Legendary CHS coach passes away

James H. Stuart, 77, of Columbia, passed away suddenly of natural causes on Dec. 29 while attending a basketball tournament in Collinsville. 
Stuart coached and taught at Columbia High School from 1968 to 1994, and also officiated local sports including football, basketball and baseball.

As coach of Columbia’s baseball program, Stuart led his teams to 425 wins and conference and regional titles, including the 1987 IHSA Class A state championship. It was Columbia’s first state title for any sports team.

Stuart was inducted into the IHSBCA Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame in 1987.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth “Betsy” Stuart of Columbia, son Steven (Tricia) Stuart, daughter Kelly (Greg Moss) and grandson Wilson, along other relatives and countless friends.
There will be no funeral service, per Jim’s wishes. He requested that his organs be donated. A Celebration of Life event has been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Turner Hall in Columbia with a memorial toast at 3 p.m.

Anyone who would like to honor Coach Stuart’s memory can make a donation to: Columbia Eagles Athletic Booster Club, P.O. Box 952, Columbia, IL 62236, or Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 2001 So. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131-3597

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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