Inger Stewart Soto
Multiple business owner, sports fan, great friend
Inger Stewart Soto, a former Claremont resident, died from pneumonia complicated by the H1N1 virus at Kaiser Permanente, Ontario on January 9, 2014. He was 44.
“Stu” was born on April 15, 1969 in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in La Verne and graduated from Bonita High School in 1987.
He attended UCLA from 1989 to 1991, and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in organizational studies from Pitzer College in 1992. After graduating from Pitzer, he continued to live in southern California and purchased a home in Rancho Cucamonga in 2003. Mr. Soto obtained a master’s degree from Cal State Los Angeles in rehabilitation counseling in 1997.
He owned and managed three companies including Vocational Results, AAA Copy and Copy Review Services, established in 1991, 2006 and 2011, respectively. He was a rehabilitation counselor for over 20 years, and he had significant experience in workers’ compensation.
As a highly skilled reviewer and litigation expert, Mr. Soto was hired to be an expert witness to supply testimony and depositions in Sacramento to fight for peoples’ rights against the insurance industry. He took great satisfaction in helping to expose and rectify fraud within the industry. Mr. Soto’s more recent copy work was focused on helping claims professionals contain high costs.
In 2009, he began dating Stephanie, whom he had met in high school. They were married on July 7, 2012. The couple enjoyed attending sporting and cultural events and also undertook some memorable vacations, most recently a trip to the east coast
Faith was an important part of Mr. Soto’s life, and he often turned to scripture when he was in need of strength. Those who knew him describe him as a wonderful and generous person—he was never too busy for a friend—and many attest to his helpful and loving ways during their tough life situations. True to his caring nature, Mr. Soto took many of his friends’ children under his wing, and became a surrogate father to them.
Mr. Soto enjoyed getting together with former classmates. He was a volunteer on his high school reunion committee, helping to plan his 10th, 20th, and 25th alumni reunions, as well as attending Pitzer College reunions annually.
Mr. Soto is remembered for his remarkable zest for life. He played a great game of tennis, winning several trophies in his local tennis leagues.
He was an enthusiastic fan of the Dodgers, the Bruins, and the Lakers, especially Kobe Bryant. He treated many friends to Laker games with his season tickets as well as to an evening at the Magic Castle, where he was a member. In music, he appreciated Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode and heavy metal. Technology was another passion, with Mr. Soto waiting with bated breath for the newest versions of the iPhone and iPad.
“He was a very fun-loving guy. He had a certain optimism that allowed him to enjoy almost anything,” his Scripps friend Denise Armijo shared. “If anyone was able to squeeze a lifetime’s worth of laughter and smiles into 44 years, it was Stu Soto.”
Pitzer friend Catherine Caporale shared, “Stu was a fantastic friend and extremely fun. We will miss his infectious laughter and his caring friendship. He brought us many years of happiness. Stu was the epitome of what a good friend should be.”
Mr. Soto is survived by his wife, Stephanie; by his mother and stepfather, Linda and Moustafa Aly; by his father and stepmother, Salvador and Anna Soto; by his brothers, Douglas Rodriguez and Adam Aly; and by his sisters, Amina Aly, Erica Soto Nedza and Sonia Soto. He also leaves many godchildren, both official and unofficial, especially Kevin, whom he called son for 11 years.
Stu’s college group of Pitzer and Scripps friends say they will always remember his fun and loving ways. They encourage everyone to receive the flu vaccine.