TORONTO — The travel industry is mourning the loss of Jill Stewart, wife of Sandals Resorts International executive chairman Adam Stewart.
Jill was born in The Bahamas and met Adam at boarding school in Boca Raton, FL when both were in their teens. In 2005 she moved to Jamaica. Jill and Adam were married for 14 years.
Adam shared a heartbreaking post after Jill lost her year-long battle with cancer on Friday. “It is almost unimaginable that it has come to this. Still, with unbearable grief and a broken heart, I let you know that my wife Jill, the love of my life, my best friend of 28 years, and mother of our three wonderful children passed away peacefully and surrounded by love,” he said.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, on behalf of his Ministry, its public bodies and the wider tourism sector, expressed deep condolences to Adam and his family.
As Minister Bartlett notes, while Jill’s own career path was established as a fitness instructor, she was also closely aligned to tourism through her husband. Adam is also Chairman of the Tourism Linkages Network, a division of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, which is a public body of the Ministry of Tourism.
From firsthand knowledge of the bond between the Stewarts, Minister Bartlett said: “The love they shared and the care that he offered is so powerful and strong that it makes the real point about how true love and marriage ought to be.”
The couple share three children. Minister Bartlett eulogized her as “a great mother and a great partner to one of our finest young entrepreneurs,” adding that: “The entire tourism family and my own family offer deep condolences as we hold up Adam in prayerful support during this difficult hour. May Jill’s soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine upon her.”
Also offering deep condolences is I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation for The Bahamas, along with members of the Ministry’s Senior Executive Management Team and Bahamas family of Tourism Partners.
Deputy Prime Minister Cooper said, “We convey our deepest condolences to Mr. Adam Stewart, the couple’s three children, immediate family and extended Jamaican and Bahamian families as they mourn the loss of a wife, mother, relative and friend who exemplified so many noble qualities.”
Noting Jill’s Bahamian roots, Deputy Prime Minister Cooper also spoke of her twin passion for running and youth development. She ardently supported the development of Montego Bay’s first 10K/5K run and walk for education, the MoBay City Run.
After her cancer diagnosis in spring 2022, Jill made the decision to share her journey via social media, touching the lives and providing comfort for thousands who were going through cancer battles of their own. “A new chapter in my life has begun and as scared as I am, I know the only way to the other side is through. So I’ve put on my warrior shirt and I’m ready to go to battle. I’m going to give it my all,” she posted in May 2022.
Latia Duncombe, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation also expressed her sentiments on Jill’s passing: “Our hearts go out to Mr. Adam Stewart and his family. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. In going public with her year-long struggle with cancer, Mrs. Stewart gave a gift to the world. She demonstrated to us all how to confront adversity with courage, tenacity and grace.”