Faye Stewart is absolutely, positively amazing.
Over the course of her lifetime, she’s fostered hundreds of children, adopted a toddler after raising her own children, ran a food pantry out on Allison Avenue, and started what ended up being a 32-year career with Hamilton City Schools. And despite retiring ― and the word “retiring” is loosely used here ― she teaches Sunday school at West Side Baptist Church and volunteers at Garfield Middle School.
Oh, and the 83 years old North End resident, just retired from Hamilton City Schools last year.
She’s done more, but there are only so many column inches we can use in the newspaper.
Now obviously, Stewart wasn’t doing everything she’s done at the same time, or at least most of it. But as soon as she ended one thing, like fostering children for 15 years until she adopted her youngest son, Josh, at 2 years old, she moved on to something else not too long after.
Like fostering for a few years developmentally disabled adults.
“I just need to stay busy,” Stewart said, later saying if she slowed down, “I’d probably die.”
While she said it’s a need to stay busy, I’d argue it’s because she’s got that big of a heart, and embodies God, family, and Hamilton in her small octogenarian stature.
Throughout most of her adult life, Steward has been active in her two churches, first at Allison Avenue Baptist Church, and now at West Side Baptist Church. She now teaches children from preschool to first grade at West Side Baptist on Sundays, and first through fourth graders on Wednesday nights.
After fostering children and developmentally disabled adults, Stewart, at a time most people are quickly approaching retirement, went to work for the Hamilton City School District.
“I had been doing care here for a while, and I wanted to get me a job,” she said on why.
She worked at many of the school buildings but ended her career at what was always her first choice: Garfield Middle School.
Though she’s retired ― again, that word’s used loosely ― she still goes out to Garfield every day and sets up a snack shack selling after-school snacks for the kids. Because it helps the kids.
“It’s making money for the school to buy stuff for the kids,” Stewart said.
She does all this because, in her words, “I just like to do things for people.”
And Hamilton is better off because of that generosity.