Obituary of Merelyn J. Stewart
Merelyn J. Stewart passed away unexpectedly, on Friday June 25, 2021. She was born September 21, 1946 to Jean and John R. Bylsma. Merelyn was a life-long resident of Delmar and cherished her community. Merelyn graduated from Bethlehem Central High School in 1965 and continued her education at the Junior College of Albany and SUNY Brockport, where she met her loving and devoted husband, David W. Stewart. After graduating from Brockport in 1969, David and Merelyn settled back down in Delmar after marrying that same year. While raising 3 children, Merelyn completed her graduate course work at the College of Saint Rose. Fulfilling her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher, Merelyn began her teaching career in the Guilderland Central School District and then returned to Bethlehem where she retired after 25 years of service at Slingerlands Elementary School. Merelyn was a dedicated and passionate teacher, spending endless hours in the evening and weekends developing creative lessons and experiences for her students.
Outside of being a teacher, Merelyn was an adoring mother always making sure to attend every school event, whether it was a lacrosse or soccer game, cheerleading competition, or awards ceremony. She spent time taking care of her parents, tending to her gardens or being a dedicated horseshow mom. Merelyn also loved volunteering at the Bethlehem Cemetery tending to and starting new gardens, such as the children’s garden.
After retiring in 2009, Merelyn and David enjoyed traveling, especially their yearly trip to York Beach, Maine. Merelyn also relished her time spent with her family and friends every chance she could get. Merelyn lived to make other people happy and to make sure they felt special. Always remembering every birthday, anniversary, or special occasion of those she loved. In her free time Merelyn enjoyed baking and quilting something for loved ones. Her compassion, smile, and spirit will remain in our hearts forever and will never be forgotten.
Merelyn is predeceased by her parents and her brother, Kim Bylsma. She is survived by her husband David and their three children, Lauri Reichenbach (Brian), Scott Stewart and Debbi Stewart. Merelyn also leaves behind her beloved grandson, Zachary Reichenbach and her faithful basset hound, Sadie. Merelyn is also survived by 2 brothers and one sister. Locally, Steven Bylsma (Karen) of Glenmont as well as many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held on Monday July 12th at 1:00 pm, at the Delmar Reformed Church in Delmar. Burial to follow at the Bethlehem Cemetery. It is requested that all church attendees follow CDC guidelines regarding masks and social distancing. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in Merelyn’s name to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, 3 Oakland Avenue, Menands, NY 12204 (mohawkhumane.org, or the Delmar Reformed Church.