Elizabeth Catherine Stewart passed away peacefully at home with her family on February 3, 2022, after a valiant fight with breast cancer. From her holiday debut, Liz seemed destined to live out loud at every opportunity. At an early age, she embraced any activity available to her: dance, soccer, 4H, choir, Brownies - you name it, Liz would want to try it. She attended St. Francis School, where she participated in sports, oral language, and Academic Decathlon. She played JV soccer and tennis as a proud 3rd generation Driller and enjoyed the rigors of speech and debate as well as the technical aspects of theater. She spent many hours behind a spotlight with her best friend in Harvey Auditorium. After graduating from Bakersfield High School, Liz attended Bakersfield College, before transferring to UCLA where she earned her BA in art history.
Liz’s lifelong love of reading and young children led her to her career as a children’s librarian. She received her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and went on to work for the Kern County Library for nearly eight years. In 2015, Liz and her beloved Great Dane Sadie headed north, where Liz was a librarian with the City of Palo Alto until shortly before her death.
Liz enjoyed traveling with her sister Margaret and with friends to destinations both in the U.S. and internationally. By far, her favorite place was Disneyland. She was an annual passholder and fan of all things Disney and was always thrilled to share that special place with her closest friends. She loved animals of all kinds, especially dogs, hippos, and baby goats. Liz adored young children and was an indulgent honorary auntie to several. Liz especially loved Erin Richardson who she cherished as her own daughter. She was a loyal friend who gave apt advice and loved others selflessly. We will miss her sarcastic wit and her incredible ability to tell the best stories.
Elizabeth is survived by her father and mother James Stewart and Mary Anne Steele, Bakersfield; sister Margaret Stewart, Scottsdale, AZ; uncles Patrick Steele, Michael Stewart , and Daniel Stewart, Bakersfield; aunts Catherine Steele Anderson and Lori Kayes, Bakersfield and Kathleen Duckworth, Weleetka, OK, as well as a host of cousins. She was preceded in death by grandparents Patrick C. and Catherine B. Steele, Joseph and JoAnn Stewart.
Along her short journey in life, Elizabeth gathered friends of every background and philosophy. Her family especially appreciates the love and care shown to Liz in her last months by Chris and Brad Pennington, Deborah Anthonyson, Sarah Bleyl and Andrea Barricklow Sale.
Funeral services will be Thursday, February 17, 2022 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 124 Columbus St, Bakersfield. Rosary will be recited at 9:30am, immediately followed by Mass at 10am. Interment will be at Historic Union Cemetery. Those who wish may donate to Friends of the Library in Kern County or Palo Alto, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, or Marley’s Mutts.