In Memory

Edward Stewart

SYLVAN BEACH, NY - Edward “Eddie” Richard Stewart Jr, 76, of Sylvan Beach, NY, died on January 15, 2021, after a brief hospitalization in the city of Miami Beach that he so dearly loved.Born in Oneida, NY, on December 21, 1944, he was the son of the late Edward and Florence “Fifi” (Campanero) Stewart. Eddie graduated from Oneida High School in 1963 and later received an Associate Degree in restaurant hospitality from the State University of New York, Morrisville. He married Leslie Faass Wolcott, of Camden, on December 26, 1966. A gregarious and light-hearted man, a "restaurant person" born to a restaurant family, Eddie delighted in sharing food, conversation and laughter with friends and relatives. He had an unmatched gift for striking up conversations with total strangers, who quickly warmed to his openness and loving sense of humor. Eddie was practically part of the Sylvan Beach landscape. He spent his early years working at the landmark "Eddie's Restaurant," established by his parents in 1934, and with his wife Leslie took over ownership and operation of the business in 1980. The couple opened a second restaurant on the east shore of Oneida Lake, "Harpoon Eddie's," in 1984. Many generations of Eddie’s Restaurant and Harpoon Eddies’ loyal customers and staff were ultimately family to Eddie, remaining ever cherished by him, together with his beloved Leslie. Life took a drastic and difficult turn for Eddie and his family in 1991 when he suffered a disabling heart attack and stroke. No longer able to work the daily restaurant grind, he remained a strong presence in the business, becoming an ambassador and warm greeter who always made customers feel welcomed and loved. For decades at "Eddie's", he held court in the "family booths" near the kitchen doors, telling and retelling stories about multiple generations of customers and employees who had made the place part of their own homes, keeping alive the memories of the ones who had passed. A lifelong resident and advocate for Sylvan Beach, Eddie was instrumental in its incorporation, and served as a founding member of the Village Board during the late 1970s, working to establish the municipal sewer system and improve public services. He was a member of the Sylvan Beach Volunteer Fire Department for more than fifty years. In childhood, Eddie spent winter vacations with his parents and older sister Barbara in Miami, which became his "other beach." He and his new bride Leslie honeymooned there, beginning an era of memorable years with family and friends at his cousin Peter’s “Heathwood Motel” and later made a winter home in Florida for their own family, which they enjoyed sharing with old friends from Central New York and newfound ones in the south. Everyone loved being with Eddie. Although broken hearted and missing his Leslie, he remained a joyful soul, loving and celebrating his dear friends and family. Eddie took great joy in live music, and was proud to have brought the first free concerts to the community on the Village Park bandstand. For many years he could be found at Harpoon Eddie's most nights, tapping to the beats. In summer he often parked next to the outdoor stage with the car windows rolled down to enjoy shows and catch up with his many friends between sets. He formed lasting bonds with musicians from throughout Central New York. A lifelong fan of high-performance cars, Eddie founded the Beach's annual Corvette Show in the Harpoon Eddie's parking lot in 1991. It soon outgrew that space and relocated to the Village Park, where it has since become one of the biggest Corvette shows in the Northeast. Eddie loved to keep in touch with his friends around the country, and in winter he particularly enjoyed reporting Florida weather conditions to the ones holding down the fort in Central New York. Many will miss his regular morning wake-up calls, and hear Eddie's voice echoing across time, sorely missed and long remembered. Eddie is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Edward III (Rick) and Wendy Stewart, Sylvan Beach; his daughter and son-in-law, Alison and Anthony Cuchiarale, Rochester; six grandchildren, Edward Stewart IV and his partner Madelyn Baldwin of Sylvan Beach, Emily Stewart of West Palm Beach, FL, Ava and Ania Cuchiarale, of Rochester, Daunte and Nevaeh Bacheyie, of Sylvan Beach; his sister, Barbara (Stewart) Corona of Sylvan Beach; his mother-in-law, Eileen Wolcott of New Hartford: his brothers-in-law Tim Wolcott and James Wolcott of Camden, Willard Wolcott of Florence, and Michael Wolcott of Arizona; sisters-in-law Bobbi and Andy Wolff of Cleveland, Shelley and Glenn Ceglia of Herkimer, Pam Wolcott of Sylvan Beach and Joanne Wolcott of Colorado; his former daughter-in-law Lana Jo Yates of Munnsville; several loving cousins, nieces and nephews; many close friends; and hundreds upon hundreds of past and present employees of "Eddie’ s Restaurant". He was predeceased by the love of his life, Leslie, just nine months earlier; his father, Edward Stewart Sr. and mother, Florence (Fifi) Stewart; his father-in-law, Willard Wolcott Sr; and brother-in-law, Robert Corona Sr. Rick and Alison would like to especially thank their cousin Dr. Robert Corona Jr. for being their father’s medical advocate and enabling his golden heart to thrive, giving their family many more years together. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no calling hours or church services. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, with arrangements under the care of the Adrean Funeral Service, Inc. in Utica. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in Eddie's memory may be made to the Sylvan Beach Fire Department, P.O Box 503, Sylvan Beach, NY, 13157; or St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, 6734 State Route 13, Verona Beach, NY 13162.

Beloved Sylvan Beach restaurateur and icon remembered

SYLVAN BEACH ICON — Edward “Eddie” Stewart Jr., a well-known and loved icon of Sylvan Beach died this past Friday. Stewart was active in the community and a 54-year member of the Sylvan Beach Volunteer Fire Department.

SYLVAN BEACH ICON — Edward “Eddie” Stewart Jr., a well-known and loved icon of Sylvan Beach died this past Friday. Stewart was active in the community and a 54-year member of the Sylvan Beach Volunteer Fire Department.



Charles Pritchard
Staff writer

SYLVAN BEACH —Restaurateur Edward “Eddie” Stewart Jr., a legendary Sylvan Beach fixture and staunch community supporter, died last Friday.

Stewart’s family has a tradition of hospitality, and Eddie’s Restaurant has been a landmark of Sylvan Beach for nearly 90 years, from its start in 1934 as a hot dog cart by his father Eddie Stewart Sr. and mother, Florence, into a treasured and legendary part of the community fabric.

“The quaint stand developed into a busy restaurant, popular with not only families but also famous stars,” the restaurant’s website reads. “In its heyday, the big band sounds of Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington could be heard from the popular nightclub, ‘Russell’s Danceland,’ and stories of celebrity sightings at Eddie’s abound.”

“Back then a relatively unknown singer named Frank Sinatra patronized Eddie’s. After performing he would purchase a nickel candy bar, sit curbside, and watch the traffic on Main Street,” the website adds. “Crooner Louis Prima spent one afternoon cooking his own spaghetti and serenading (Florence) Fifi. Other legendary icons that have passed through Eddie’s doors include the Ink Spots, Harry James, Nat King Cole, Desi Arnez, Dagmar, The Dorsey Brothers, Liza Minnelli, and George Foreman.”

Eddie Stewart Jr. took over the family business in 1980 with his wife, Leslie, and son, Rick. Rick took over the family business in 1991.

Besides the restaurant, Stewart was an original trustee of Sylvan Beach and a 54-year member of the Sylvan Beach Volunteer Fire Department.

“Eddie had been instrumental to the Fire Department,” the Sylvan Beach Volunteer Fire Department wrote on their Facebook page. “Not only on the ground but behind the scenes. Eddie will always be remembered for the joy and laughter that he brought to so many in the Department, as well as the community. [He] will truly be missed.”

Rick said his father did what he could to promote and enrich Sylvan Beach whenever he could, whether it was concerts or founding the Corvette Show.

“When he was on the village board, he brought the band concerts to Sylvan Beach and was proud of the musicians he was able to bring,” Rick said. “He made friends with a lot of those musicians and kept those friendships his whole life.”

Stewart was the kind of person who could make friends with anyone, Rick said. Eddie’s Restaurant has seen thousands of employees through its doors over the years, and Eddie made lasting friendships with them.

“Since my mom passed away, I’ve been taking care of my dad’s mail, and he got a Christmas card from someone who worked at Eddie’s in 1968,” he said. “She sent him a card, talking about how much she loved working there and loved my family. It really hit me.”

“People loved [my father],” he continued. “We were in the mall, and he [had to talk to people]. Where ever we are, he had to talk to someone. “Where you from? I’m from Sylvan Beach.” He and my mother were the biggest supporters of Sylvan Beach there ever were. They were always campaigning for it and so proud to be from Sylvan Beach.”

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01/24/21 11:20 AM #1    

Sharon Swetmon (Havener)

So very sorry to hear this..Way back 60 years ago when I dated Levi DeMass ( who was Eddies good friend) we all would hang out after school waiting for the bus..He was always a very personable guy and so very easy to talk with,,My heart goes out to his family because I can imagine how much he is going to be missed..Knowing Eddie 60 years ago I can only imagine how many close friends he has and will miss him terribly...RIP,,,,,SHARON ( SWETMON) HAVENER



01/24/21 03:27 PM #2    

Diane Meacham (Preas)

So very sorry to hear this news, Eddie was such a nice, friendly person.  When my

Mother remarried and I had to move from Oneida to Durhamville. I had no way to school

unless I took a bus. Eddie was kind enough to give me a ride to school each day.  

My deepest sympathy to Eddies family.


Diane Meacham Preas

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