Albert E. Stewart, 54, of Germantown, a community and union organizer and a singer who had composed and performed music for more than three decades, died March 30 at Einstein Medical Center of injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Wissahickon and Midvale avenues in the East Falls section of Philadelphia.
Mr. Stewart had been a union organizer for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Earlier he had been an organizer for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers in Boston.
A tireless advocate for the poor and marginalized, he had served as housing director of the Southwest Community Development Corporation in Philadelphia and as a community organizer for Mt. Airy USA and Centro Pedro Claver in Philadelphia. He also had worked at the Center in the Park in Germantown.
But it was as a freelance musician, sharing his love for and belief in the revolutionary power of music, that Mr. Steward found his greatest pleasure. An accomplished singer, he had sung with the New York Edge, The Touch, the Jack Faulkner Orchestra and as backup for Patti LaBelle.
He had toured Africa and performed for Nelson Mandela with the Kuumba Singers of Harvard University. He also had sung with the Philadelphia Men’s Chorale in association with the Philadelphia Boys’ Choir, and had composed many songs, among them “Light of Love.”
Mr. Stewart collaborated with his wife, Vashti Dubois, a performance artist and director, on many creative projects, including “The Clearing,” “The Black Male Show,” and “Eviction Proof Peepshow Home,” which received rave reviews in the 2012 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he attended P.S. 161 and St. Ann’s Episcopal School there and, later, Tufts University.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Stewart is survived by sons Eric and Dubois “Duke” Stewart; a daughter, Ariadne Dubois; his mother, Phyllis Stewart; a sister, Eugenia “Genie” Willis; a brother, Kyle Stewart; a grandson, and his first wife, Karen Stewart.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at The City School, 42nd Street and Baltimore Avenue in Philadelphia. The family has requested that memorial donations be sent to assist with funeral expenses and provide a fund for Dubois Stewart to Vashti Stewart c/o Michael Sussman, 1700 Sansom St., Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103 - WF
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