James Stuart Jr., prominent Lincoln banker, found dead
February 23, 2014 6:30 pm • By CHRIS HEADY / Lincoln Journal Star
A successful Lincoln businessman and member of a prominent local family died
last week. Former National Bank of Commerce CEO James Stuart Jr. was found dead
in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19.
A family spokesman did not say what caused the death. A Scottsdale, Ariz.,
police spokesperson could not be reached over the weekend.
Stuart was a native of Lincoln and graduated from the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Business Administration.
In 1969, Stuart joined Citibank in New York City and served as a loan officer
until 1973, when he joined First Commerce Bancshares (then NBC Co.) as executive
vice president. He was named president in 1976, chairman and CEO in 1978, and
also became chairman and CEO of National Bank of Commerce in 1985. Stuart spent
his life building the organization into an important business voice in Lincoln,
friend and colleague Brad Korell said.
“He was a very successful banker,” said Korell, who worked with Stuart for more
than 30 years. “I always felt that he was a visionary. He really did build one
of the most successful and admired banking organizations in the Midwest.”
Stuart spent much of his career with First Commerce Bancshares, a $3 billion
multi-bank holding company headquartered in Lincoln. First Commerce was sold to
Wells Fargo in 2000.
He is a former member of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and was
appointed by Gov. Dave Heineman to the board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust
in 2008. Stuart was also involved with natural resources-related groups such as
Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited and U.S. National Forest Foundation.
He served on the international board of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the
boards of the University of Nebraska Foundation and Nebraska Wesleyan
According to Korell, Stuart was living in Scottsdale, overlooking his family's
financial investments, as well as golfing and fishing.
He had three sons and four daughters.
A celebration of Stuart’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at
First-Plymouth Congregational Church at 20th and D streets.
James Stuart, Jr., age 70, of Lincoln died in Scottsdale, AZ. Born February 27,
1943 in Lincoln to James and Helen Catherine (Davis) Stuart. James Stuart, Jr.
was a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, and attended the University of Nebraska
graduating in 1965 with a degree in Business Administration. Subsequent to
graduation, Jim served in the U.S. Army as an aviation officer in various
aviation groups, including a one year tour of combat duty as a helicopter pilot
in Vietnam. Jim left active duty as a captain. In 1969, Jim joined Citibank in
New York City and served as a loan officer in various capacities until 1973 when
he joined First Commerce Bancshares (then NBC Co.) as Executive Vice President.
He was named President in 1976, Chairman and CEO in 1978, and also became
Chairman and CEO of National Bank of Commerce in 1985. First Commerce Bancshares
was merged with Wells Fargo in June of 2000. Subsequently, Jim opened an
investment office with his two older sons – Jim, III and Lee – where he managed
various investment portfolios, and continued his civic activities.
Jim served the community, state and country in many civic, business and
political activities. He served as Chair of both the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
and the Downtown Lincoln Association. He had also served on the Board of the
University of Nebraska Foundation and Nebraska Wesleyan University among others.
Jim was also active in many political races.
Since leaving First Commerce Bancshares in June of 2000, Jim served on the
International Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and also served
on the Board of First Plymouth Church where he served as Chair of the Board of
Currently Jim had recently been a director of the Nebraska Game and Parks
Commission, on the Board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust and served on CPC
Committee for Ducks Unlimited.
Jim lived in Lincoln with his wife Susan traveling frequently to their home in
Canada, and their winter home in Scottsdale, AZ. He has six children. Jim
enjoyed hunting, fishing, diving, skiing, and golf.
Survivors: wife, Susan Sehnert Stuart; sons, James Stuart, III (Barbara), Lee R.
Stuart (Debra) of Lincoln, NE; Robert D. Stuart (Thomas Van Klaveren) of
Portland, OR; daughters, Susan S. Seiler (Kenneth) of Edina, MN; Carolyn J.
Stuart; Megan M. Stuart of Lincoln, NE; mother, Helen Catherine Stuart of
Lincoln, NE; sister, Catherine (Kit) Schmoker (Richard) of Edina, MN; brother,
W. Scott Stuart (Jane) of Lincoln, NE. Also survived by nine grandchildren,
James Stuart, IV; Matthew D. Stuart; Thomas J. Stuart; Samantha G. Seiler;
Margaux F. Seiler; Ian F. Seiler, Caroline J. Seiler; Madeline E. Stuart,
Benjamin L. Stuart, parents in-law; Walt and Jean Sehnert. Preceded in death by
father, James Stuart; two grandsons, Michael Patrick Stuart and Kenneth James
Memorials to First Plymouth Church, Nebraska Game & Parks Foundation, Attn: Lynn
Hartog, P. O. Box 36, Waverly, NE 68462, and Nebraska Environmental Trust.
Celebration of Jims life will be held at 11:00am Wed. Feb. 26 at First Plymouth
congregational church at 20th & D St.
- See more at: http://www.roperandsons.com/obituary/James-Stuart-Jr./Scottsdale-AZ/1346815#sthash.N8o07Ro2.dpuf