Arthur C. Stewart; Civic Leader, Former Union Oil Vice President


Arthur Chichester Stewart, civic leader and former senior vice president of Union Oil Co. of California, which his grandfather founded, has died.

He was 92.

Stewart, who retired from Union Oil in 1965, died Monday in Carmel, where he had lived for several years.

A native of Los Angeles, Stewart joined Union Oil in 1927 after graduating from Stanford University and attending Harvard Business School. He started out as a wiper on an oil tanker and an oil field roustabout. But he rose quickly through the ranks, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Lyman Stewart, who founded the company in 1890, and his father, who served 16 years as Union Oil president.


Stewart was named general manager of the Union Service Stations and in 1941 was elected a member of the Union Oil board of directors and vice president for sales. After his retirement, he remained on the board for 12 years.

During World War II, Stewart served as a consultant for the Defense Plant Corp. and the Bureau of Ships and was a member of the Petroleum Administration for War.

In 1948, he chaired a 22-member national oil industry committee organized by the Interior Department to allocate scarce gasoline to motorists during a far-reaching oil workers’ strike.

Stewart was a director of Consolidated Steel Co. and of Pacific Airmotive Corp., chairing Pacific’s board in the early 1950s.


He served as a director of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and in 1956 was elected president of the All Year Club of Southern California, which promoted tourism.

He also headed the philanthropic Union Oil Foundation and the Santa Anita Racetrack Charitable Foundation. He was a major fund-raiser for the Red Cross and Community Chest and was active in Los Angeles Beautiful.

Also a fund-raiser for Stanford, Stewart served as a trustee of the university from 1955 to 1974.

A yachtsman and an airplane pilot, Stewart was a commodore of the California Yacht Club, a director of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club and a life member of the Monterey Yacht Club and the Transpacific Yacht Club. As a flier, he was active in Los Conquistadores del Cielo.


Widowed by the former Ruth Arnold Nicholson in 1965, Stewart is survived by his second wife, Betty Jane; two daughters, Ruth Stewart Martin and Barbara Stewart Jameson, both of San Marino; five grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

The family has asked that any memorial donations be made to the Medical Center of Carmel Valley Manor, 8545 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, CA 93923.