Melton Craig Stewart

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Craig Stewart

Melton Craig Stewart November 6, 1952-December 5, 2015.

Craig Stewart, 63, of Piggott, Ark., passed away on the afternoon of December 5, 2015. Craig is survived by his two children, Angela Byrd of Alexander and Matthew Stewart of Jackson Miss; seven grandchildren, Skyanne Kayella, Samantha Gabrielle, Gracie Diane, Alivia Nicole, Isabella Grace, Arlo Dylan and Lola Drew and great-granddaughter, Nevaeh.

Craig's Christian name was Melton, which his mother misspelled on the birth certificate, as she intended to name him after Milton Berle. This haunted him throughout his schooling, and every time afterward that a new lady friend saw a bill come in the mail.

Craig's parents were Lucille and Howard Stewart of Piggott. Craig was the youngest of three brothers, Marlin and Wayne were older. Craig attended Piggott schools all of his life, but he graduated from King High School in Detroit, Mich., after moving there to live with his brother Marlin for his senior year in 1970. Craig's two great passions in life were laughter and music, and he spread them both religiously with whoever crossed his path. He played keyboard in a local bar band in Memphis, in the 70's, brandishing the "play by ear" talent he inherited from his mother. If he could hear a piece of music he could play it, but he loved to, and usually insisted on, playing any contribution that Billy Powell ever made to the songs of Lynyrd Skynyrd. That band's albums and Mr. Powell's piano ballads brought him immense comfort, pleasure, inspiration and catharsis for all his years. The way he played Freebird on the piano gave the song an extra glimmer of beauty, and drew a tear to the eye. He was perpetually in the midst of telling a joke or anecdote, and only those who knew him well were able to see truth in his unbelievable adventures.

Craig befriended almost everyone he ran across. He was handsome, charming, and hilarious and he was quite a lady's man. He had an honesty in his humorous personality that was unique and mysterious, which forged lifelong friendships and unforgettable loves. Anyone who ever really got to know him not only loved the man, but could never forget him. He was the craziest sane man anyone ever knew, and you could not be in his vicinity without having a good time, whether you like it or not. He will be sorely missed by his many friends, and mourned dearly by his children. Fly on Freebird.

Rest in peace.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the Hoggard and Sons Chapel. Burial is in Piggott Cemetery. Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home of Piggott, is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the funeral home.