On behalf of the board of directors of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, it gives me great pleasure to commend Gertrude Stewart as the 16th recipient of the Mrs. Grace Glenwood Higginson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mrs. Stewart’s exceptional career began in 1961, and includes a lifetime total of over 53,000 volunteer hours – including service at NMCRS Point Mugu, Kirtland Air Force Base and NMCRS Lemoore – and a concurrent commitment as NMCRS Lemoore Thrift Shop Lead for a remarkable 24 years.
A volunteer is a person who willingly and freely performs a service with no expectation of compensation for their hard work. Mrs. Stewart has modeled such a life, devoting the equivalent of 25 years of full-time work – all without financial compensation – to the service of Sailors, Marines, and their families. And in that capacity, she has demonstrated true servant leadership, unflagging self-sacrifice, and a steadfast perseverance and spirit that are simply inspiring.
Throughout her wonderful career with the Society, Mrs. Stewart has unstintingly poured her time, energy, and talent into innumerable assignments including Layette Items Contributor, Team Support Contributor, Thrift Shop Contributor, Shift Coordinator, and Thrift Shop Lead. In each assignment and in every instance, she exemplified the finest characteristics of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Volunteer.
Not surprisingly, Mrs. Stewart’s distinguishing service-over-self characteristics have also facilitated a wide-ranging service history with other well-known nonprofit organizations including the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America, Lemoore Community Blood Bank, and the Campfire Girls. All have been the beneficiaries of her devotion to serve others.
A recipient of the Superior Performance Award and the Meritorious Service Award, she is a standout amongst the Society’s finest. Mrs. Stewart’s loyalty, compassion, and unswerving dedication to the greater Navy and Marine Corps family is simply unrivaled, and embodies the true spirit and intent of the Mrs. Grace Glenwood Higginson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)