He was born in Chicago and grew up in Livingston before moving to Billings, where he graduated from Senior High in 1942. He was a ranger in Yellowstone Park for several summers. A Marine in World War II, Stu graduated from the University of Montana Law School in 1949, spent four years with the FBI and then practiced law in Billings until his retirement in 1986.
Stuart became interested in archaeology, his life’s passion, in the late ’50s. He was instrumental in the creation of the Montana Archaeology Society, the acquisition of Pictograph Caves as a State Park, and was President of the Montana Historical Society.
The many awards he received in his lifetime included an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Montana State University, the Crabtree Award from the Society for American Archaeology, the Wellmann Award from the American Rock Art Research Association, the Montana State Historic Preservation Award for Achievement in Archaeology, and the Carroll Award from the Yellowstone Historic Preservation Board.
Stuart is predeceased by his sister, Patricia Morledge; and his former wife, Betty Lu Conner. He is survived by his wife, Susan McDaniel; his daughters, Laurie Wertman (Jim), Cindy Merriam (Steve) and Robin Lester (Jim); as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.