Rockwell and Lillian Stewart had nine grandchildren. I was the youngest. My brother and I had the pleasure of knowing our seven Stewart first cousins quite well.
One of my cousins, Myron, passed away this month. He was the son of Marian, my mother's sister. As a child Myron was called Sonny, a perfect name for such a delightful child.
As a teenager Myron stayed with our family during the Jefferson Fair week. He and my brother worked at one of the fair restaurants flipping hamburgers. After a couple years Myron graduated to the race track. His job was to run the results from the judges stand to the announcer.
During these visits I discovered just what a nice person Myron was. Being six years younger he could have just not paid any attention to me. Instead he treated me nicely and even taught me how to play chess. I've taught some of my grandchildren how to play. I start out by saying, "My cousin Myron taught me how to play."
My cousin Dorothy and I stayed a week with Myron and his wife Dominica on one of our many genealogical trips. Four years ago our daughter Katherine attended a workshop at the National Cathedral, a short distance from the Hill home. I had gone along to take care of baby Juliette. One afternoon Juliette and I spent a couple hours chatting with Myron and Dominica on their porch.
Sometime in 2012 Myron contracted encephalitis. This seemed so unfair to have his unique voice stilled in such a cruel way. My last couple visits with Myron had me doing all of the talking. At one point Myron reached out his hand. I held it for several minutes. That day in May was the last time I saw Myron.
I admired my cousin for many reasons. He authored numerous books in the Smith Law Review Series, designed to help students pass the bar. His intelligence never failed to fascinate me. I will miss my cousin Myron, an all-around nice human being.