Joly Walton Stewart, 93, of Lafayette Hill, PA, died January 18, 2024, at Chestnut Hill Hospital shortly after surgery to fix a fractured hip.
Mrs. Stewart was born Alma Joly Walton on October 2, 1930, in Philadelphia, the daughter of John M. Walton, II and Elfrida Elliot, and sister of the late John M. Walton, III. She attended the Springside School (now Springside Chestnut Hill Academy) with which she would maintain a life-long association and received an associate degree from Briarcliff College.
In 1962, she married James M. Stewart. They were longtime residents of Forge Farm in Ambler, PA. They also kept homes in Nantucket, MA and Stowe, VT. The friends and organizations with which she was so connected sustained her and kept her active after Jim died in 2013.
She was a member of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Whitemarsh.
Mrs. Stewart, together with Sandy Glendinning and Betty Webster, founded The Leather Bucket, a popular antique store in Chestnut Hill. They sold the business to Ron Klinger and Neville Lewis in 1964.
She was a strong supporter of civic causes as well as being a renowned flower arranger, a member of the Wissahickon Garden Club, and a Garden Club of America Judge. As an artist, concentrating in watercolor and collage, she was a life-long learner studying at the Barnes Foundation and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She was a Trustee Emeritus of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, and she was a former trustee of Woodmere Art Museum and remained a member of their Collections Committee.
“In her humility, Joly hid from most people that she was an artist,” says Bill Valerio, the Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director of Woodmere. "Her painted-paper collages are infused with a passion that grew from her love of people and sensitivity to the delicacy and strength of nature... In Joly, it could be observed that generosity works in both directions; she was constantly growing as an individual as she nurtured the growth of others and the organizations she cared about.”
She is survived by six children; Lea A. Stewart of Campton, NH, James M. Stewart, Jr. of Ambler, PA, Catherine L. Stewart of Manchester Center, VT, Elizabeth S. Hunter of Ambler, PA, James H. Hunter of Mt. Shasta, CA, Mahlon K. Stewart of New York, NY, 6 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her husband and her husband from her first marriage, Alfred R. Hunter, Jr.
A funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, February 2, at St. Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh, Camp Hill Road and Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118.