his life well lived. Thursday, June 30, visitation from 1:00 - 5:15 p.m., with a service following at 5:30 p.m. at Becker Ritter Funeral Home.
Stew always shared what he had with others, never short on giving donations, supporting charities and contributing to community events. To honor Stew’s generous heart, donations can be made to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission or CCAI Adoption Agency.
Please click here to view Stew's Memorial Service on Thursday June 30th at 5:30PM CST