Memorial Service Is Friday for Taft High Coach Stewart

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A memorial service for Taft High football Coach Larry Stewart, who died Saturday night after suffering what appeared to be a heart attack, will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Lorenzen Mortuary in Reseda.

Stewart, 43, a history teacher at Taft, was stricken while attending a Christmas party thrown by a group of his former students in Long Beach.

“The hardest thing in all of this has been calling his friends and getting the same reaction,” said former Taft football coach Tom Stevenson, who had known Stewart since childhood. “Nobody can believe it.”


An autopsy was performed Sunday, but a spokesman for the coroner’s office in Orange County said Monday that it may take several weeks before toxicology and tissue tests are completed and a cause of death is determined.

Stevenson said that Stewart, who was single and lived in West Hills, had no history of heart problems.

Before taking over for Stevenson this year, Stewart served for seven seasons as Taft’s defensive coordinator. Taft won or shared five league titles in that span. Taft, with few returning starters from the 1990 team, finished 1-8 this season.

After graduating from Birmingham High in 1966, Stewart attended University of the Pacific. Stevenson and Stewart coached together at Belmont High before jointly moving to Taft.

Stevenson said he had spoken to Stewart on Saturday morning, when the two made plans to attend a Christmas party scheduled for Monday.

He said that Stewart was stricken at about 9:30 p.m. and taken to Los Alamitos Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 10 p.m.